While this site isn’t called Eureka Maniax, it would have been a close second. I really, really like Eureka Seven, and I’m always eager to get my hands on anything E7-related.
Eureka Seven: Gravity boys & Lifting girl is sort of an unusual title, in that it is part of the greater Eureka Seven canon, but its place in the timeline is as a prequel to the Eureka Seven PS2 games, New Wave and New Vision.
GB&LG takes place during a time of peace, before the Ref board was even considered for use on LFOs. Sumner Sturgeon, 14 years old and youngest son of the prestigious Sturgeon Family of military officers, has spent his whole life being spoon-fed through privilege, but he wishes to be known for more than just his last name. Ruri, also 14 years old, is a girl with an incredible talent for Ref-ing (or Lifting as it’s called in the English translations), but who has to disguise herself as a boy named “B.B.” as women aren’t allowed in competitions. An abrupt meeting between Sumner and Ruri sets both of them on their respective paths to adulthood as Sumner chases the images of B.B. and the girl and the independence they represent, not knowing both are the same person.
Volume 1 of GB&LG focuses primarily on their daily lives as 14 year olds in a time of relative peace. Volume 2 sees them grow to adulthood and enter the military, setting up the beginning of New Wave. Renton was also 14 years old when he first met Eureka and joined Gekkostate, and this is a very deliberate move on the manga’s part.
Overall the manga has a very nice slice-of-life feel to it that the original anime is missing simply because of the context of the series and the utter importance Eureka and Renton have to fate of the world in the anime, where even fairly episodic chapters have much greater ramifications. Obviously, that also applies to GB&LG to some extent, especially because its events trigger the PS2 games which in turn influence the anime, but not much of that is seen. The focus is on mainly the characters and not the world around them.
In this respect, I like Volume 1 more than Volume 2, as Volume 2 feels rushed and disjointed, as if it’s racing to position all of the characters in time for New Wave. It gives no time for the events, big and small, to really sink in, as the reader is instantly whisked off to another place and possibly another time within a few pages. It’s something that I think would have been better served being split into two separate volumes.
That said, I do recommend it, and I like it more than the Eureka Seven manga adaptation. However, don’t expect the story to be as epic as either the main anime or manga, because it isn’t. Treat it like a normal story of school kids, who barely know of LFOs, trappar, or their true natures.