Aquarion Evol – 01 Review

This episode features some really tense moments of some boys and girls breaking their Chastity and entering a Holy Union. These goddamn naughty teenagers just couldn’t stop themselves, could they?

Aquarion EVOL 01 – How The Most Useless Persons On Earth End Up Being Responsible For It

Aquarion EVOL is one of these series everyone with some interest for popular anime will want to watch. It’s a sequel but one so far in the future that worrying about the original would be like arguing that you need to see the Flintstones in order to understand Star Trek. Of course there are some similarities… and yeah, of course Flintstones and Star Trek have one as well – they both have dinosaurs in them, really, they’re called Veer in Star Trek. Well, so aside from this nerdy reference, Aquarion Evol can be watched on its own, I think. I did and most of it is understandable, I guess. The only thing I will want to mention is that Amato has this Element-ability which is some weird shit to make him feel special and that’s something already established to exist in the first series (don’t know whether that makes him the reincarnation of a douche as well…). So it’s a mecha-show and thankfully it’s not only story but there’s some fighting as well. It’s entertaining overall. If you like Mecha, you will like this. Everyone else should probably read the whole review because it does have some weird beef on its plate.

Synopsis:
Amato Sora loves cheesy movies and the one he likes the most is one so cheesy that he repeatedly has to watch it alone in the cinema. One day after hearing again from the manager of the cinema how much his favourite movie sucks he meets this girl that snuck into the the cinema watching that stupid movie – and ended up crying. That really appeals to Amato’s self-esteem – since he doesn’t have any. And the girl doesn’t as well, explaining why they both have bad taste. They end up going out on a date because the girl wants to hear more about the crappy movie (since for the main-dude it’s actually related to some harsh childhood-trauma they don’t really talk that much about it). While they take a gondola and talk about the Abductors abducting abduction-victims somewhere the scene switches to a monastery.
Aquarion these days is split into multiple Vectors and each half is controlled respectively by boys or girls trained for this very thing. This training involves for girls to be religious nuns at an isolated monastery and boys have to be professional soldiers. And they are kept separate so as to keep their Chastity-Seals intact.
As Amato and Mikuni wander around the Abductors arrive abducting people and the Boy-controlled Aquarion is sent out but the Abductors have now a new Mecha which is stronger and faster than anything the good guys have faced before (way to go making the hero with his special talents feel special after he can take the stage…) And Amato protects Mikuni by shielding her but meanwhile the Boy-Aquarion simply sucks at his job because the boys are all noobs on their first mission so they sent out the Girls-Aquarion as well and coming into contact with each other the boys and girls come dangerously close to breaking their Chastity-Seals. But that doesn’t really help and Amato realized that he can’t just hide with Mikuni under debris. Therefore he drops weight to activate his levitation-Elements-ability. As he activates this all kinds of weird shit happens to Aquarion and all the Vectors unite under the control of Amato changing Aquarion into Aquarion EVOL. Now some problems in the fight start since Amato knows shit about controlling the Aquarion and his role is rather passive while Mikuni together with him in the cockpit (obligatory mecha-series-scene, I guess) is scared shitless and whines a lot. At some point he gets help from the female leader who would like to have sex with a guy but it doesn’t really help. Only some weird semi-giving-up-farewell defeatist-speech from Mikuni motivates Amato to make some effort and that’s when he can deliver the decisive punch by pushing the guy into a meteorite thereby using the Aquarion to fly for the first time with the help of his Elements-powers. But before the fight can be finished the evil dude is called back via a dimension-portal. After that Amato falls unconscious and while dropping down one of the guys has a vision telling everybody that when Mikuni ends up with the evil dude, bad shit will happen. So if Mikuni doesn’t end up with the right dude, the universe will explode or something… Boo-fucking-hoo…

Not enough that the whole chastity-thing is already frigging creepy on its own but the way this episode is making fun of it is also really creepy…

Review:
I haven’t seen the original (for which I apparently should be thankful judging by all the negative reviews it has gotten) but I have read up a bit on how this original worked. So, it wanted to be this high-brow-mecha-action-thingy with a lot of deep references and sentimental attachment to classical mecha-series. That was the plan. What it was really about was having Cthulhu-like mythical beings from the distant past of the earth (12.ooo years back) come back named Shadow Angels and trying to relive the good ol’ days. Against them nothing normal worked (like usual, gee, these guys never watched anime apparently, normal stuff never works) and therefore an organization called DAEVA had to use their own mythological technology which were three fighter-plans called Vectors and the three pilots who were teenagers with special abilities called Elements. And then there’s a lot of strange romance going on and shallow characters whine a lot apparently as some reviewers described it and yeah, that’s about what you really need to know, I guess. Well, if someone has seen the first Aquarion-series, I hope you can point out some more references this series makes to the original because there were probably more than what I’ve found out just by reading reviews and the synopsis.
Now to Aquarion Evol: It starts off with a double-episode and I think it was worth it because that way it could take its time presenting the setting and the various characters (there are many, don’t really know though whether it will have this epic perspective of switching between them as the centre of attention). It also has the time to highlight the nice animation and the big budget. And there are fights, too, of course which are also nicely animated. So overall it left a nice impression on me.
But there were moments where I felt like the setting was kinda creepy. It makes sense that they don’t want the combined Aquarion in the hands of kids or anyone the church (or state, whatever…) don’t have control over – but does it really have to have such a… strange context? This two halves of the mecha are fueled by a team of girls and a team of boys but they have to keep them separated using the Guize-stone (or Chastity-Seal as it’s called) to protect the girls’ and boys’ “purity”. I would definitely feel better about this if this green-haired girl would actually act like living in a monastery instead of openly admitting that she’d like to have sex with a boy. That gave me the impression at first that the series wanted to make fun of this stupid chastity-stuff but then they continued talking about it using the mecha and how with it the Boy-parts and the Girl-parts can enter a Holy Union and as they touched in the fight they had these weird scenes that kinda resembled them having an orgasm together. Well, yeah, I think it’s fucked up and even if the original did it, I would’ve changed it because it’s really creepy. Ah and to not forget the boys: They don’t have to be religious virgins in a monastery, no, boys have to be professional soldiers. The whole thing does seem kinda sexist and I’m not really one usually to use that word but to have both female and male stereotypes presented like that in one setting seems kinda weird.

So, am I understanding that correctly? Being dead with an intact heart is better than being alive with a broken one? That’s kinda… melodramatic, isn’t it? Then again Amato does have a taste for crappy movies nobody wants to see, so it’s kinda understandable where these cheesy lines come from.

Talking about the evil side and the battles, one has to say that the setting is definitely on the more convoluted side of things with a lot of stuff left unsaid at this point. Right now, we only know that these Abductors come to earth (apparently from another dimension) to… yeah, abduct people, what a surprise! We don’t know why but I liked the designs of their machinery. It’s not Hard Science Fiction but it seems interesting, definitely more so than the usual humanoid mecha and tank, spaceships and so on we get to see in this kind of series. One little thing about the battles though: Was it only me or was there a noticeable lack of town-destruction in the beginning of the battle? It seemed like these mechas were actually dancing through the city avoiding any kind of destruction. And then later after the change Aquarion Evol fell on the city destroying a huge chunk of it – without a comment from anyone. I can only hope that these shelters aren’t there but nobody apparently thought it worth a reaction that he flattened a bigger part of the town like that. So I missed some dynamics here and there in the fight showing that it’s not just mecha vs. mecha in a vacuum.
The characters are a bit difficult to judge at this point. The main-female seems like one to whine a lot but the dialogues were good enough to not make it seem like uncontrolled whining-rage. Not one of the cast really stood out for me though. They all seem acceptable enough but none of them seems especially noteworthy that I would call him interesting. The main-chara with the special power and significant past isn’t really a stroke of genius but it certainly was a nice touch that he needed help from the female Aquarion-pilot to use the Super-Mecha. Usually these main-guys control Mechas like it’s the easiest thing to do since slicing bread.
As for predictions and what kind of direction this is headed: I worry about the romance-sub-plot. They already made it clear with the vision that love plays a big role in this. Apparently the fate of the universe depends on the main-chara successfully dating the main-girl. What a way to doom the universe! Of course, that’s just realism on my part and naturally the main-chara will end up with the girl and avoid this wedding of doom (and the setting keeps scoring the creepiness-points…). So characterization will play a big role here and whether this romantic sub-plot will work. And since the characters all seem kinda bland to me at this point I worry that it will get a bit unsubtle and soapy. But the battles will be nice to watch, big budget and all that can go a long way to create entertainment. And did I mention that the soundtrack from Yoko Kanno is great? One time they reused a track from the original which is fine since that one is also from Yoko Kanno but overall the soundtrack was a big factor of helping me enjoy the episode.

Aquarion Evol is a mecha-show that apparently wants to spend a lot of time fretting over love-issues and boy-and-girls-differences-comedy. But having a big budget and a rather solid script makes it an acceptably entertaining start even though some parts of the setting were creepy as hell. What it lacks at this point is the special something that would make it stand out since the characters just seem bland right now and the story is still too vague to offer any insights as to how good it is.

Episode-Rating: 6,5/10

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About M0rg0th

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

Posted on January 10, 2012, in Anime, Aquarion Evol, Reviews and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. Yay, I’m glad this show got a review, I actually liked the first series a lot, so I was less confused by some things, and more confused by others. I’ll try to clear up what I can, but I think you pretty much explained all the important points. The vectors in the first series were some kind of ancient tech used to fight the angels, which eventually was reversed engineered and somewhat duplicated and mass produced by the humans at the end of the series.

    As far as the romance sub plot, if it’s like the first series its going to play a major roll, and everyone is going to have an orgasm every time they do a union. I also didn’t find the first series all that funny, it had its moments, but I don’t know if I could call it any kind of comedy. Romance, drama, mecha, action, and supernatural would be the tags I’d give it.

    The first series actually didn’t harp on gender roles at all from what I remember, 3 pilots did a union, and made their moan, but it didn’t make a difference, what the combination of people was, just what the ship in the middle was. The pilots in the first series, didn’t have any real special powers, but Aquarion would gain a special attack based on the characteristic of the head pilot in the union.

    The recurring 12,000 years, might actually be fan service, referencing the first OP of the first series though I could be wrong. I don’t remember anything about 12,000 specifically being significant in the first series, but it was the main chorus of that song. The eyepatch man, looks suspiciously like the head of the school from the first series as well, but I think they’ve purposely made people look like each other. It’s also hard to say if this is a spoiler or not, but the alien guy piloting the other mech, running around like an animal is screaming “Apollo” the protagonist from the first series. They went on and on about how Apollo was like an animal, and showed plenty of scenes where he sniffed things out like a dog. The other spoiler twist I guess, is that the main character sprouting wings like that seems to reference that he’s part shadow angel somewhere down the line, if not a straight up reincarnation. The first series had the main character as the reincarnation of a shadow angel, but he wasn’t actually physically part shadow angel. It got confusing, and there were a few different versions of the anime and ova’s that switched up who was a reincarnation of who.

    Really the most confusing/interesting thing for anyone who was a fan of the original, might be the fact that the mannerisms of the villain are so close to the first series’ hero. from the red hair, to the sniffing, to the beast mode stance the machine had. I’ll definitely stick by this series, assuming it doesn’t try to turn itself into an awkward romantic comedy; the tone of the original worked for me, because it didn’t dwell often on trying to make romantic interaction comedic instead of dramatic. And that worked for me, in spite of it being mecha, which I’ll tolerate and enjoy from time to time, but I wouldn’t call myself an enthusiast. The draw is going to hopefully be the character interactions, and that will probably translate to a new kind of attack towards the end of each episode, if it follows the same formula.

    Thx for the review, I hope you stick with the series.

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    • Okay, I read tidbits of it in the review but thanks for the comparison. Now I’m as confused as you are 😀 . Perhaps I should say in the beginning that it’s actually better not to have seen the first series because it sure is strange how this series handles its connection to the original.

      As far as the romance sub plot, if it’s like the first series its going to play a major roll, and everyone is going to have an orgasm every time they do a union.

      Did it have any Yaoi or Yuri? Perhaps this series wants to go away from that and forcibly emphasize the point that these orgasm-scenes always just happen between a boy and a girl.

      The recurring 12,000 years, might actually be fan service, referencing the first OP of the first series though I could be wrong. I don’t remember anything about 12,000 specifically being significant in the first series, but it was the main chorus of that song.

      Well, it’s nothing specific but the ANN-synopsis for Sousei no Aquarion spoke of the Shadow Angels coming back after 12.000 years and since the main-chara was apparently a reborn Semi-Shadow-Angel, I don’t know, was there any past-life-drama going on? I really don’t know, what’s sure is the fact that this number has some meaning in this franchise.

      It’s also hard to say if this is a spoiler or not, but the alien guy piloting the other mech, running around like an animal is screaming “Apollo” the protagonist from the first series. They went on and on about how Apollo was like an animal, and showed plenty of scenes where he sniffed things out like a dog.

      Okay, now I’m very fundamentally confused about this series… Is it a reference, the same character…? What the hell is going on doing something like that…

      The draw is going to hopefully be the character interactions, and that will probably translate to a new kind of attack towards the end of each episode, if it follows the same formula.

      Didn’t they have one already this episode? They called it Flying Love Attack or something. I’ve thought that it was just the episode-title but the episode continues after it so… it could be this new-attack-thingy.

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      • In order, lol

        There was no Yuri or Yaoi, in fact the only romances that were fleshed out, were the main character’s, a random set of side character’s, and the past life one, and those never progress to the point where you see them kiss or anything, it wasn’t a very explicit series, if one ignores the way they make unions look orgasmic.

        12,000 probably does have more to do with the story than I remember, but that OP stuck with me, so I’m at least certain its there.

        The alien, isn’t the same character entirely, the animal like tendencies are exactly the same, and the overall look are very similar too (red hair, face/eyes). Personality wise, the main character was maybe a bit rude, but not the extent this new character is. There’s still no way not to see the connection after having watched the first series. Since reincarnation was a large part of the previous series, I wouldn’t be surprised at all, if this series characters are reincarnations of the first series people, who were in turn reincarnations of the people in the legend,

        I wouldn’t be surprised if they kept up with the new attacks each episode, the first show had a lot of characters as well, so its plausible to think that it could work out in the same way.

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  2. Gespenster Jager

    The reference to the number 12,000 years is used consistently because it most likely is the reincarnation cycle. The main character from the first series is apollo who is the reincarnation of apollonius,a shadow angel who fought against his own kind 12,000 years before the first series. So pretty much 24,000 years have passed since The original “Apollonius” lived, also there are many references to the main characters of EVOL being reincarnations of characters from the first series as mentioned by their creators. The last line in the first series is said by the main female protaganist who says she will wait for 12,000 years for Apollo (protaganist of the first series), thus this had led me to believe that Kagura( the red hair guy in EVOL) could be apollo because the female from the first series said she would wait for apollo even for 12,000 years, and after having been shown the foresight of the bonding of kagura and mikono( although it seems bad) it seems like that its keeping the promise made by the main couple from the first series. This also seems to support the fact that the kagura could indeed be apollo reincarnated, or like everyone else states apollo’s soul ( which is the soul of the legendary Apollonius) could have been split between kagura and amato.

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    • *sigh* Seems like this stuff will get pretty fluff-heavy in the end then… I just hope they don’t create plotholes by making it too convoluted.
      Well, anyway, thanks for that explanation 😉 .

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  3. Gespenster Jager

    Just found out an idea which i believe is true, Kagura( Red haired guy) and amata are both Apollonius’ reincarnations they are both in the same situations as the previous female progatanist was in, the female protaganist from the first series had the “Light” half of Celiane (Apollonius’ human lover from 24,000 years ago which caused him to betray the shadow angels) while her brother retained the “Dark” half of celiane’s soul with all her negative human emotions such as jealousy. The situation seems very similar to the current series’ with Amata having the kind heart that Apollonius had obtained after falling in love with Celiane and Kagura retaining the other half of his soul which defined Apollonius as the harbringer of death before he met Celiane.

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  4. Aquarion old fan =D

    Seriously, for those who haven’t watch the 1st series; you should watch it first before watching the sequel, if not you will confuse…I didn’t feel any confusion while watching this because it is just like the first series and I quite understood what happen in the first and second episodes of Aquarion EVOL….yup, I also believe that Kagura is the Apollo reincarnated from the first series, many similarities indeed

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    • Well, since the story plays 12.000 years after the last series ending I figured that was done to make it as easy as possible for new viewers to watch this. And I have to say that with my minimalistic research I wasn’t really confused during this first double-episode. But now hearing all this stuff about reincarnation and how seemingly it plays a big role for the characters’ roles in this series, I would agree with you that one should see the first series first.
      Although it also depends on how in the following episodes this stuff is approached. It could be that we get to see some (un)necessary exposition-sequences explaining this stuff (again) for those who haven’t seen the first series.

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  5. Aquarion old fan =D

    Plus remember the gold mecha that you saw in 06.13 ? That is the Aquarion from the 1st series… =D

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  6. So…. Ummm….. I just finished watching this, and even though I had been “warned” (BTW m0rg0th, I really, actually thought you were just joking), I wasn’t expecting to see what I saw. The union-thing was so over-the-top blatantly orgasmic – i was somewhere between jaw-drop and LMFAO. The kids floating around naked, yelling, “Our rules and our feelings are going to be torn apart! We’ll be torn apart then burst! I’m going to burst! It’s breeaaakiiiing!!! AIEEEE! OOOOH!”

    Uhhhh… really? Wow. WTF. It sounded exactly like some shitty dialog out of a generic hentai show. Which is fine, its whatever, but…. then… Why did the crazy red-hair guy (bad guy) have to keep on going on about the *smell* and his “smelly wench”? I mean, I haven’t got the first clue about what a transformer’s post-coital bliss smells like, and honestly, I couldn’t give less of a shit. Yes, everybody already knows that hot nasty sex stinks a little (although in this particular case I can only assume it’s got an air of motor oil and burned rubber gaskets). And, despite that, for whatever reason, they kept on about it until the end of the second episode. Ugh.

    I mean, . Pervy jokes are funny, for a moment or two (at best). If the series can just leave the whole orgasm part alone and get to the story, it might be okay. However, if every episode is going to have +/- 3 whole minutes of teenagers cumming all over their transformers, I might just have to drop this one. Hehehe….

    Frankly, if I want to watch ecchi this season, I will stick with HS DxD.

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    • If the series can just leave the whole orgasm part alone and get to the story, it might be okay.

      They can’t, it’s part of the setting. Yeah, yeah, I know, way to go starting a sequel to a series with a weird setting and all that… But that’s how the series rolls apparently.

      Why did the crazy red-hair guy (bad guy) have to keep on going on about the *smell* and his “smelly wench”?

      As the other comments above this one explained, he’s apparently very similar to the first series’ protagonist. And since the series cares a lot about reincarnation it seems likely that there will be some connection to the first series at some point because of this. I hope that the series will bother explaining itself even if it’s unnecessary for those who have seen the first series but well, “wait and see” is the only thing one can do now.

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  7. To what an extend would it be useful to watch “Sousei no Aquarion”?
    Cause by now with the second episode it doesn´t looks like it´s needed.
    Well, I do like this quite pathetic stuff about man and woman are going for the ideal search for the matching one… Even if the try to sniff around like there more a dog or anything else, what rather shows a very done to the basic behavior. Eighter you can stand the smell of somebody or not. We have a saying “I can´t smell you” what means “I don´t like you”.
    Some sort of, uhm, funny?
    But can somebody tell me what is this with the sexual quotation with mechas anyway?
    Not only here, as well in Mawaru for example where you had the two big mecha bears, black and white of course and here as well… I rather see sometimes in mechas some sort of mother or symbolic speaking “secureness” for which is searched for. Some sort of being back in mother belly if you will and from this point of view it is not really strange to have this seperation between male and female. And in the moment they bend together they get stronger to protect, create a new power (life) to guard. I think ist´s not the right way to aproach this from a common ecchi point of view… Maybe rather more from the spiritual point cause the may unite, but more in the spiritual way, am Í right? 😉
    By the way, I just watched TSF Monogatari. Hentai is something totally diffrent and if some of you starts to whine about the season… just watch that and you will know there is not one anime in this season which does not has a sparkling story. ^^

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    • Hmm, watching this double-episode, I have to agree with you, Keiko, that it didn’t seem necessary to have seen the first series. But reading the comments of those who have seen the first series and who nicely pointed out stuff I didn’t notice I would say that it largely depends on the series. For now I would say it’s safer to have seen the first series so that you can understand everything which is going on in this series. It’s better than realizing after the next two episodes that it would’ve been better to watch the first series first after all.

      But can somebody tell me what is this with the sexual quotation with mechas anyway?

      Uhm, they have that because they want to play All You Need Is Love from the Beatles during the final battle 😀 …? Aw, come on, Keiko, this isn’t Mawaru Penguindrum, first of all, this orgasm-thingy is so blatantly presented I would have to cringe calling it actually “symbolism” for anything. And second, it’s fanservice in some twisted way.

      By the way, I just watched TSF Monogatari. Hentai is something totally diffrent and if some of you starts to whine about the season… just watch that and you will know there is not one anime in this season which does not has a sparkling story.

      Do I have to worry that when I do watch it that it turns out to be some weird Furry-Mind-Break-Futanari-crap?

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      • “Do I have to worry that when I do watch it that it turns out to be some weird Furry-Mind-Break-Futanari-crap?”

        I will tell you after I have finished the first series ^^…
        But still… It depends on the “Symbolism”, I guess. 😉

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  8. I rather watch Hatsukoi Limited all over again…then to continue watching this series…

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  9. Aquarion old fan =D

    Bare in mind that the 1st series have good rating =), so do watch it…

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  10. Sooo after watching the latest episode, I have to come back and say that the first series was much much better, I’ll keep up with this one mainly because I saw the original, but had I come in to this without that it would be hard to justify watching this new series with any sort of expectations. The plot is all over the place, the characters fit too neatly into the archetype molds, and the conflict with the whole underlying love theme is feeling way too manufactured. I’ll stand by the first series and recommend it to anyone remotely interested after seeing the first episode of Evol, or just looking for something to watch, but Evol on its own is turning out to be pretty bad as of ep 5.

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  11. soo What else is new to comment?????

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