For thousands of years after its development, mankind used the written word for communication between people and generations. As millenia passed and technology became more prevalent, writing - and thus, communication as a whole - diminished, until it could only be found on cell phones and computer screens. Seeing an opportunity, the sorcerer Sogan Kenzaki starts infecting words with the Nesta Virus, which brings them to life and turns them into monsters called MJBK (Menace of Japanese with Biological Kinetic energy).
To counter this attack against humanity, an organization known as DEAVA (Division of EArth Verbalism Ability) assembles a group of youths with the ability of "Verbalism". They have to pilot the vector machines, which are used to form the mechas dubbed "Aquarions". The one wild card in the situation is the self-dubbed "savior", a young man who is the direct relative of a famous calligrapher, named Akira Kaibuki.
Well, as a fan of the mecha genre who liked the previous Aquarions, once I heard this one was bad that people even dropped it, well, I thought about trying it myself long after it was released, and I had a number of surprises.
First, unlike Evol, it's not a sequel, nor a prequel, it's not part of the same timeline. The whole fight between humans and angels, aquarion as being almost like a divine entity, that's not part of the story. The story is completely new and isolated, and the usual entities like DEAVA and Vectors, while keeping the same name, are completely different entities.
I was worried it would try adding a 12K years love relating to the original series, and fortunately, that didn't happen.
Anyway, the whole problem to be solved is related to the concept of words and their meaning, and if the true meaning of the word is messed up with, anything that can be described with that word goes crazy. Also important to note, by word I mean Kanji, so this series needs some understanding of how the japanese language works, which runs by methods like taking apart the individual kanjis of a composite one, or even taking individual kanjis from their names to create new attacks. It's a very western unfriendly concept indeed.
Seems like some people couldn't understand the plot, maybe they didn't knew these things, maybe I just got lucky cause I'm reading a Visual Novel with concepts very much like that (Owari no Chronicle, 1st Gear's Words have Power) so it was easy to absorb.
Some characters seemed slightly unrealistic, though still very entertaining until some "bad" points, but those were intentional as problems related to that character, fortunately, upon learning the past of the characters near the end, those behaviors made a lot more sense.
I was also surprised on hearing May'n voice on the theme songs, it felt weird at first, but I got used to it, felt a little like Macross Frontier without the Love Triangle, besides OP2 is great. The art also felt weird at first, specially the eyes, but it's not bad, just different from the other Aquarions, also the format of their heads reminded me of the first Macross, so it kinda gave some nostalgic feelings.
It's a great anime, but maybe the problem is really the fact that it carries the name Aquarion, maybe if it were to have been released prior to Evol, so as to make people think it would run more like Gundam, with many alternative universos, and then release Evol as the sequel to the first anime it would have been better, but they got people hyped for another sequel, and that wasn't the case.
"Twelve thousand years ago, there was... What's that? That part of the story's gone? And Yoko Kanno's only doing the opening songs? Well... Bugger."
The first Aquarion (I rated it an 8) was, despite some incoherence in the plot and cliche'd characterization towards the beginning, a show that nevertheless demonstrated "epic" in visual animation and soundtrack.
The second Aquarion (I rated that a 7) was more about a teenage romance told over 24-ish episodes, so less emphasis on "epic", but still a fun time-waster. It still had the "12000 years ago" mythology and some of the lore from the first series and its backstory, albeit with
retcons (a winged dog. oookay.).
So logically, the production crew at Satelight decided in planning to just chuck all that lore out the window and start fresh, because we want to deconstruct Chinese ideograms, dammit!
Yep. That's the entire premise of the show. Words have power, sure, but here they are basically magic spells. Instead of fighting threats in reality as in the previous 2 Aquarions, we go to some sort of alternate reality where a word is running amok, and defeat it because robot show. That pretty much covers more than half the episodes' plot. It was interesting when Fudo Gen/Zen did wordplay, but this got old, fast.
They really should've called this a different name, because this is deconstruction for its own sake, and little else. Maybe Kamen Rider Word: The Animated Series or something, because it really felt like an animated sentai show.
Speaking of sentai... Ugh, the characters. The horribly cliche'd, perennially infected with Stoopid Ballz, characters. I dunno, is "doing stuff without really showing the audience some connection to motivation" a thing in Japanese television now, or have all the good writers fled screaming to other countries? The cast do what they can with the scripts and direction they're given, but the writing is pretty bad. I know storytelling is like Kryptonite to Kawamori, but Basquash was better than this. It becomes farcical after a while-- I commented over a screen grab of the heroine's face, "Oh, no, are we seriously letting these two hams (the hero and his arch-rival) spend the next ten minutes fighting over who's the hero? Srsly?" Really. Her facial expression was like that.
If someone told me this was an excuse to try to sell singles of the first ending theme, I wouldn't be surprised. It's catchy, and frankly, the only reason I slogged through the first half of the show. May'n's song in the second half was the reason I slogged through the second half. The rest of the production... I kinda kept going, thinking there would be a return to greatness, but nope.
This is more of a spin off that a continuation of the actual aquarion series. But overall i enjoyed it. It's not the best but it's not bad either. For those who are new to the mecha genre, this anime would be a good start. Art? Sure it ain't good, but it shouldn't be the one factor that deters you from watching it.
Music/Sound? There's no Akino/bless4 so far, but May'n makes it up for that imo. As for the seiyuu, they fit the characters, that's pretty standard.
Characters, this is where Logos shine. they are all weird people with funny aspects to them, and their personality
mash well together. The best parts of the episodes is always the interaction, Akira being totally disconnected from the others from his savior obsession, Maia not knowing anything other than her mission, etc. They make good use of their quirks and made their interaction entertaining.
Enjoyment: Refer to Characters.
I personally give it a 9. I like good/entertaining characters, and they gave me the latter, in a silly premise.
There are two types of people who would be interested on watching aquarion logos:
the ones who already saw sousei and evol and want to see the new aquarion anime and the ones who doesnt know about sousei and evol but something on logos catch their eyes. By the way Im from the first group.
For the former logos will be a little dissapointing because it doesnt follow the story of the previous sousei and evol, its a spin off in a different universe with some elements in common with the previous seasons and for the latter it really doesnt matter and can view logos by what
it is, an original mecha anime on its own right.
To be fair evol concluded the story very well so a third season with another 12,000 years time skip could have felt a little bit too much forced so start a new story was a good choice.
Character design, mecha desing, plot and music all take a change from the original works but, some basic things that make aquarion be aquarion are still there like the fusion orgasms, references to whatever happen 12,000 years ago, a somewhat well played love triangle, and the silly plot, but other things changed for good or bad and made logos had its own identity.
Starting for the character design it took a weird turn, I dont know if they changed personal or what but the characters design are very different from what I see on sousei and evol and sometimes it looks somewhat... not bad but is just not enough appealing, for the personalities all can I say is that they start a little akward but they have a good enough character development.
With the mechas it was something different they made cool robots, but for the aquarion veteran fans watching the aquarion fusion be a rabbit or a firefly-like thing would be a little weird, but still mechas and also word monsters are well designed, what would be expected from a mecha anime.
The plot its still as silly as the previous series so there is not much problem there, is soon noted that they have all or atleast most of the writers of the original series working here.
And for the music all can I say is WHERE IS AKINO!?!?
Dont get me wrong the openings that mayn did are catchy and go well with the anime but an aquarion without an akino opening doesnt feel 100% aquarion you know what i mean?, but again for the new ones in the franchise this doesnt matter so good for them, for the endings and soundtrack in general all i can say is that they are good and go well with everything else.
Overall I cant stop comparing logos with sousei and evol but doing so make me realize that logos its a good, pretty decent mecha anime that refreshed the franchise and I really enjoyed it.
In conclusion if you are a fan of the previous aquarion just take in mind that this is a different aquarion, if you havent see the previous ones if you like or are interested in this one give them a try before or after watch this one, is more of the same but a little different.