Eureka Seven (2005, Bones)
Kōkyōshihen Eureka Sebun [Symphonic Psalms Eureka Seven]
Eccentric 14 year old Renton Thurston aspires to be a Lift Boarder, someone who can surf the mysterious light particles known as "Trapar" like Holland captain of the Gekkostates renegades. His father had once sacrificed himself to save the world from destruction when a strange phenemenon caused the Compac Drives that controlled giant mecha robots known as LFOs to go out of control. That catastrophe came to be known as "Summer of Love" and soon after his older sister Diane also disappeared leaving behind a Compac Drive behind.
Unfortunately, the city of Bell Forest where Renton stays with his grandfather was too poor to give him the equipment he needed to practice. Only the words and the Compac Drive that his sister left him supports him as he makes use of whatever he can find.
One day a mysterious young girl "Eureka" crash lands the world's very first LFO, the Nirvash Type-0 at their place. When she is suddenly attacked, Renton is sent to deliver the Amita Drive that is needed to unlock the Nirvash's true potential. As Renton does his best to reach her, he manages to pull off the legendary Cutback Drop Turn maneuver and believes Eureka was his lucky goddess whot he must protect. When the word "Eureka" appears once again on the Compac Drive, Renton chooses to believe in his own abilities and what he can achieve. To his surprise this was what really unlocked the Nirvash's true destructive powers, "The Seven Swell".
Now that he had a chance to join the Gekkostates he looked up to, Renton chooses to go with them learning that the famous Holland was actually a student of his father. Going with his father's favourite saying, "Don't beg for it, earn it. Then it will be granted to you," he decides to go and train with the Gekko crew unaware of what was really going on behind the world and what his role would be in it.
This was part of "Project Eureka" a collaboration between Bones and Bandai. The Anime was the first entry in the series along with a Manga version, light novel and video games
It has a fair bit of lore which means there's a lot to take in and figure out right from the first episode. Decided to give this a watch after seeing it hyped a few times on Twitter then my Japanese friend also talked about it.
Just the first 3 episodes makes quite an impact as a variety of relations are established between the characters. It's quite an odd show with some equally odd characters; probably your cliche cast of Anime characters that keep it interesting. Renton just does whatever he likes keeping a cheery mood, quiet but rash Eureka, your cool mysterious hero Holland etc. Eureka kind of feels like Violet from Violet Evergarden; just completely clueless about the real world, emotionless and only know about fighting in war. Kind of feels overdone at first but actually fits in with the world setting. Mecha designs are like giant robots surfing in the air...
Interestingly enough Ami Koshimizu plays the villain Anemone here before going onto voice Kallen from Code Geass I'm guessing since that show went on air afterwards. Didn't recognise her voice in her more sadist villain role. Even Eureka's actress Kaori Nadzuka played Nunnally from Code Geass too as well as Subaru from .hack//Sign. Anemone reminds me of Zero Two from Darling in The Franxx. First opening "Days" reminded me of Code Geass too since Flow sings it.
OP2 from episodes 13 - 26 also features the song, "Shonen Heart [Young Man's Heart]" by Home Made Kazoku which was also used in one of my favourite rhythm games, "Ouendan 2".
So if you're looking for a action show heavy on mecha battles or just something full of mystery then, this won't be it. It's more like a sci-fi slice-of-life show if that makes sense. For me, it wasn't a very compelling watch so I didn't bother with the Astral Ocean series or movies. Sure it has a fun cast of characters but it just takes too long for anything to happen. Or when it does gain traction, it suddenly slows again. It's not one of those shows where you just want to keep watching episode after episode non-stop just to see what happens.
I'd say episode 26 is when the story starts picking up as the main story line and world setting finally gets a push. It's bigger on its romance and family themes than its sci-fi plot that just drags out too long but, its fun cast makes it worth a watch.
Watch out for Snickers.