Once upon a time, a race known as the Shadow Angels attacked Earth to harvest the life force of all those who inhabited the planet. Thanks to some outrageous miracle, the Shadow Angels went dormant, and humanity was able to live another 12,000 years without fearing their presence. But 11 years after a catastrophe dubbed the Holy Genesis brought ruin to the Earth, the Shadow Angels were stirred from their slumber and resumed the attacks once more.
To give humanity somewhat of a chance, an organization known as DEAVA was formed, and use of a robotic weapon named Aquarion has been authorized. In order for the Aquarion to be brought to full power, three pilots must combine their hearts, bodies, and souls into one—a feat few can hope to accomplish. Thus, the search for so-called 'Element Users' was prioritised, hoping to ensure humanity's future.
Sousei no Aquarion follows the story of Apollo, a near-feral young man brought up in poverty, who is believed to be a legendary hero reincarnated. After his best friend is taken by the Shadow Angels, Apollo chooses to become an Aquarion pilot. Will he be able to turn the tides of the war, and free humanity from the threat of the Shadow Angels for once and for all?
Aquarion is an homage to older mecha series, and that is easily seen when you watch it. Personally, I haven't watched a lot of older mecha series, so I can't exactly spout out examples of it copying them. But I've talked with people who are experienced with them, and the one mecha from the 90s which I've watched (NGE) is enough to prove my example of how similar it is.
The setting is - not surprisingly - a futuristic world, where a form of higher beings - in this case Shadow Angels - show themselves for the first time in thousands of years. There is only
one organization - in this case DEAVA - who can fight against them, due to their possession of mecha robots - in this case the Vectors/Aquarions.
The male protagonist (Apollo) is a reincarnation of a fallen Shadow Angel, Apollonius, who betrayed the other Shadow Angels a long time ago. Also known as the Wings of the Sun, he is very important to the Shadow Angels, so they go after him. The female (Silvia) protagonist is the reincarnation of Apollonius' lover. That's it for the setting. Maybe you've now decided on whether to watch it or not?
Anyway, the story isn't that really great. It's episodic, and stays that way until the last couple of episodes. Those episodes are actually so independent of each other that, aside the first episode, you could probably watch them in any order. The development in Silvia and Apollo's relationship is all but prominent, and whil I could nearly imagine them kissing after one episode, that didn't seem so likely after the next. Still, that development is pretty much the only thing that ties the episodes together. The inconsistency of other characters' development also helps to drag a bit down.
The animation quality is actually one of the stronger parts of the show - not that it is a very positive statement. And that is if you count out all the CGI. The character designs and backgrounds are all decent, but there's just something dull about the coloring, and good lighting effects are rare, but good when there. Special effects are okay, but not something outstanding.
And then there's the CGI... I'm not a big fan of CGI in anime series, and especially not when it's so blatantly executed as the CGI in Aquarion. It just ruined the quality and my viewing experience. If you like or don't mind lots of CGI, you'll have no trouybles with this, but if you're not a fan of CGI like me, it can ruin your enjoyment of the series. However, the series deserve a plus for the best-looking male villain ever (Toma).
The soundtrack is the strongest part of the show. This time around it is a positive statement. AKINO did an outstanding job on the OP and ED themes, and most of them are in the upper tier of my favorite OP/ED theme list. The BGM is okay too; it does the job it's supposed to do, but it stops there. VAs are good; I like the characters' voices and they're played pretty good. Sound effects are okay too, and they do their job like they should.
The characters are not that good. They're mostly unoriginal (at least from my experiences). I mean, Apollo is the stupid, rash character you've seen a lot of times, Silvia is the female protagonist who doesn't like the male protagonist at first, but warms up to him. Sirius is the arrogant-kinda type (he actually reminds me of Byakuya from Bleach), Pierre is the guy who's always going after the ladies, and so on. There's low amounts of character development, which also drags a bit down. You get a little on Apollo and Silvia as we gradually explore their past lives and they warm up to each other, but that's about it. A plus is Gen, though. I love most of his lines.
All in all, Aquarion is what you'd expect of an homage of older series - unoriginal. But they still executed it poorly; it had potential to be great, but it never became that. It's not an anime I'm gonna remember.
To 'Not Helpful' voters (and you 'Helpful' voters too): Feedback greatly appreciated =)
Sousei no Aquarion is a mecha anime that is similar to Evagelion and RahXephon. Just another anime about humans fighting against a form of higher being, in this case, the Shadow Angels.
Story: The plot is pretty slow. It may seem the plot throws you right into action, which it does, but it does not move the plot much until the last few episodes. It follows a pretty generic line with very few twists here and there. The whole show seems pretty episodic save the finale.
Art: The art is unique in its own way. The characters have unique designs to them and the mecha are pretty
unique as well. The backgrounds are nice but sometimes feel as if they were sloppily painted on. The character designs and mecha are pretty much the saving grace of the artwork.
Sound: The musical score is pretty much the highlight of the show. The music produced by Yoko Kanno, known for her works in Ghost in the Shell and Macross. The musical score makes good use of orchestrated works and the insert songs found throughout several episodes are good.
Characters: The characters have their own interesting personalities. You have Apollo, the homeless turned Daeva pilot who is short tempered to Silvia, who has a serious case of a brother complex. The characters have their own distinct way of doing things in the anime and it shows in their battles against the enemy.
Enjoyment/Overall: I was expecting more out of this anime but it reduces its plot to a drag. The battles are decent and the music is good. Other than though, it just seems like another Evagelion ripoff.
«Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. »
— Scott Adams.
This is my very first review so understand that it may not be as rational and objective as it presumptively should, but for me anime is a form of art, and art isn’t supposed to be rational. With this statement made, let the show begin.
First of all, Sousei no Aquarion was an anime that draw my attention from its presentation poster. I know it sounds stupid or a little ignorant from me judging a book for its cover, but I admit that most animes that I watch are normally chose
that way, and I rarely go wrong with the choices I make within my own anime taste.
Aquarion wasn’t different. Despite of being a mecha, and I’m not quite fond of mecha animes, it managed to surprise me in a different yet good way. For fans of the genre, I truly recommend it, not only because you’ll like it, but because it’s an anime worth watching.
I found the plot, unlike other opinions I saw around here, good or I would dare and say that it was a very good one. It has a beautiful love story behind it, and it deserves some credit for being able to mix mecha with prophecies, reincarnations and angels – also known as Da Tenshi in Aquarion’s world – with some originality. The flaw is precisely in not being capable of taking that plot and doing a different well done thing out of it. There were so many aspects that could be well explored and they weren’t, aspects which I consider that were quite interesting and a pity that producers couldn’t know how to seize them.
Instead of seizing it, the potential of the anime, which was high, fell down for a more normal baseline. So, they decided to create those so famous main-stream episodes, pretending they were exploring the main characters with parallel stories that had a not-very-consistent script. These episodes run away from the original route of the story, sometimes not making sense at all.
Once again I repeat myself, it’s a shame that they couldn’t take the amazing plot and came out with something different and well done.
As regards to the art of Aquarion I found it, how to put it, approachable. There some animation parts that are very decent. The battles are well animated and the “vectors” are regularly well animated too. The general effects are as good too although there were some minimal flaws, nothing to much important. The characters are well draw, so the final balance is a good one concerning the art/style. And if we count with the art that appears in the ending, that was even better.
But then we have episode 19… which was a total disgrace. The episode begins, and we start to notice that something is different, like very different. The art changed radically and the animation is a disaster. The guys that run this business should be sleeping at the time when they finished this episode. I mean, it’s really, really terrible.
People look like they are inflatable dolls. It’s true that the episode plot itself it’s supposed to happen in a world where things get that semi-abstract form, but the scenes which weren’t supposed to happen in that world have the same art and measuring the two arts the original was way better. It’s not a consistent matter, and I think producers should have been more aware of this serious flaws that give away some of the beauty of the series.
As they say, every dog has his day. The sound is the ‘ex libris’ of this anime, is as good as it gets. We have some beautiful music playing during some big moments. Each one of the two openings are very good, and for me, the ending is the highlight of this show. The music is ‘Omna Magni’ from Yui Makino, and it’s simply a piece of art. It reminds me of an ancient story, lost in the course of time, and all this together with the art presented, it’s phenomenal, no doubt about it.
While the sound is extraordinary, the characters leave much to be desired. The evolution of each character is poor in content. As they come to be presented to the viewer, we get the sensation that we already have seen them before, somewhere in other anime. They bring nothing new to us, they are the type of characters that we are used to, and it’s definitely a major flaw when they have nothing new to bring. To me, the big highlight was Toma, a Da Tenshi. I really loved the main antagonist of the story, in fact, I loved both Toma and Otoha, the main ‘antagonists’. They were a sort of a breath of fresh air in the whole story, because they were different from everyone else. They had purpose, they had personality, thing that didn’t happen with the others. They weren’t immediately recognizable characters, which was a very enjoyable thing to watch.
But don’t get me wrong, I didn’t dislike any of the characters. I cared about all of them, I laugh with some and I pitied others. I think that they should get each one of them with a real personality and not set a ‘chip’ with some of the most usual ‘codes’ in them. They should had evolve trough the series which didn’t happen too.
In accordance of entertainment, I was amused. There were some parts that disappointed me, but other that could conquer me by the positive side because it was a mecha anime with a real good and catchy plot.
Some parts were a disillusion, parts that were already mentioned, and some parallel stories seemed to me that they were there just to fill some space and make the anime have 26 episodes, instead of being in the few twenties.
However, it keep me stuck to the screen in some good episodes, which I wasn’t expecting at all. There were some amazing humor moments that made me laugh hard.
In general, it was good. With some serious flaws, but with some important qualities that make up for the flaws.
Because in the end, what counts in anime is the capacity to entertain. The capacity to make us let our emotions flow, to have a catharsis. If I cared, if I laughed, and if I cried… mission accomplished and nothing else matters.
Sousei no Aquarion entertained… and for that the job is done.
Ugh, your usual staple of post-apocalyptic kind of world setting + a handful of young (duh? does it have to be young?) ones who can ONLY save the planet + a gigantic ton of metal that the young ones can only pilot + a race of nearly alien (or not) beings that can destroy shi* everywhere in the world = Sousei no Aquarion. Sounds familiar right? We all have our share of EVA, Raxhephon, Zeorymer, TTGL, etc. experiences and yet they are still popular despite mecha fanatics' swooning over GARness and teamwork blah blah.
Sunrise did a pretty good job in animating this with
artistic European backdrops, beautiful setting sun effects and dazzling flashes of light on transformation scenes and others. Character art ain't too bad too but it did get a bit confusing (I think the graphic change was part of the story) on one episode with that of stick art doodles. :D
Beautiful orchestral score in their BGM throughout the series. OP themes are a bit catchy and the ED is hauntingly good to listen at.
As most super and real robot series, characters must be unique in every way to distinguish their different traits. Aquarion has that but has some elements borrowed from other robot series. What kind of amuses me is Apollonius' character with that of a wild beast and Reika, with her negative and emo way of thinking. The siblings are also good in their character as well as the Shadow Angels especially Toma. ^_^
Most mecha fans would come to conclusion that the series itself is just chunks or bits and pieces of other mecha series that are put together. I could agree more but Aquarion has some aspects that are exclusive by itself and is almost a bit above-average than your regular mech anime series. I enjoy the love-hate relationship of the main characters, the personalities of the other crews and even the good mecha artwork of the Aquarion.
This is a good mecha series to start with if you are not much of a mecha fan. Hot-blooded finishing blow shout-outs and the out of this world kind of feeling when combining are some of the *ooohs-aaahs* I have felt after watching this.
Recommend? - To non-mecha fans...yes; probably not much to hardcore fanatics...
Replay Value (Once) - Yeah, just for the heck of the understanding the confusing storyline on their past lives...
(Twice) - Errrr...do replay it if you are bored or haven't watched it for a long time....
(Thrice) - WTF! Too much might get ya...GATTAI SYNDROME! (watch it to find out what it is) :P
Got an anime tune stuck in your head that no matter how hard you try, you just can't get out? Have a favorite show opening that you just can't resist singing along to? Admit it, we all do. Here's a countdown list of the top 10 karaoke anime songs in Japan!