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Eureka Seven – Manga Collection 1 by Jinsei Kataoka & Kazuma Kondou (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

December 18, 2009 by  



If you loved the anime series, you’re going to enjoy the manga series as well!  Gripping, hilarious and plenty of action, the first three of six volumes are included in this oversized edition for a great price!  Highly recommended!

Image courtesy of © Jinsei KATAOKA 2005, Kazuma KONDOU 2005, 2005BONES/Project EUREKA-MBS.  All Rights Reserved.

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MANGA TITLE: Eureka Seven – Manga Collection 1

STORY AND ART BY: Original Story by BONES, Manga by Jinsei Kataoka and Kazuma Kondou

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Shonen Ace

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: Bandai Entertainment

RATED: Suggested 13 and Up

The first three volumes from the award winning Eureka Seven manga series are collected at last in this new omnibus edition that reprints the original black and white art with nine pages of color in a new oversized collector’s edition.

Renton Thurston’s a young 14-year-old who is tired of his monotonous life. The only thing that makes him happy is when he “lifts,” an extreme form of aerial hoverboarding. His feelings of frustration come from his life of toil in his Grandfather’s garage and being the son of an enigmatic yet legendary “hero.” One day, a large LFO (Light Finding Operation) craft called Nirvash falls from the sky and a beautiful young girl named Eureka emerges and asks for repairs. When a smitten Renton literally falls over himself to help her, the two begin a journey that will change both of their destinies…

“Eureka Seven”, the popular mecha anime TV series from Bones has spawned video games, novels and a movie.  But the animated series also was adapted into a manga series which ran in Kadokawa Shoten’s “Monthly Shonen Ace” from 2005-2006 with a total of 23 chapters.

As the anime series was a big hit in the US airing on the Cartoon Network’s “Adult Swim”, the six volume manga series was previously released in the US.  But with the new “Eureka Seven” film released in US theaters in Sept. 2009 and an upcoming Blu-ray and DVD release for the film set for 2010, there is renewed interest in the series.  Fortunately, for those who are not familiar with the anime series will be happy to know that Bandai Entertainment has released the first three manga volumes (11 chapters) in one oversized collection.  The content is nearly the same as the previous manga series which featured black and white artwork but also features nine colorized pages exclusive to this manga collection.

“Eureka Seven” revolves around a boy named Renton Thurston, a young 14-year-old who is brash and tends to enjoy living for the moment.  His hobby is grabbing his lift board (somewhat like a surf or skateboard but is used for floating in the air) and just riding it and having fun.  Renton, also happens to be the son of the late military hero Adroc Thurston and the grandson of famous scientist Axel Thurston.  But unlike them, Renton is not into studying nor does he have any career ambitions, he’s just a boy who idolizes Ray-Out Magazine’s Holland Novak, a professional lift board rider.

One day, a mecha (an LFO known as Nirvash typeZERO – the world’s first humanoid mobile machine – Light Finding Operation) crashes near his home and inside it comes out a girl who piloted it.  While repairs are being done on the LFO, Renton becomes happy when the girl tells him that she knows Holland (Renton’s lift board idol) and immediately, Renton becomes happy but the more he sees this girl, he starts to fall for her.

The military (U.F. Force) then disrupts their meeting as they try to get the girl and the two quickly escape on the LFO together.   While being pursued, somehow the two managed to create “The Seventh Swell” and grabs the attention of Holland and his crew (known as The Gekko State).  Can Renton be the source of hidden power of the Nirvash?

Meanwhile, we learn from the military why they are pursuing Eureka and that she and the Nirvash were part of a major military secret project that was stolen by Holland and now they want her back.  Meanwhile, the crew wonder if Renton is the real deal of what happened with the Nirvash or was it freak situation that just happened.  As for Renton, he’s just happy to be part of a group that Holland belongs to and most of all, to be near Eureka.

While the bulk of the main storyline of the first half of the manga series features The Gekko State trying to hide from the military or getting into battles with each other, a third party, an alien race known as the Coralians have reappeared and for some reason, they are also going after Eureka.

Outside of the storyline involving the Gekko State and UF Force, the other primary storyline is Renton and Eureka’s storyline as two people who don’t understand their emotions but they are attracted to each other.  The other storyline focuses on the Novak brothers as we see Holland doing what he can to protect his team but trying to calm his hatred towards his brother Dewey, and vice-versa as Dewey tries to put his plan to rule UF Force and using anemone (a girl who looks similar to Eureka but are quite different) to destroy Gekko State and those who will stand in his way.

For “Eureka Seven – Manga Collection 1”, all three manga volumes are collected in this oversized edition.  It’s important to note that after each chapter, the extra comic strip and postscript by both Kataoka and Kondou are included.

The main characters of “Eureka Seven” are:

Renton Thurston – The main protagonist.  A 14-year-old who loves to ride a lift board and a boy who feels that he can never live up to his father’s legacy.  He idolizes Holland, has a crush on Eureka and will do whatever he can to help her (including becoming a member of Gekko State).

Eureka – An unusual young woman with blue hair.  She is the pilot of the mecha Nirvash typeZERO.  She doesn’t comprehend these emotions she has when she’s around Renton.  She is also the adoptive mother of three young kids: Maurice, Maeter and Linck.  She and Holland are the primary pilots of Gekko State.

Holland Novak – The popular lift boarder but also the leader of the Gekko State.  He tries to analyze Renton and wonder if he is the person behind the secret power of the Nirvash typeZERO.  Holland is a former member of the SOF, a military unit but when he was ask by Norb to protect Eureka, he took her and the Nirvash from the military to protect her.  Now he is a wanted man.  Meanwhile, he has a deep hatred towards his brother Dewey.  Holland pilots the LFO known as Terminus typeR909.

Yuki Taiho – A friend of Holland and Dewey when they were in the military.  Yuki now pilots the Gekko and is a close confidant of Holland.

Gekko State – A group of lift riders and friends who support Novak’s goal.  Other members include Matthieu, Hilda, Stoner, Ken-Goh, Mischa, Gonzy, Jobs, Woz, Hap, Gidget and Moondoggie.  Also, joining the team are three orphans: Maurice, Maeter and Linck.

Colonel Dewey Novak – The main antagonist who takes control of the U.F. Force and has a deep hatred towards his brother Holland and the Coralians.   His greatest asset is Anemone who is loyal to him.

Anemone – A person who resembles Eureka but belongs to Dewey of the U.F. Force.  She can sense Eureka and she loves to eat sweet things.  She is the pilot of Nirvash LFO, typeTheEND.

Lieutenant Dominic Sorel – A young lieutenant assigned to tend to Anemone’s needs and works for Col. Dewey Novak.  Although a high ranking officer of the U.F. Force, he seems to have some differences with his superior which he keeps to himself.

The Coralians – Eureka Seven takes place 10,000 years after humanity left for space after the arrival of the aliens known as Scub Coral.  Because they merged with the planet, humans were forced to leave the planet and moved into a planet known as Land of Kanan which parts of the land are occupied by the Scrub Coral.  The Coralians are manifestations that either ravage a land, attack humans (after they have been attacked) or a human-form of Coralian who try to learn from humanity.

“Eureka Seven” has been nothing but an enjoyable series to read thus far.  I like the underdog theme going for it with Renton being this unlikely hero but turning out to be a young kid who is really turning out to be more than anyone has expected.  Eureka is also an interesting character as she is quite mysterious and the whole Gekko State team is pretty cool and for the most part, cool characters and interesting antagonists.  Throw in the alien Coralians and you have that secondary evil that makes you wonder how this series will progress.

For those not familiar with “Eureka Seven”, I think those who have followed the “Mobile Suit Gundam” or “Gurren Lagann” series will definitely find “Eureka Seven” to be an entertaining series.  You get a large group of characters but a storyline focusing on the underdog who turns out to be quite the hero but yet has the low self esteem issue and tends to doubt himself.  Sure, it’s a prevailing theme with many mecha series but in this case, where Gundam focuses on survival and “Gurren Lagann” focuses on eradicating the evil on the planet, “Eureka Seven” so far has been a storyline featuring a band of renegades with stolen military technology and trying to avoid being detected by the military. Problem is, both sides have similar technology and it’s all about who will be the last person standing, in this case…it’s either Gekko State or the UF Forces.

As for the manga, the story and illustrations by Jinsei Kataoka and Kazuma Kondou are pretty solid.  I absolutely love how the characters are drawn and how much detail is drawn during the action sequences.  As for the story, the pacing is well-done and each chapter, your captivated by the storyline which are gripping, hilarious but also filled with action sequences drawn out quite well.

I definitely look forward to conclusion of the “Eureka Seven” manga series in the next manga collection.  If you haven’t owned the manga series before, definitely a collection worth owning.  Highly recommended!

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