Sci-Fi robot anime Eureka Seven is a boy-meets-girl story revolving around 14-year-old boy Renton Thurston and a mysterious beauty named Eureka. The TV anime series aired on April 2005 for a year. A theatrical movie was released in 2009 which depicts ‘another story’ of Renton and Eureka, titled Eureka Seven — good night, sleep tight, young lovers. 24 episodes of the TV anime series featuring their child, Ao Fukai, as the protagonist, Eureka Seven AO, aired in 2012.
The theatrical movie Psalm of Planets Eureka Seven: Hi-Evolution 1 was released in Japanese cinemas on 16 September 2017. The original staff members who created the foundation of Eureka Seven, general director Tomoki Kyoda, screenplay writer Dai Sato, and character designer Kenichi Yoshida, gathered again to create the movie trilogy which depicts Eureka Seven from a more present perspective.
Yuko Sanpei and Kaori Nazuka, who voiced Renton and Eureka 12 years ago when they were in their teens, reprise their roles. Our friends at Anime! Anime! had an interview with them and asked them about their thoughts on re-experiencing the world of Eureka Seven after all these years.
Psalm of Planets Eureka Seven: Hi-Evolution 1
Showing cinemas nationwide from 16 September 2017.
It’s the first time the two of you have worked together on Eureka since 2009’s good night, sleep tight, young lovers. The movie surprised fans by creating a brand-new Eureka Seven world by incorporating the original TV series and new shots. How did you feel when you heard about the production of the new movie?
I didn’t know anything about the new movie. As the previous movie depicted an alternate version of the original anime series, I thought, ‘apart from a parallel universe, what more can they do? …hang on, it’ll be a trilogy!?’ [laugh] Because I didn’t know what to expect, I was little anxious, but at the same time, I felt excited.
Sanpei and I initially heard about the new movie when we went for dinner with Tomoki Kyoda, the general director, and Kazuhiro Wakabayashi, the sound director. They didn’t give much information, and I was only told that it wouldn’t be a parallel universe story. I had no idea the movie would end up like this at all.
It has been 12 years since the TV series ended. Have your views of Renton and Eureka changed over the years?
12 years ago, Renton and I began our journey with struggles, tears, runny noses, and puke… [laugh] Then, by the end of the series, he had grown up within a year. I don’t think we can mature that fast in real life, unless something serious comes up. So I felt I was left behind.
When I voiced him for this movie, I felt his pain more acutely from the start. [laugh] Perhaps that’s partly because I’ve mentally grown up a bit since the TV series, so I can see things clearly. However, I think it’s more likely that because the first part of the movie trilogy depicts Renton deeply, it therefore exposes his psychological pain. I think Renton is very human in this movie.
Eureka acts on different emotions to Renton’s and seems to act on impulse. It’s more like the instinct to draw pictures or compose music. Kyoda is a kind of director who gives ideas for acting, such as a word which is stuck in his mind and how to make eye contact while recording. I usually just follow his ideas and it’s when I watch the part later that I realize what the intentions were behind his ideas. The anime he directs have their own unique world, such as the way background music streams, the facial expressions of characters show, and poetic lines exist. They speak his own sensibilities, which are not too orderly and are full of chaotic charms. I believe his sensibilities and mine to create Eureka’s character for the trilogy.
Nazuka voiced Eureka in Eureka Seven AO (2012), but for Sanpei it is your first time to voice Renton since the previous movie. Did you have any concerns about portraying him this time around?
Most scenes with Renton in this movie are refined versions of the TV series. Therefore, I was trying not to fixate on the TV series too much. However, it turned out that the Renton I played at that time looked too subservient. [laugh] The general director Kyoda told me Renton sounded unnecessarily mature and gloomy. It was really hard work to retry voicing a not-too-mature Renton.
I think viewers of the TV series were captured by your voice acting which rendered your own feelings as well. In this movie, you played Renton again but as ‘the current Sanpei’ who has matured over the years.
I think so. In the TV series, the story developed gradually over the course of a year. I was able to think about how Renton would react each time he hit a brick wall. In other words, I was experiencing everything in the story along with him.
However, this time, I mixed up my personal experiences with his. Kyoda noticed that and gave me advice. During the actual recording, I was more objective than earlier, so I was able to focus on portraying him. I hope people who watched the TV series, as well as those who are of the same generation as Renton, can relate to him.
Meanwhile, you’ve been Eureka’s voice in every part of the series so far, Nazuka?
In retrospect, I realize that I was too conscious about how I portrayed ‘Eureka-ness’ even for the games and slot machines. However, I realized that Eureka isn’t a rigidly defined character after I played her in Eureka Seven — good night, sleep tight, young lovers and Eureka Seven AO. I was relieved by that. Now I find which age group she is in and play her accordingly. The new movie depicts Eureka in the past in a story which hasn’t been told yet in the series, so that we can find more about her. I was worried that some fans might think Eureka in this movie was different from the Eureka of the previous anime, but I myself explored her from various perspectives. I was brave enough to do so because I believed in what Kyoda said in an interview, ‘if Nazuka is there, I can create Eureka Seven.’ I focused on her feelings towards Renton and her trust in Adroc when portraying her for this movie. For the following two movies, I’d like to do the same — focusing on how Eureka is depicted in each story.
The movie delves into the past and reveals the details of ‘The Summer of Love’, a catastrophe which changed the world completely. Apart from ‘Eureka Seven — good night, sleep tight, young lovers’, which depicts Eureka in her childhood in an exceptional situation, Eureka in this movie is the youngest in the anime series.
This movie depicts Eureka before she meets Renton. Her human emotions haven’t emerged yet, therefore she is distant and indifferent at the beginning. I’ve learned the other side of her and realized again that Eureka is always Eureka with or without human emotions.
Nest Page : How did you think about Toru Furuya who voiced Renton’s father Adroc Thurston?