12,000 years after the events in Genesis Aquarion, humans live on the star Vega under constant threat of trans-dimensional beings called Abductors. These enemies originate from Vega’s sister star Altair and raid Vega for human life. As a countermeasure, an organization known as Neo-DEAVA formed to combat the Abductors. They pilot advanced mecha suits called Aquaria and are strictly separated by gender. Boys and girls are not allowed contact; they are even restrained from fighting on the same battlefield. However, events take a shocking turn when an advanced Abductor mecha suit joins the fray. Two teenagers, Mikono and Amata, are dragged into the conflict. Unknowingly, Amata performs a taboo when he summons an Aquaria and initializes what is called the Forbidden Union between male and female Aquaria. Neo-DEAVA is shocked, and the repercussions of Amata’s actions are much farther reaching than he realizes. How was he able to summon an Aquaria? Where did he learn to form a Forbidden Union? And why was Mikono also able to pilot the mecha suit?
#1: "Gekkou Symphonia (月光シンフォニア)"by AKINO & AIKI from bless4 (eps 1-14, 23) #2: "Yunoha no Mori (ユノハノモリ)" by Yui Ogura (eps 15-22, 25) #3: "Aqueria Mau Sora (アクエリア舞う空)" by The Member of LSOT (ep 24) #4: "ZERO" by AKINO from bless4 (ep 26)
Aquarion EVOL. It's been 12,000 quarter-days since the first series came out back in 2005 and now it's been reincarnated for the new era. First, some history:
To my knowledge, not many people liked Genesis of Aquarion. It was an overly melodramatic, awkward, very episodic and somewhat girly mecha series where the robots were essentially powered by orgasms(You read that right) and it had to compete in an era where good mecha anime was still a thing. It was a show that couldn't take itself seriously even when it was trying to take itself seriously. Audience response was mostly apathetic, but people loved the theme song and the OST had some of Yoko Kanno's best work. Hell, that OP was the sole reason I decided to blindly download the whole show on dial-up back on Christmas of '05. It took 4 months to finish, and was actually my first subbed anime.
I loved Aquarion. It was stupid and weird in all the best ways, and to this day it's still a very different spin on the super robot genre. The melodramatic characters and their reactions to everything, the complete nonsense shouted by the leader that would lead to victory in every episode, the omnisexual, ten-way, cross-dimensional love story... All of it was just grand in retrospect. I had no idea of what to expect from this series' new art direction and the effects of a near-decade hiatus, but ho-damn am I satisfied.
Aquarion EVOL opens 12,000 years after the end of Aquarion, with the main character, Amata, watching his favorite decade-old movie that (poorly) depicts events of the prequel series' final episode. This is followed by his boss coming out and telling him "Amata, no one likes that movie but you, really. The theme song got popular, but that's about it." So yeah, the opening of this new foray into the orgasm-powered mecha genre is Shoji Kawamori brazenly declaring that he gives not a single fuck to the haters out there. I can't even tell you how happy that scene made me, I felt like Amata.
After that, you get treated to what's easily the prettiest god damn show of the season, and maybe year, as Amata takes this big-boobed blue haired girl on a date through the rivers of neo-Venice. The environments are always painted in absolutely beautiful detail and color, and many shots are screencap worthy because of how genuinely pretty they are. I strongly suggest watching this in HD.
The character and world designs are all very unique and memorable, infused with an injection of sharp detail, personality and visual originality that you don't see in many anime anymore. The world and characters feel alive, and there's even two full fictional alphabets that show up in the show that contribute to this. Also, each scene is well-composed on screen and because of that, Aquarion Evol is never a bore to look at.
So far, Aquarion Evol's new cast of characters is what makes it shine, at least in my opinion. Rather than the really odd focus of the first episodes of the prior series, Evol began strong by introducing a cast of lively, thought-out and memorably designed little mecha pilots and having them ping off of each other.
The antagonists are presented in a very neutral and borderline desperate way. They don't appear evil and their motivations and details about their pasts are kept as a mystery for a while, but the show gives many hints and allusions as to who they really are and keep the viewer interested rather than starve them for details.
The writing is strong and sharp up until about 2/3rds the way through, and then it gets a little dumb near the end when old plot lines end in anticlimactic ways, pointless new plot lines appear and things get pretty drawn out in general. But then the final episode is pretty great and brings all the important stuff back to the forefront for the most part, and the series ends on a strong, melodramatic cheesy note that it should.
This is all in contrast to the first series, where the story and characters were a little unfocused until the final 6 or 7 and episodes, and then those were all amazing and climactic.
Then you have the titular fighting robots. Shit looks absolutely fantastic, though, honestly, the 3D animation is a bit stiff and the original Aquarion has a leg up on it in terms of good choreography and smooth movements.
EVOL makes full and complete use of the "orgasm when combining" joke throughout the first episode, but actually lightens up on it as the show has progresses. So far, the only real mecha orgasm sequences have been for particularly climactic moments and new character introductions. The gag is used sparingly and after the first series it's apparent the creators took note that it alienated some people. This whole project in general looks like it's taking the widespread criticism of Aquarion both in stride and into consideration, creating a series that satisfies both old fans and newcomers.
The OST is still amazing. If you watched the first series you'll probably recognize a number of the background tracks, remixed or reworked, along with a bunch of nice, new pieces. This show's opening theme is an orgasm of Japanese vocal work. Yoko Kanno knows what she's doing.
All of the base elements of Aquarion remain intact, for better or worse. It's still pretty cheesy and melodramatic, but this time they're hamming it up even more while at the same time keeping a good focus on down-to-earth elements like the cast, for the most part. I appreciate the hell out of it, but I'm sure some people still won't 'get' it. It's also still really, really pretty and the energy produced by the visuals and sounds carry the show's asinine writing like a thoroughly lubed bullet train.
"So should I watch the first series before getting into this one?"
Yes. Or at least maybe the OVAs to get a feel for the characters and stuff. One of the main draws of this series (for me) was that it's actively referenced Aquarion quite a bit, such as one of the main villains basically being an evil version of the main character in the first show. Kawamori's also stated that the main cast in this show are reincarnations of the previous cast. Eventually learning how the two stories and their characters will tie together is going to be, as I predict, one of the most rewarding aspects of EVOL. So if you want to enjoy Evol as much as you can, experience the previous project a little bit first.
Also, honestly, while Evol might be more "likable", Aquarion was a better put-together show in the end, in my opinion.
"They... orgasm in the robot? that's stupid!"
And ironically this show has far less ecchi and has more thoughtful writing than any series it's directly competing with. But really now, you probably just got done watching tit-infused garbage like Lagrange, you can't criticize this show lmao
"So, is it better than Lagrange, the other girly mecha show this year?"
Yes, in just about every single possible way, shape and form.
"Is Fudo Gen in it? He was the only good thing about Aquarion"
Yes, and he's a fucking pirate ohmygodit'sgreat
Aquarion Evol gave me colorgasms and excitement for something to see every week for half a year, and I hope it did the same for everyone else. Give it a shot.read more
This is my first time writing a review, so please bare with me, but for this series I felt like I needed to write my opinion of it.
Episodes 1 - 13 = 7
Now, the series started off very good, I wouldn't say it was amazing, but it was enough to pull me in and get me interested in the series. It was lighthearted and comedy filled at points, but it also had plenty enough action and mystery involved to keep you looking forward to what might come next.
Episodes 14 - 21 = 5
Unfortunately at this point, the story seems to start getting thrown all over the place. Some episodes I liked and some were just not so good... and I'm sad to say that it continued to get worse.
Episodes 22 - 26 = 2
This is where everything in the plotline just falls apart. Revelations and twists are made and it all seems to turn into a horrible joke. It didn't end well either as there will a lot of plotholes and loose-ends in the series that were left unanswered. You know it's bad when you root for the antagonist in the series to win and hope that the heros will lose.
Overall, the plotline was decent, but definitely no where near amazing.
Total Average: 4.5
Tha animation quality was overall pretty, but not overly fantastic, especially since the CG wasnt really well done on some points. It had a lot of recycled footage through out the anime and unfortunately the reused footage from Sousei no Aquarion stuck out like a sore thumb against Evol's animation. But for the most part it was very pretty to look at, especially the first ending.
Ah, the saving grace of the show and probably one of the few things I will remember from Evol. The music is just astounding; I could listen to it all day and not get tired of it. Gekkou Symphonia, Paradoxical Zoo, Eve no Danpen, Kimi no Shinwa, Yunoha no Mori, Aquaria Mau Sora... they're all wonderful songs, there's not one I do not like.
Main Characters = 2
The main characters are some of the worst I have ever experienced in a show. I started off liking Amata quite a bit; he was a weak willed character but he seemed very devoted and it looked as if he would develop into a stronger character; how wrong was I. He continued to be weak and couldn't seem to function without Mikono around; it was unbearable to watch him near the end. I think most will agree with me when I say that I definitely won't miss his "MIKONO-SAAAAAAAAANNNN!"
Mikono... she starts off as quite a snotty character a little bit in the beginning and shes always looking down on herself and calling herself useless... at one point it seemed that she stepped up and looked as if she would actually do something and help out, but in the end, remains to be useless and forever stuck in the damsel in distress mode.
Zessica- as much as I love Zessica, she was a poorly developed character. She started off amazing and had the potential to be a great person, but gets stuck in her mopey and dull self as her unrequited love for Amata beats her down repeatedly into a deeper depression. If Zessica's character taught me one thing, it's that no matter how you try to go against fate/ destiny, you can't and it will beat you down.
Kagura started off as an interesting character, but I also think he was poorly developed. Has a very beast-like personality and his sole focus is to get Mikono and anyone in his way will get hurt/killed... there's really not much else to him. But the thing that will continue to bug me to the end of days is his OOC'ness at the very end of the series... he is suddenly shown capable of being a human being and rather intellectual when that was definitely not the case from before.
Supporting Characters = 8
The supporting characters, to me at least, outshown the main characters by far. Jin and Yunoha were some of my favorites, separately they were both very good, but when they were together, something sparked and they quickly became my favorite love interest in the show. Andy and Mix provided a lot of comedy, especially when they were together, but their love at the end really moved me. Both JinxYunoha and AndyxMix were by far better love interests than AmataxMikono and much more enjoyable. The other side characters were also very enjoyable in their own way- Cayenne and Shrade, along with Sazanka and Malloy were just wonderful.
Total Average: 5
The first half of the series was very enjoyable and I was always looking forward to the next episode, unfortunately my high expectations from the first half led to a lot of disappointment in the second half. It became a trainwreck; the plotline became something that I didn't look forward to and I found myself groaning at a lot of scenes or just not really caring.
I think it was my high expectations from the first half that led to my great disappointment, but Evol just stands as average to me. The terrible plotline, poorly developed main characters, and lack of enjoyment for the second half really hit me. Despite the not so good things, there was still enjoyment from the supporting cast and especially from Mykage(whom was a great villain), so overall it wasn't terribly awful, I just felt it could have been handled better.read more
I haven't watched the first season (don't really need to imho since they basically bring up the past a lot of times and you really only need a few tidbits to get whats going on). However, I will be watching the first season after this season is over to get a better feel of the story.
Story: The story is really good imo. You have 2 guys who clash together in order to win over the girl they love. The season isn't over yet but in my opinion it feels like 1 side represents "old love/destined love" and the other represents "new love/breaking chains of fate". It's a typical space/sci-fi/school life anime where a boy gets involved in a cross-planetary war and his whole life is changed. He gets introduced to various "special" people who possess unique powers that are used to protect the planet.
Art: The artwork is beautiful. It's basically a 2012 looking anime so of course the colors are vibrant and very nice.
Sound: This show reminds me a lot of Macross Frontier for some reason. Music plays big rolls in major events that happen throughout the show. New powers = music, dramatic events = music, etc , etc.
Character: The characters are really good. You have the perverted male friend who clashes with the tsundere boy hating goodygoody girl and the typical bishounen guys that the girls are head over heels for. Then you have the various girls that are in love with the MC (One is more open, the other is the typical conservative shy soft spoken girl).
Enjoyment: This show is really really good. I honestly only watched this for Zessica Wong (she's cute :3) but I wound up enjoying the show a lot. It reminds me a lot of Macross Frontier + Isekai No Seikishi Monogatari which happens to be my favorite anime :3
ENJOY IT and don't forget! ZESSICA IS #1 F*CK MIKONO
EDIT: I finished watching the first season. I recommend it to those of you that want to a get a better feeling of the whole Aquarion history. However, it is not necessary to watch S1. All you basically need to know is that 12000 years ago 2 lovers fought to save the world from destruction and through self sacrifice they were separated from each other, destined to fall in love again when they were "reincarnated". It's basically a recurring 12k year cycle of lovers. All of this information is shown in EVOL (episode 1 for that matter).
If you would like to get to know more about the past lives of some of the characters you should watch S1. You can see how Kagura and Apollo share MANY traits which leads viewers to believe he is the true reincarnation of Apollo, yet Amata has the Sun Wings.
Even if you watch S1 you still won't understand why Mykage does what he does or why he looks like the dude from S1 (forgot his name... wait it's Toma, now I'm too lazy to change what I just wrote -____-)
Basically the reincarnations as I see it are:
Amata/Kagura = Apollo
Silvia = who cares, she's a betch :3
Toma = Zessica (can't say why because that's a spoiler, message me if you want to discuss)
Silvia's Brother = who cares, he's a loser. Seriously, he really is. Go watch season 1.read more
If there was one thing that absolutely stood out for me in Aquarion EVOL, it was the artwork. Aquarion EVOL shines brightest in its absolutely gorgeous setting and consistent animation. Each location is drawn with such care and beauty and there were plenty of places for us to see. The artwork is what I'd would call "eyegasmic" or "scenery porn". It was a completely positive surprise. As of 2012, I can only list a handful of TV series that had such amazing artwork on display.
Unfortunately, aside from the delightfully eyegasmic setting it was in, the story and characters leave a bit to be desired. At it's core, it's not a story to be taken seriously. Like the prequel, there are a lot of ridiculous and ludicrous events that happen throughout the show. How about a punch move that wraps the entire planet just to punch the enemy into space? How about each time the characters combine into the Aquaria mech they experience near-orgasms? If you can suspend a great amount of belief, you can enjoy this show since there are lots of funny and exciting material here. For some, the lack of a serious and well-thought out story can really be a disappointment. Indeed, the story in Aquarion EVOL had a lot of potential. The villains of Altair and their motives belong in a moral gray area, but the planet Altair is mostly left undeveloped and unexplored as the credit rolled.
The characters also suffer from wasted potential in terms of depth and attitude. The main characters, especially, come off quite shallow and frankly, annoying. Both Amata and Mikono are shy and often unreliable, and they often misunderstood each other for both comedic purposes and really shallow and cliche reasons. On the opposite spectrum is Kagura - the bad boy villain who lusts over Mikono and Zessica - the scantily dressed confident girl who lusts over Amata. These main characters came off as largely one-dimensional. While they do receive character development, it was often too late in the series to really appreciate them. Kagura's sudden change of character near the end is frankly just sloppy writing. Their one-dimensional personalities became repetitive quickly.
Character writing was undoubtedly not a strong point of Aquarion Evol. However, the side characters certainly were pretty entertaining even if they were one-dimensional. There is Andy W. Hole who is completely obsessed with holes, Mix who is obsessed with neatness, the loli president Crea who amuse with weird puns, the immortal Fudou who speaks in riddles, and many more. Their character interactions are usually amusing to watch even if the main characters comes off as annoying and boring.
Each episode often starts with light-hearted character interactions, and usually ends with the mech Aquarion in action against an opponent mech. The CG in these fights is really obvious and differs in style from the beautifully rendered artwork, but it doesn't really take away any entertainment value. Combat flows fluidly and is entertaining in general since each fight seem to end really differently. Sometimes, it's just not enough to destroy an opponent with a punch. Aquarion EVOL will punch with such profound disregard to physics that will make other mecha series tame in comparison. Still, the problem with Aquarion EVOL is each episode becomes formulaic. The series is what I'd call mindlessly entertaining, but it really could've had more depth if it spend more time developing the villains and developing the world instead of spending time on flat characters and formulaic mech fights.
Other than that, the presentation value is really high and I was pleasantly surprised. AKINO returns to this sequel with catchy j-pop insert themes and OP/ED credits. The soundtrack is varied with grand orchestra pieces, solo piano or violin pieces, as well as light-hearted or solemn moody pieces. Character models are pleasing to look at and remains in quality even if zoomed out. And of course, the gorgeous landscapes and space artwork whether it was day or night made lasting and unforgettable impressions. Words can't really describe the beauty I've seen, but I highly recommend it if anyone enjoys what the anime medium could offer in looks.
Ultimately, Aquarion EVOL was an enjoyable series full of heart and ridiculous combat, albeit often ending up as melodramatic and exaggerated. The artwork and sound are gorgeous and catchy, but the story and characters came off as wasted potential. For someone looking for a serious and well-thought plot with realistic characters, this is definitely not the series for you. But if you are simply looking for some fun, Aquarion EVOL is definitely an entertaining series.read more