A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that just because this Adult Swim offering is animated doesn't mean it's kid-appropriate. Violence -- in the form of military-style air combat and old-fashioned punching and kicking -- is a regular part of the storyline, and a few sexually charged plotlines toe the line in terms of decorum. This is an emotionally and visually intense anime with broad political and social themes, which, despite the fact that the show's protagonist is a 14-year-old, may be too much for some young viewers.
What's the story?
Renton Thorston (voiced by Johnny Yong Bosch) is an average 14 year old with an uncommon passion for "reffing," a fantastical type of air surfing that involves riding transparent light particles through the sky. But to Renton, his love for reffing is more than just a hobby -- it's the only way to escape the oppressive boredom of his life in Bellforest, where he lives alone with his cantankerous grandfather, Axel (Steve Kramer). Things really take off when a hulking LFO robot (that's short for Light Finding Operation) crash-lands in Renton's backyard and he meets the beautiful and mysterious Eureka (Stephanie Sheh), a fellow reffer who seeks Renton's help in getting her machine back off the ground. Joining up with her band of Gekko State rebels, Renton finally realizes his dream of reffing to his heart's content -- and he gets to do it alongside his idol, Holland Novak (Crispin Freeman).
Is it any good?
At once bleak and beautiful, EUREKA SEVEN boasts a complex storyline that's downright hard to process and could be overwhelming for some young viewers. And while the action starts out innocently enough, it doesn't take long for excessive violence and sexual themes to creep in, transforming a seemingly innocent anime into animation that's better left for adults.
Of course, what teen wouldn't be drawn to a colorful animated series with plenty of shape-shifting robots and attractive young people? Kids are bound to want to watch, so parents should proceed with caution.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the value of having dreams that counteract real-world realities, as well as the power of standing up for what you believe in. Can kids, teens, and other young people really make a difference in world politics and global affairs? Are the things that parents and guardians want for their kids always best? What are the risks and potential consequences of defying your family and your government for a good cause -- even if it's technically illegal?