The Pocketful of ROSSMAN
If you haven't seen Eureka Seven (the TV show) yet, well, you should — it's a great series. This movie, Psalms of Planets Eureka Seven: Pocketful of Rainbows (yes, that's its real name... I couldn't have made it up and made it sound that goofy and gay if I tried), is a kinda-sorta retelling of sorts of the Eureka TV anime along the same lines that Escaflowne: Girl in Gaia was to the Escaflowne series. Meaning it takes all the main characters of the show and places them in new situations with vastly different backgrounds and histories for everyone, and gives the entire cast discrepant reasons for doing what they're doing. And like the Escaflowne movie, it pretty much fails in its mission of telling a better tale than the original. Well, I shouldn't be too hard on the Esca movie (I did enjoy it for what it was), but this Eureka Seven flick... What the hell were they thinking?
The background of the movie is this: It's about 45 years in the future, and 45 years after The Image first attacked Earth. The Image are weird, fish-like, floating and flying, eye-bally aliens who just start besieging, killing, and blowing up people and towns like typical asshole aliens tend to do. But, these asshole aliens seem to have a plan: they've embedded several beings that look human into the Earthly population in order to try and gain information about something (they never do make this part really clear). One of these sleeper agents is a little girl named Eureka. Eureka is being raised in a science lab (how and under what circumstances the Earth people found her and discovered what she was is never made clear.... That seems to be a running theme of this movie: not making anything clear), and her best friend is a little boy named Renton (who's the son of one of Earth's best scientists). Together with their bumbling faerie named Nirvash (a round and white creature that bounces along with them while making gurgling baby sounds that only Renton can translate) they apparently like to go on field trips looking for rainbow flowers with their sensei, the character who played Dominic Sorel in the original series.
After the government finally gets wise to Eureka's true identity (I'm just guessing that's what happened here, since it's never made clear), they send in soldiers to kidnap her from the lab in order to apparently torture the shit out of her to get her to give up the secrets of The Image. Since Eureka doesn't know shit about them and tends to have her skin burn into a shiny green luster in sunlight (just like the rest of The Image creatures... Oh, wait, NOTHING like the rest of The Image creatures, which makes perfect sense), the government forces take a long time and a lot of pleasure in trying to get her to answer their questions (and to experiment on her like the dickholes that they truly are).
8 years later and Renton and his new posse (the young crew of the Gekkostate flying fortress who are apparently contracted government soldiers in this world) bust Eureka out of her prison when The Image send a giant, floating, fish-eye-alien-spewing, giant orb to the town that her confinement was taking place. Then the Gekkostate turns against the military and flees with their prize after Renton and Eureka (inside the mecha known as Nirvash, which is the grown up form of the faerie they knew as kids, which still only speaks in baby-talk gibberish) turn the floating behemoth orb into a rain cloud (it's never made clear how they're able to do this, and at this point I stopped giving a shit. This point being only 10 minutes into this flick). Wait, this thing just gets better and better.
Anyway, it turns out that Holland (the leader of the Gekkostate who dresses like a douchebag skater despite being a member of the Earth armed forces) and the rest of his crew aren't who they claim to be as *gasp!* the real Holland Novak has already died.... which would mean nothing to a Eureka noobie seeing as Holland and co. only had maybe 2 minutes of screen time before we hear this SHOCKING news (and we know it's shocking because the music TELLS us it is!)... Honestly, all of these changes [from the original tale] and shocking new elements are really only meant for longtime fans who have seen the entire forerunner show, and they're the ones who are going to be the most disappointed by everything. There's nothing really shocking in these alterations to people who just jumped in with this movie, but when you've gotten to know Holland and his peeps in the show for 50 episodes already you get quite a shock when you first hear this news. Well, not really, seeing as all these characters are only the same as those in the Eureka Seven TV series in name and looks only.
I really didn't care who lived or who died when I didn't have any emotional attachment to anybody involved in this theatrical story. Truly, it was like the storytellers had a script for a brand new movie and thought "Hey! That Eureka Seven cartoon had good character designs! Let's use them! We'll just place those designs on the bodies of these characters who have nothing in common with the originals'." Whereas I liked almost every character in the TV series, pretty much EVERYBODY in this movie was rewritten to be a complete asshat. They all smirk all the time, scream and look psychotic at the drop of a hat, and they do dicky things to everybody else in every scene they're in. You know, just like the lead characters of every other masterpiece of anime that you know and love so well... But I digress. Good character designs, lousy characters — you get the idea.
Anyanyway, so Holland and the Gekkostate crew were also part of a cruel and a never-made-too-clear experiment, and in their experiment they were blasted through a black hole (and thought dead) and into a void where there was another Earth with a green ring around it. And now that they're back in this Earth they find that they're aging at a hyperly accelerated rate and will all die soon unless they get somebody who resembles the heroine of a mythological storybook (who they believe is Eureka) to stand in the way of 4,000 gigawatts of electric power and shoot them through that inter-dimensional doorway once again so they can live with puppies and rainbows forever and ever, amen. No, I did not just make that shit up just to fuck with you. That's the plot of the Eureka movie. Somebody actually thought long and hard about that very synopsis and nodded their head in agreement and said, "Perfect! Don't change anything! Here's $6million to make it. I am so happy with my decision, now to throw myself from my office window 20-stories up and plummet to my death." *CRASH!* God, I hope he at least landed on one of the writers on the sidewalk.
"That sounds like crap, Rossman," you say. "Do the Gekkostate crew actually base their entire plan on a storybook?" Oh hell yes they do. "The power of mythology" is the underlying theme of this shitfest, but instead of not taking that idea literally (like any non-hack would), they throw out any and all realism and make everybody in this story a complete retard for believing in a storybook about a winged goddess who'll take them into the promised land of alternate Earth without even bothering to make it clear why this would save everyone. Really, at least the previously mentioned Escaflowne movie kind of had the same plot as its original. And this is OUR Earth this supposedly takes place on. Are you telling me that in 45 years our remaining population will start believing in and basing their entire lives upon legends even more lame than the old Greek myths? How's that for an evolutionary back-step...
Other than that crappola, there are soooo many other things that they changed from the original story for no good reason other than them possibly thinking "Okay, this worked in the TV series, so lets fuck with it so that it doesn't for the movie!" For example: Renton's uniqueness as a top gun sky-surfing pilot in the show is completely negated in Pocketful of Rainbows (*giggle!*) seeing as whenever he's flying Nirvash it's really just the faerie inside the thing that's making it maneuver so incredibly nifty. No shit, whenever Renton's in the cockpit his hands are usually off the steering mechanism and he's yelling at Nirvash to slow down as they rocket past and through the enemy. Fantastic. Renton's just a whiney loser with no talent whatsoever. Everyone's a dick and Renton has no talent or abilities now. Brilliant.
Oh, and the best part of the whole thing is the EoE ending. Seriously, Studio Bones? An EoE ending? Do you really want comparisons made to that? Well, it's an EoE ending, only a whole helluva lot less cohesive and fulfilling... Yeah, chew on that for a while.
So other than an incomprehensible plot, terrible characters that you hate, and a finale that tries to be existential and trippy (and fails on every front), what else can I say about the Eureka Seven Movie? Quite a lot, it just so happens. This thing is filled, top to bottom, with cameos of characters from the show, usually only in quick snippets, the luckiest of who have maybe one full line of dialogue. Yeah, it's fun to point them out with giddy schoolgirl excitement: "Oooooh! That's that sultry scientist chick from the series! Eeeek! That's Renton's sister! Awesome! Renton's grandfather!" But a quick cameo is just a quick cameo, and of course they don't play the same roles as they do in the original anyway. It's just a pathetic gimmick.
Oh gods, and the references to other series and movies were just totally over the top. For yet another example, the enormous Earth emigration space vessel (to be used to evacuate all the VIPs when the planet eventually falls to The Image) is called the....... Can you guess? Come on, just throw a name out there. No, not the Eltreum (but a great guess!).... Yup, the MegaRoad. Oh, and Eureka's coordinates when she's held in the military lab/prison are "0080, 0083." Honestly, this is the kind of shit that takes you OUT of your suspension of disbelief and makes you roll your eyes in disgust. Hidden references are one thing, but to shove them in the viewers' faces over and over again makes them NOT funny, and in fact shittily annoying. It felt like a 12 year-old old-school otaku with no sense of pace, priorities, or a clear idea of plot wrote this thing.
Oh, and HOLY SHEEEE-YIT! I had to stop the movie I was laughing so goddamn hard at that one scene near the end... The mood is dramatic and [is trying to be] tense as fuck as several lead characters are fighting and bleeding to death, and then.... "Papa!"... Oh my GOD! That voice in Engrish and everything! I fell off my fucking seat I was convulsing in giggles so hard. Then I rewound it to watch it again, just to make sure I didn't mis-hear it.... "Papa!"... Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!! When your big dramatic reveal makes your audience laugh AT the movie, you know you have huge troubles.
Taste teh Rainbow CHI-CHI!
Okay, this really had nothing to do with that Urethra Sevens show the Rossman made me watch a few years ago, did it? That show was wacky, but this movie was just laughable. It made no sense. It was so convoluted and only eluded to a cohesive plot (my word a day calendar is coming in handy!). "Neverland?" "Building one's own world from their dreams and 4,000 gigawatts of electricity (GREAT SCOT!)" "Faith healing, and time-accelerated growth?" This movie was all over the goddamn place. Just stick with the less weird TV series instead and you'll be happier. 95% less dickery and about 90% more satisfaction comparatively (though no Scooby Doo vibes at all in this movie. I don't know if that's good or bad though).
Ugh... And they just HAD to get those little annoying snot-nosed fucks in this thing somehow too, didn't they. At least they were just a quick cameo and didn't take up most of the storyline in the end. Oh yeah, I forgot about them in the original show. Man they sucked.
Oh, and for those of you who are wondering what the Rossman's reference to that "Papa" scene is all about, picture this: Renten and that Hollan guy each have their panties in a bunch over somesuch shit or whatnot, and in their giant robots they're beating the shit out of each other... But just as they're both about to kill eachother, the unborn baby in Hollan's chick's uterus (seriously, she wasn't showing at all... kid must have still been in his first trimester) telepathically screams out "Papa!" and ends the fighting. Oh, folks, it's even funnier to see it happen with your own eyes and hear that scream with your own ears. It was simply awful. Who the hell wrote this thing?