Now… Where do I start? On the 16th of October, I saw that Hi-Evolution 1 (from here onward will be referred to as “HE 1”) tickets were being sold for the 21st of October but the thing was, I hadn’t watched the series at all before much less even know anything about it. Not to mention the HE 1 ticket was ridiculously expensive at 55 SGD (40.5 USD). So I did what any sane person would do. I bought the ticket. Within the days building up to HE 1, I binged through the entirety of Eureka Seven. Yep, all 50 episodes alright. I didn’t even skip the opening songs. So when I came into the cinema about to watch HE 1, I was pretty confident that I knew what the story was about since the anime was fresh in my memory. So I relaxed, sat back and as the lights went off in the cinema.
WARNING: THIS IS A RECAP FILM SO I DON’T THINK I’M SPOILING ANYTHING AS LONG AS YOU’VE ALREADY WATCHED THE MAIN TV SERIES
HE 1 starts off absolutely stunningly. Beautiful visuals, great sounds and overall the atmosphere is one of chaos that just sucks you into the battlefield. This lasts a good 20 minutes or so. This scene is a prologue and takes place 10 years before the actual series itself so it was mostly relatively new content. You get to see some of the characters from the main series as their younger selves and all that fine jazz. Did I enjoy the prologue? HELL YEAH I DID. The only issue I had was that they changed a certain person’s death scene from the original series but hey, it looked way cooler. Not going to say much about the prologue as it is new material and I don’t want to spoil anything for those who have yet to watch
Then time skips forward and the film starts off from episode 25 of the main series. Then everything just goes…. eh. I’ll start of with what I disliked first then move on to what I liked about the film later.
Now if there’s one thing I’d always expect a recap film to do is to refresh your memory of events within the anime series. Now there might be a few revisions here and there (there were some changes in dialogue within HE 1 for certain scenes from the original anime) but usually, it wouldn’t affect or change the plot at all. And it didn’t. The changes HE 1 makes in the character dialogues don’t affect or change the story at all. The problem however, was how it was presented.
When I said HE 1 starts off from episode 25, I meant it. But they didn’t move forward, they moved backward. Now I don’t have a problem with this per se. I could’ve just taken it as a sort of episode 25.5 but in the form of a movie. However, HE 1 had this ridiculous idea to jumble up the order of how they did their flashback sequence. The way it does it’s flashbacks are absolutely convoluted and confusing. It makes even me, a person who just watched the entire series in the past 4 days, confused on the order of events from episode 1 to 25. Can you imagine how a person who hasn’t watched Eureka Seven for years would feel?
To give an idea of what they did, let me give you an example. For this, we will be ignoring the prologue sequence. Take “A” as the earliest flashback in the recap, “L” as the “present” (episode 25) and every other letter being every other flashback shown. The ACTUAL TIMELINE would look something like this:
A > B > C > D > E > F > G > H > I > J > K > L
How HE 1 arranges the flashbacks in a fashion like this:
L > K > E > G > B > H > D > C > I > J > F > B > A > L
But wait you say! I repeated some letters! Well, HE 1 does repeat some scenes. A recap of a flashback. In a recap film. A recap film has a recap within the recap film itself. I don’t even know what to say to that. I have even yet to mention how the order of their flashbacks makes absolutely no sense. The painful truth is that my example wasn’t even that accurate. There are WAY MORE JUMPS in the film than my example. The transitions itself are very confusing as they use transition cards that say “8 hours later”, “20 days earlier” or “3 hours ago” etc. This would be fine, if they didn’t do it so many times and somewhat in a random fashion that it would confuse some viewers on the sequence of events. It confused me a little and I literally just saw the series a few days prior.
I was so confused
This really affects the viewer experience as we are constantly thrown from one point in the timeline to another with no real flow or pattern to it. Regardless, another thing that irked me (though not as significantly as bouncing around in the timeline) is the fact that they reused all the shots from the anime series in their original aspect ratio. Now, I am not a video editing expert nor am I somebody well versed in how to do fancy stuff like making widescreen HD remaster and all that fancy stuff but as a viewer, it is very off-putting when you’re watching a glorious, extravagant and beautiful widescreen 30 minute opening sequence but then when you’re at the flashbacks, the show reverts to its original 960×720 aspect ratio. It’s a small issue but one that stands out nonetheless especially when the transition cards fill up the entirety of the screen. There probably is a reason for this and I do know this is just me nitpicking the technical aspects of the film when I’m not well versed in it nor am I qualified to make a good opinion on them.
Now, onto what I thought was good about HE 1 albeit it isn’t much. Throughout the film, there are monologues/narrations by Renton that delve deeper into why he did certain things (even if some of the things he did do are really dumb) and his reactions to the consequences of his actions. This gives deeper insight into Renton and you get to see what Renton’s thought process is like. The flashbacks also had a lot of Charles and Ray in it. Anything with Charles and Ray in it is good hands down. Don’t give me that sass.
Seriously Charles and Ray are the best couple in the series by far
The soundtrack itself is relatively the same, meaning that it was really damn good. So take nothing away from that, the music still fits well into the film.
That’s really all I have to say about the film really in terms of what I think it did good and bad.
My overall thoughts? I’m biased as all hell and still enjoyed and loved the film. I’m no machine, when I like something, I tend to overlook its cons and still enjoy it for what it is. That’s the same with Eureka Seven. I binged all 50 episode in 4 days but I never saw it as a chore or an obligation. I saw it as a need. I loved the show from beginning to end, always wanting more and more until I reached the end and got a satisfying conclusion but even then, deep in my heart, I still wanted more. I got more from Hi Evolution 1. And I still want even more. Thankfully, I will get more Eureka Seven from the upcoming second Hi Evolution movie.
I would watch this movie a million more times just to see more Eureka
To conclude? Do I think the movie is worth watching for someone with only a slight interest in Eureka Seven? Not really. Save that money and go watch another movie like Mary and The Witch’s Flower or In This Corner of The World (both bloody fantastic movies by the way). But if you’re the same kind of person as me and just want more Eureka Seven even if it is a convoluted mess of a recap film with an amazing first 30 minutes? Go ahead! Don’t hold yourself back!
That’s all I have to say and I do plan on writing more posts like these about random stuff about anime that pops on my mind from time to time. Cya next time friends.