I definitely have a soft spot for this series, so I can't vouch for the objectivity of my review, but it is definitely vastly underrated on MAL (it deserves at least an 8), and I just finished this series and need somewhere to vent all my feels right now. This review is for both the first and second season of Fafner Exodus. I'll try to be as vague as possible so as not to spoil anything, but some things I refer to will give you a sense of what happens in the anime.
Ok, so I should probably be giving this an 8 or a
9... but my bias won't allow me to give anything about this series lower than a 10 :'D The plot is definitely really complex, and you need to know very well what's happened in the previous season + movie (I watched the original series + movie again back in the spring and still had some trouble following along). Oh, and as an added bonus you should watch Right & Left as well, it definitely will help you understand certain dimensions of this show (although it's not necessary for the main plot). The story follows the pilots of Tatsumiyajima Island as they pull themselves out of isolation and join the larger scale war/peace negotiations with the Festum. There are definitely multiple storylines going on at once, mainly the Island arc and the "world" arc, and I really enjoyed the way they split up the time and episodes devoted to each arc. I only wish they had more episodes to develop what the outside world was: with 26 previous episodes and a movie devoted to the island, I really had a good sense of what it was but in terms of world-building I had to take a lot of what they presented at face value when concerned with the world outside of the island (there were points where things felt flimsy and on the verge of collapsing, but I put my trust in the creators). They do pull some lame stuff during the second half of the second season (as well as some really cool stuff though), but since it's Fafner I forgive it.... Towards the end thought it really returns to its roots and is reminiscent of the first series of Fafner, and it's amazing because you not only see how the characters have changed/matured over time, but how you yourself have changed/matured as well throughout the years, or throughout your time with this series. This series uses the power of "variation on a theme" to great effect, and I feel so full of appreciation just thinking about it.
With the time they had for the story they needed to tell, though, I thought it was well organized and structured and logically presented, to great emotional effect. So good story, but it would have been even better with a lot more episodes.
I for one love the art style of the original Fafner, and it is only enhanced here. The characters look great, but I think the art definitely shines with the mechs and the scenery, especially the island scenery and ocean waves. The integration of 3D and 2D is brilliant and seamless (the mechs and the island look amazing!!!!) Cinematography and storyboarding was absolutely stunning at times, and there were many instances, especially towards the middle of the series, where I was watching episodes while making an ((:O face the entire time. One thing I really love is how they utilize time of day to their advantage, with battles often taking place during sunset on the island, it really gives an eerie and foreboding atmosphere as if an apocalypse was coming (The orange of the sun, reflected on the ocean and the sky. as well as complementing the golden festum colors...) Basically, the art is original Fafner on steroids, and major majorly improved. You still feel like you're in the same world, but it just looks so much more beautiful now.
In terms of character design, I actually really like the new Festums (they look creepier and crazier than ever haha). Some human characters can get a bit hard to tell apart, and I always was really confused with what they did with Nishio Rina's character (it's like she did a full 180 between the first season and the movie, and then her haircut makes her look like a totally different person). The mech design are really cool though, and they look amazing doing all their fancy tricks and shot from all kinds of angles in Exodus.
The soundtrack is absolutely brilliant and really helps to sweep you away with your feelings. We have classical music (I heard Chopin's Winter Wind Etude at one point, and some Baroque sounding pieces), and we have the addition of choral music at some points as well :D The opening and ending songs for both seasons are absolutely amazing and very fitting. Especially the second season, it's definitely on full throttle as we have some chanting/choral-esque music mixed in with the rock qualities of angela's songs, which makes for very epic sounding OP and ED indeed (which is somewhat reminiscent of Shingeki no Kyojin's OP hehe) On an aside, I just wish the series could have delivered on some of the epicness they showed in the last ending song (you never do get to see them wearing those coats :/)
The characters and character relationships are definitely the driving point of this series and they continue to deliver in Exodus. Unfortunately due to the complex plot there were times where there wasn't as much character development as I would've liked (not as much as in the previous series unfortunately), but everything there was was absolutely precious. The character development is where this series really shines so it's unfortunate that they weren't able to incorporate more. A lot of new characters were introduced, and while the new Island characters were introduced and developed magnificently (they seem to know just the right things you need to know about the characters in order to feel connected with them), I definitely would've loved to see more development with the Neo UN, Human Army, etc characters (Mitsuhiro Bartland especially). However, the series really continues to develop some of the old cast, endearing yourself to them (Canon, Seri, and Akira are notable mentions, and in terms of new characters I have to say I absolutely love Orihime and her precocious tsundere-ness!!) Unfortunately, Kazuki and Soushi don't get much development (I would even venture to say they don't get much air time), but given how much the series has focused on them for the past 26 episodes + movie I'd say that it's understandable haha...
I think what I really love about this series and find very progressive about it is the cast with pretty much an equal amount of female and male characters and the development of same-sex relationships between both female and male casts (I find them open to interpretation: platonic, romantic, or otherwise, whatever floats your boat!). Both females and males are presented as complex, multi-dimensional characters with their own strengths and weaknesses. Females can fight just as well as the males, and males have just as many emotional struggles as the females. We really get to see all characters as human beings (and some perhaps partial humans as human lol) (perhaps the non-islanders get less development and are a little less multi-dimensional, but the islanders are definitely very well fleshed out), and no one is one-dimensional or just there as a piece of meat fanservice. As for the relationships: wow. I can't comment enough about how endearing what they've presented is to me. The continued development of the somewhat circular relationship between Soushi-Kazuki-Maya, Seri-Orihime, Akira-Hiroto, Kaburagi and his family, Mimika-Reo, and Canon's inner conflict are what comes to mind at the moment. I think each one presented at least one tearful moment to me, or a moment where I really felt touched. I really love what they've done with Maya's character as well and only wish I could've seen more (I definitely think she could've used a lot more character development, but they seem to have chosen to focus more on others instead, probably since she's already received quite a bit as well, being third to Soushi and Kazuki in terms of importance). I think the creators have definitely improved a lot in terms of character development (or understanding of human inner conflicts?) and their ability to portray very relatable emotions to viewers. I should probably stop now since I can go on forever about this haha.
This series isn't just for entertainment, it's really a work of art which I feel extremely grateful to have encountered and experienced (thank you brother for introducing it to me!). It's something that, if you take it seriously, pay attention (they make every second count, so pay attention closely), and think about it, can change you for the better. Watching it I just feel so many feelings which a lot I don't understand and I feel will take me a long time to understand. I think most of all what comes through to me is the creators' love for what they've created, their love for the characters, story, and world of Fafner, and their message of love for the world. It makes me feel really appreciative of what I've experienced and what I have and inspires me to continuing spreading the love as well. And this love is what makes me able to forgive any flaws in story/character development, and certain parts they had to rush through and find all the good this series has to provide and gives me no choice but to give it a 10.
Fafner is a sophisticated series with serious themes that any mature person can appreciate. Buckle up and let yourself be swept away by the tide.
Hello everyone this my second review so it might not be very good but anyway i just wanted to make a review for this anime after i saw that it doesnt have one yet and i really mean it when i say this. this anime is really underrated on myanimelist
well first of all Soukyou of fafner is a mecha serie that is at the second part of season 2 exodus with 2 other movies so its quite a long serie. you don't want to start this show on this season though because you really need to see all of it to really understand it.
people who didnt watch any fafner, the background of the story is alien attaced earth, humans were defeated but are still resisting. the good guys of this show are on an island that moves, its really cool how it is a bit simillar to evangelion s fortress like every single part of the island becomes weapons and all when aliens come. One of the plus of this mecha show is that it has its own robot and dont try to copy other series at all. the pilots of the robots are only the young kids because they are born on the island and the adult came from japan that was anihilated. So the aliens are an existence between void and normal world and their attacks make void so victims dont have any corpse left for the family to mourn. when piloting the robots they kind of fuse together like they feel what the robot feels, it hurts when the robots are hurt and they can't pilot for too long or they will get assimilated, basically they will disappear so each generation of pilots don't pilot for very long. WARNING if you watch this show be ready to see a lot of death, even if they didnt retire very fast they don't last very long。 i won't say what happened in the previous shows because maybe there are readers who didnt watch.
well there are still 8 episodes left so if i gave too high a score it would be inappropriate but i think that it would have around 9 because fafner is awesome xD. as of now the pace is good we really have a progress on the two fronts. i cant really say the details because it might reveal too much for people who didnt watch the previous series but anyway it really have some twists that come nicely, i mean it striked me when it happened at the first episode of the second season. I was really disgusted and it leads to a change of the course the characters must take but it comes with the right number of flags and not too much.
one of the best thing in this show is how the characters are consistent. its great how they don't go for the easy romance like many anime tend to do. like an anime isn't good if we don't have romance. in this anime the two main characters are soushi and kazuki are both man so romance isnt the main theme (and do not worry it isn't a yaoi ) but we have kanon who has some feelings for kazuki but she doesnt really show them because i guess she realises unlike many anime fmc that its not because we are in a pinch that couples must be formed. well good news is that she finally assume her love like she says that she loves kazuki but i won't say the details because it was just great and sad. I also have to say that supporting characters in this show are all well worked. even if a lot of them die they are not rushed and we feel sad every time sometimes dies and dont feel like some failed tragedy sad the first episode and get used to it when someone dies every episode.
for example we have two parents of one of the pilot of new generation that have always been having a problem with mourning their eldest daughter, refusing to believe that she is really dead, which is something that isnt taken into account in most of mecha anime. I am not saying that other mechas are bad they are also great but as sydonia no kishi was praised on how it put into light a lot of litlle problems we dont see in gundam like how we get water in space, what happens when we change of direction for an emergency dodge and all. in fafner all the characters are not perfect, and supporting characters are not blank. it s just that they take some time to become interesting because we have 3 pilots from the first generation (i mean first tv season and not the first movie who are the real first generation) and sou and kazuki shines too much so its normal that new supporting characters take some time to share the spotlight.
well its the same character design as gundam seed and destiny but this time they felt that their character looked really alike (unlike heroic age or majestic prince they even have same hairstyle) so they made some kind of blush on everyone s face. well it doesnt really hurt the art. the robots are still all unique and cool, animation is good and so is the landscape.
bgm is great op has a touch of epicness and the ed is slow and sad but thats not a minus. on the contrary, in this show that really have sad moments it would be strange if the music wasn't sad. war isn't only the epicness we show on the front (op) but also the sadness the survivor have at the end of each fight because they have to mourn their deads (ed).
well i know that this review is far from perfect and i think ill redo one when i finish this season, I am not really inspired right now. I hope that other people who like fafner can be a bit more active on myanimelist because i was really shocked when i saw that there was only one review for exodus and non for exodus second season. I see there are a lot of reviews for the first season but almost none for exodus so i was a bit sad. T*T fafner really deserves to be at least in top 500 not top 1616 so lets try our best to make it go up in ranks!!
#1: You need to watch Soukyuu no Fafner: Dead Aggressor to have a glimpse on what's happening ( either the TV series or the recap movie will do), and of course Exodus season 1.
#2: Must watch for those who have watched season 1 of Exodus.
#3: Good for fans of mecha and tragedy.
The show picks up after the 1st season of Exodus, where Kazuki and Soushi lead the Human Army side to the Promised Land, while the Island D's staffs try to fend off Festums and the increasingly potent assimilation effect.
While the last season seems to be interesting after the second half, the second season dropped
this flaw and let the death train rolls.
It starts of by showing the betrayal of the ally, Neo-UN and death of one of the pilot.
And one major character is assimilated to move the plot.
Another major character is half dead.
And the betrayal game is strong. Neo-UN is getting betrayed by their Mir.
The major strong point of 2nd season is the momentum. No drag. No stopping. The plot just develops and plot twists strike at any moment at will.
The scriptwriters have done a great job for not making loose ends.
Animation wise, Fafner is not a hand-drawn marvel from Sunrise, yet the CG is a level below the peak of CG mecha animation-Knights of Sidonia.
All the mecha and fight animations are animated decently, god knows where the budget comes from.
Fafner still keeps some of the artstyles from it's 00's TV series, characters aren't as good looking as modern animes as they still have those 90's-00's moe-huge-eyes. And characters look very similar to each other.
The Festums are still as ungodly disgusting as one could imagine. Can't help with it.
Character development is another spot 2nd season benefited from the 1st season. New characters need not to be introduced, old characters are developed.
And we see one of the old guy from the 00's TV series makes a comeback. Marvelous.
Other than that it's business as usual, you just sit back and pray your favourite character won't get killed.
The new OSTs are stellar. Angela's "DEAD OR ALIVE" is one of the best opening of the season and is getting people into the series. The ending, Horizon is creepy, but well suits the "everyone will die before arrival at the promised land" vibe.
The mecha battle tracks are marvelous too. Should be the same as 1st season where they use Angela's その時、蒼穹へ (Sono Toki, Soukyuu e).
Overall it's an exciting and unexpected season of Fafner. The 2nd season outperforms the 1st season and the 00's TV series by a big margin. The "plot seeds" that are planted in 1st season has given countless intense mecha fight and emotional trainwrecks in season 2.
Given how the plot is going, we're very likely to see a 3rd season, or 3rd coup for Exodus.
May the guys from Island D survive the attack of new Festums.