Eureka Seven (Psalms of Planets Eureka Seven)
Studio: Bones (Fullmetal Alchemist, RahXephon)
Manga authors: Jinsei Kataoka & Kazuma Kondou
Genre: Adventure, Mecha, Romance
First complete run: 2005-2006
Regular episodes: 50
Eureka Seven is a classic bildungsroman...with giant surfing robots. The series' most unique feature is the sport called "lifting," an activity in which a person or mecha surfs on invisible waves named "trapars" using a modified surf board. Eureka Seven chronicles the journey of Renton, a teenage boy who is the son of a legendary war hero. As he tries to leave his boring life behind and learn to lift, Renton joins up with a band of idiosyncratic but talented outlaws called Gekkostate. With Gekkostate, Renton learns not only how to lift and pilot a mecha but also uncovers mysteries about his father's past.
The anime is, above all else, really cute. The unusual characters and universe of the show are vibrantly colorful. The action, plot, and score are fun and engaging from the very beginning. But as the show progresses, it becomes increasingly focused on Renton's romantic interest with a mysterious girl named Eureka. Despite the show's very teenage protagonist, its emotional complexity makes it thoroughly different from a typical shōnen anime. Renton is an admirably charming kid, but in some ways he is very much an adult. Few shows can pull off such a complimentary blend of shōnen elements and romantic drama, let alone make it fun to watch every step of the way. Eureka Seven builds to a fantastic and action-packed climax, provided viewers must be ready for a romance that will dominate much of the second half of the show. For the right audience, the result is a captivating and thoroughly enjoyable story about growing up and falling in love, with a little saving the world thrown in for good measure. Highly recommended.