Aquarion Evol – 26 (Fin)

Amata, Cayenne and Yunoha try to attack Mikage’s machine angel directly, but he’s too powerful. Meanwhile, Kagura, deep in Mikage’s mind, finds Zessica, who asks him to kill her. Instead he frees her. Mikage creates a second sun that dries up the oceans on the planet. Andy and Mix relieve Yunoha and Cayenne, who transfer to Gephard along with Chairman Crea; the spirit of Shrade returns to fight with them.

Mikono seeks to reconnect the damaged souls of Toma and Mikage, but Amata won’t let her die alone and races to her rescue. Zessica and Kagura help him blast through Mikage’s armor and snatch Mikono away, whereupon they declare their true love for one another and kiss. Aquarion Evol becomes Aquarion Love, and its tears of joy refill the oceans. Bodyless, Mikage is absorbed by Fudo Zen, reuniting Apollonius and Toma. Life on earth returns to normal, and Mikono and Amata return victorious.

Just like the finale of Kawamora’s epic Macross Frontier, Aquarion Evol’s end spares no expense of the big, the bright, the loud, and…the little bit cheesy. But we can forgive a little cheese in a series that has been all about love and destiny. So lots of big bombastic music, tons of yelling at the top of various lungs, etc. Even the bad guy ends up esentially where he always wanted to be; in Apollonius’ heart. And unlike Macross, the guy chooses a girl: Amata chooses Zessica. Whoopsie, haha, we meant Mikono. He chooses Mikono! Frankly, it’s about freaking time.

But he and Kagura remain two seperate people. And while it was very satisfying to see Amata and Mikono finally embrace, we don’t discount Kagura and Zessica’s role in the finale. Free from Mikage’s hold thanks to Kagura, Zessica – having learned a lesson – moves on. Perhaps those two crazy kids can find solace in one another; Kagura did save her life, after all (albeit after choking her). We would have liked a little more epilogue, though perhaps there’s a movie or something in the works that will address that…


Rating: 4

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Aquarion Evol – 25

Amata goes after Kagura; both union with themselves and fight as top halves of Aquarions. As they fight, Mikage moves Altair through a dimensional gate on a collision course with Vega to create a new world. Andy gets through to Mix, filling the holes in her memory and declaring his love for him/her. Crea appeals to Fudo to do something to stop Mikage, who transforms Zessica’s body and forces Mikono into union with him. After harnessing Ianthe, he also neutralizes Kagura and unions with him to form a Dark Aquarion. Amata unions with Yunoha and Cayenne to face him.

There was definitely a lot of mythology and side-switching to sift through, but now all the pieces just about where they need to be, and we’re all set up for the endgame. This week Amata finally, finally gets some fire in his belly and stands up to his bully of a counterpart. Unfortunately, they play rock-em-sock-em robots while their time could be better spent finding Mikono – the key to their victory. Instead, Mikage, who’s signed the lease to Zessica and revamped her decor, is able to snatch up Mikono. Which is bad news for anyone alive on either Altair or Vega.

We’ll refrain from speculating in too much detail how we see Aquarion Evol wrapping up, but we can tell you what we want. After a lengthy battle between Amata and Mikage, Amata eventually prevails, gets the girl, and saves the world – thereby successfully fighting back the fate he swore he would. We’re not saying a deviation from this plan will result in our writing off the series, but it’s been a long series full of will-they-won’t-they teasing. A nice, clear-cut, unambiguously happy ending would sure be a nice reward for sticking with it all these months.


Rating: 4

Aquarion Evol – 24

As Kagura fights off Izumo and his men in the Legendary Aquarion and Andy fights Mixy in Aquarion Gephard, trying to get through to her, Amata wakes up and is drawn to the compound where his mother Alicia is in stasis. She tells him Izumo is his father, and how she left him on Vega to help Izumo lift the Curse of Eve.

Through Zessica, Mikage compels Kagura to lash out with Aquarion’s weapons, destroying Alicia’s chamber, then taking out Izumo’s mecha with a Mugen Punch. Izumo fires one last shot that disunions Kagura, Zessica and Mikono. Before Izumo dies, he’s able to see Amata briefly. He and Alicia leave the fate of the two worlds in Amata’s hands.

 

We’re now in the home stretch; this week began the arduous process of setting up what we presume will be one double world-resetter of a finale. As we probably could have deduced had we cared to, Izumo is revealed as Amata’s father and Alicia’s lover. Unfortunatly for Amata, he’s unable to spend much time with his estranged parents, as both lose their lives. Izumo’s heavy burden of saving Altair is now over; he’s shifted the responsibility to Amata. Can he manage it?

We think he’ll need help, both from his friends and enemies, if he considers Kagura his enemy. Obviously, they’re opposites, but the two of them are also representative of Vega and Altair: neither can survive alone anymore, so they must be combined. Altair’s Ianthe system ruined the natural “mother nature”, but it’s starting to reassert itself. But Mikage – the transdimensional puppeteering bad guy who is unfortunately pretty blandly evil – has other plans. How is Amata going to thwart a god?


Rating: 3.5

Aquarion Evol – 23

As Shrade, Amata and Zessica traverse dimensions, Fudo briefs the rest of Neo-Deava on the Book of Twin Stars, starting with Celiane and Apollonius, then Silvie and Apollo, Apollon’s winged dog reincarnated; and finally Mikono and Amata/Kagura. Like Vega and Altair, the two were once whole, but split apart by the latest incarnation of Toma, Apollonius’s betrothed, who is now Mikage. Shrade sacrifices himself to get Amata and Zessica into Altair, but they’re separated and Mikage takes possession of Zessica’s body. She meets up with Kagura and Mikono, and urges Kagura to summon Solar Aquarion to oppose Izumo.

Whoa, major exposition dump this week; and not quite done the way we would do it. See, we’ve never been fans of the abstract and somewhat silly ways past information is presented on this series, and unfortunately there’s a lot of that this week. The elements standing on a big book with trippy patterns in the background; images lifting off the pages like a pop-up book; and floating video screens helpfully illustrating Fudo and Crea’s tale (who, pray, was filming these events 12-24 millienia ago??). Like we said, it all looks a bit silly. Frankly, we would have preferred if the story were told as a flashback episode in and of itself. This felt like a recap, even though it revealed lots of information we either didn’t know or weren’t sure about. And recaps are boring. But at least it’s out of the way now.

All that exposition, while necessary, kind of ground proceedings to a halt. As Cayenne said, they didn’t have time to sit around listening to a story, but Fudo didn’t listen. We just wish there was a more serious, less goofy way of supplying this information. For that matter, Shrade’s death was kind of…meh. Between turning the blood stains on his shirt into musical scales and his overwrought “final melody”, it was all a little silly and hard to take seriously, unlike Jin’s death. Meanwhile, as expected, Mikage has made his move on Zessica, which means he now has physical form. From unrequited love victim to unrequited angel vessel…you can’t say she’s not moving up in the world(s)!


Rating: 3

Aquarion Evol – 22

As Schrade, Cayenne, and Sazanka battle Mikage’s mecha, Kagura tells Amata how they were once one person, but Mikage split Amata in two and raised the dark Amata as Kagura. When Mikono emerges from a fissure in the earth, along with the Legendary Aquarion, they fight over her. Mikage wakes up Zessica, urging her to fulfill her promise. Mikages mecha snatches the Legendary Aquarion while Kagura snatches Mikono and the two enter a dimension gate. Amata, a fading Shrade, and Zessica team up to follow them to Altair. With the Aquarion’s seal broken, the past balance between Vega and Altair begins to shift.

Things are definitely starting to get pretty climactic, as the Legendary Aquarion is finally unearthed, Kagura maintains he’s the Apollon to Mikono’s Silvie, Shrade is closer to death than ever, Vega’s ideal weather is turning, and Mikage’s newest trump card – Zessica – is right where she needs to be to cause the most trouble. If we didn’t know better, we’d say this resembled a penultimate episode, even though three episodes remain to build up what we’re hoping is going to be an epic finale with no cop-outs or deus ex machinas. Kids can dream.

This episode had its share of rock-em-sock-em robots (and dopplegangers) and there was certainly some new exposition (and new music), but there was also a lot of reiterating of key points. Clearly, Mikage making off with the Legendary Aquarion is bad, and so is Kagura making off with his smelly wench. But we know that wench connects people, so maybe she’s the key to bringing the two pieces of Amata back together. Or perhaps her role is to somehow unite Vega and Altair in peace. In any case, here’s hoping Zessica and Mikono don’t turn into dudes due  to being on Altair.


Rating: 3.5

Aquarion Evol – 21

Forced to return without Mix, everyone awaits Mikono and Fudo’s return. Fudo tells Mikono the legend of Genesis, in which the angel Apollonius shed his wings and joined the humans after falling in love with Celiane. The time has come for the legend to repeat. A disturbing dream leads Amata to sortie without authorization. Both he and Kagura are drawn to the city where Amata first met Mikono, now a deserted ruin, decaying and overrun with vines. Zessica and Cayenne are sent to retrieve Amata, but a powerful mecha attacks them. Zessica is trapped under stones, and kisses Amata so he’ll fly away to safety. Shrade and Sazanka union with Cayenne to battle the mecha, but Kagura and Amata meet and learn they are – and always have been – the same person.

We should have known; the reason Amata is so kind and shy and the reason why Kagura is so forward and aggressive: they’re two sides of the same coin. Amata is Kagura and vice versa. It seems they’re meant to coalesce into a single entity, “Amagura.” This also rather neatly explains why Mikono feels such a close attachment to both of them: she’s the Big Connector, and she’s to be the Celiane to their Apollonius in what is the latest version of the Legend of Genesis, which created the world. Amagura and Mikono will create a new world, which probably means bye-bye old world.

Speaking of farewells, it’s not clear at all whether Mixy will ever be able to become Mix again, Shrade is probably not going to last much longer considering he can’t help but union yet again, and Zessica says goodbye to Amata in a pretty contrived and random sequence of unfortunate events. Her element power allows her to break up rocks, but for some reason she can’t break the ones on top of her. We liked how she made Amata leave her behind by kissing him, thus involuntarily activating his flying powers. But we don’t believe she’s dead. Not yet, anyway. Mikage had plans for her, after all.


Rating: 3.5

Aquarion Evol – 20

Andy escapes from his cell and begins a futile search for Mix, as Izumo confronts Amata in the Alicia room and tells him about the Curse of Eve. Mikono finds Fudo in a town, and he begins to reveal the truth to her, including the fact he’s 24 millenia old. Yunoha and Zessica are starting to deteriorate, and Shrade unions with them and attacks the Altair command tower. After rescuing Andy and Amata, they form a boy’s union and duel with the new male Mix, now called Mixy. The revelation makes Andy go out of control, but Shrade harnesses his nano black hole to blow a hole through Mixy’s barricades and reopen the gate to Vega.

This is the episode where Amata learns everything we’ve known for a while now about Altair, Mikono is on the cusp of learning the “full truth” (whatever that is at the moment), Yunoha starts swearing like a sailor (which is pretty funny), and Andy learns his one true love is now…a boy (bad luck, mate.) The rescue mission ends without success, and both Zessica and Yunoha are in a pretty bad way; in fact, had they stayed longer they’d probably turn into boys as well – their throats and chests hurt, hinting that they may be growing Adam’s apples, though the previews hint that Zessica’s bust wasn’t reduced any significant amount…

Amata certainly has every right to be angry with Izumo and Altair in general – they’ve been holding his mother all this time, after all. But he can’t look at this as a black-and-white situation; we’re talking about an entire world that’s slowly dying, where most women can’t survive and those that do become men. If you’re thinking about the big picture, Izumo is somewhat justified in doing anything he can to preserve his world. Vega can spare a few women if it means saving a whole other planet from extinction. Only one problem: nothing he’s tried hasn’t worked; all his abductions have been for naught. While he’s within his rights to do something, he needs to make sure what he’s doing will actually work before sacrificing more innocent women.


Rating: 4


Car Cameos:
A Nisssan Murano and Subaru Legacy wagon are among the cars that make up the traffic in the town where Mikono finds Fudo.

Aquarion Evol – 19

Zessica skulks in her dorm when Mikage apparates from the shards of a broken mirror. He plants a kiss on her forehead that leaves a glowing sigil. When a dimension gate opens above the academy, Crea heeds a cryptic message from Fudo and orders the Aquarions to go through and rescue Mix. Amata, Andy, Zessica, Yunoha and Shrade arrive in Altair, and find it a depressing, run-down place devoid of women. Using schematics from Jin’s imager, they locate the central command, and are met by resistance. Andy takes a young pilot hostage, but when he realizes Andy can’t kill him, he trips an alarm and he’s arrested. Amata escapes and finds his mother in stasis. The pilot removes a helmet, revealing Mix’s braid.

We knew it wouldn’t be long before some kind of rescue mission for Mix was mounted, and so here we are. We have an interesting and diverse group, since Mikono is off to go find Fudo. Shrade knocks out Cayene and takes his place on the team, so that he can experience the melodies of Altair for himself. Yunoha goes to see Jin’s home. Amata goes because he can fly. Andy goes because no one’s going to stop him, plus his hole-making abilities prove quite useful. Zessica comes too (more on her in a bit). We like how all of their element powers are put to good use, and not merely supplementing Aquarion, but in personal combat. They do this so rarely, sometimes we forget just how powerful these kids are, especially after their training sessions.

We also get to see Altair from the eyes of our heroes for the first time, and well, the place is a depressing dump, with the melody of “a wailing old woman”, according to Shrade. More telling, both Yunoha and Zessica immediately start not feeling so good, which is probably why there are no women on Altair. Even stranger is when the young, androgynous pilot Andy takes hostage shows her braid, revealing she’s Mix…but we saw her chest and her boobs are gone. What the hell happened to her? And let’s not forget the reason they were able to reach Altair at all – Mikage. He’s taken an interest in Zessica, which ironically bodes well for her stalled character. The prospect of her becoming another oneof his puppets is more interesting than if she had been taken by Izumo in the first place. Throw in Amata finding his mom, and this Altair rescue mission has opened up a whole new can of worms…or rather, donut ants.


Rating: 4

Aquarion Evol – 18

With the situation on Altair deteriorating rapidly and Kagura nowhere to be found and proven unreliable, Izumo mans the Ahura Gnis and travels to Vega himself to find a Rare Igura who could be the True Eve. Zessica, who is feeling weak and unsure of what to do next, resigns herself to only being with Amata when in union, but Izumo proved powerful, breaking past the defenses and demanding Chairman Crea hand over an Igura. Zessica volunteers, but while trying to stop her Mix gets in the way and her Vector is captured and taken back to Altair.

We have to say, we don’t really mind this Izumo guy. He’s got a lot on his plate: the imminent collapse of his world and nothing to save it with. He’s done depending on others; needs a True Eve pronto. He’s a pragmatic guy; so rather than pounding his chest and attacking, he begins with peaceful negotiations. One girl in exchange for no war; which is not a bad deal. Only, there’s no telling what he and Altair will be up to in if their power is restored. For all we know, maybe Altair needs to be weak if Vega is to thrive. Izumo refers to Vega as a former battlefield; it would seem from the look of the two worlds that his side lost. It also means he’s a seasoned veteran and a pro; not some greenhorn teenager, and pilots his mecha accordingly. The Aquarion Gang is good, but aren’t any match for Izumo.

He probably could have destroyed the Aquarion and escort Vectors without breaking a sweat, killing half the cast in one blow, but like we said, he’s not evil. And he’s almost as intrigued by Amata as Mikage. But as to that cast: Mix regrets how her actions caused Andy grief, which may or may not have motivated her to step in and prevent Zessica from getting abducted. It could have just as well been comraderie, something Zessica wasn’t interested in this week. It was all about poor old Me Myself and I. Scorned by Amata, she wants to hit something hard, and prove to herself she’s still a warrior. Well, she failed, and Mix may end up paying the price for her selfishness.


Rating: 4

Aquarion Evol – 17

The elements are transported to a top secret location in a green, placid mountain valley, where they’re instructed to relax and await orders and mind a cargo of strange, seeded bananas. When Mix accidentally hits Andy with a volleyball, he takes the opportunity to confess but it comes out wrong. He sinks deep into the ground just as a dimensional gate opens, causing an instant blizzard and an icy Abductor emerges. Andy unearths a great spring of warm milk that connects the male and female elements and covers each others’ weaknesses, allowing them to defeat the Abductor and shed the Aquarion’s “peel”.

Beach, pool, or swimsuit episodes can often be irksome affairs when not done correctly, but fortunately Aquarion Evol avoided the typical pitfalls by getting the swimsuit part over with quickly and efficiently, then piling on the Aquarion Crazy. Apparently in this world, bananas, not apples, were the forbidden fruit the serpent offered Eve. Fudo had some awfully good arguments for why it’s a better choice. As for those milky geysers…was there an aquafer consisting of Ito-En Banana drink down there? That stuff is delicious.

Andy’s bungled confession to MIX (“I want to fill your hole!”) was priceless; he consistently gets some of the best lines of all his peers. Also, Zessica tells Mikono straight up “he’s all yours,” and while she won’t give up loving him, she’s at least moving on, or at least trying to. Hopefully this will mean her character can evolve beyond full-time Amata-piner; after all, she’s a pretty good fighter. Her new outfit is even more ridiculous than her last – she just isn’t capable of covering more than 45% of her boobs.


Rating: 3.5

Aquarion Evol – 16

With the Kagura threat neutralized for the time being, Fudo orders a mock battle between Aquarions: Cayenne, Sazanka and Malloy in Gephard against Amata, Mikono, and Zessica in Evol. The special training increased and augment everyone’s powers, and Gephard initially dominates, but when Zessica confesses to Amata, her unrequited love sends Evol into a brief berzerk mode, moving on its own and launching an Infinity Punch that trancends time and space and gives the Evol pilots a glimpse of the true story of Apollo and Sylvia. Gephard is defeated, and the training island is destroyed.

After all the excitement last week we expected things to slow down and cool off a bit, and with Amata buying cat treats to woo Mikono’s “cat” Shush, that’s how things started. But then we had elements put back into Aquarions for the first time in a while, only this time sparring with one another. Sazanka and Malloy’s powers are revealed, Zessica finally works up the courage to confess to Amata, Amata reacts predictably, and the Evol goes berzerk, blasting a punch so far our heroes can watch their counterparts from the previous Aquarion Series (which we haven’t seen)!

So now they know all that stuff really happened 12,000 years ago, leaving Amata worried: he was all gung-ho about fighting fate, but now he’s not so sure. Zessica’s confession doesn’t do anything for him (i.e. he’s not thinking about backup girlfriends); his focus is on Mikono, and whether he has any chance against Kagura. And so nobody is really happy. Except, strangely enough, Andy and MIX. Next week: we’ll see how Aquarion Evol does its inevitable swimsuit episode. Our prediction: there’ll be boobs.


Rating: 3.5 

Aquarion Evol – 15

Moments after everyone awakens from their rite of passage, Kagura appears to snatch up Mikono. He casts Donar away like a ragdoll and is able to reverse everyone else’s powers, and even the car Malloy drives to try to get Mikono away. He holes up high in an under-construction skyscraper, where Mikono discovers that the horrible things he’s saying may be the opposite of what he means.

He tells her the story of Apollon and Sylvie, who separated to protect the Tree of Life, and believes the two of them are those legend reborn, 12,000 years later. Zessica tells Amata the same thing, but Amata still goes after Kagura and manages to resist his reversal power with Detachment Wing. Cayenne shoots Kagura, who manages to knock the gun away, but when Amata picks it up Mikono shields him, begging Amata not to shoot. Kagura vanishes in a cloud of flower pedals, presumably teleported away by Mikage.

Despite lasting a scant twenty-two minutes, this episode had a cinematic depth and breadth that drew us in and kept us glued to our seats, and on more than one occasion had us laughing and yelling out loud at the sheer…er…kick-assery of it all. It was absolutely replete with action and emotion, and by the end we actually found ourselves liking Kagura a lot more than we had up to this point. The fact that he’s been saying the reverse of what he means to Mikono all along is pretty dang clever, and when the time comes when Mikono thinks she’s a goner, he doesn’t kill her or eat her like he says he will. This is a guy you need to judge by his actions, not words.

Mikage is convinced he’s Apollon. He’s convinced he’s Apollon. And Mikono is his Sylvie. This is a guy with simple desires. Meanwhile, Amata is just as obsessive in his search for Mikono, much to Zessica’s chagrin. Zessica finally comes out and tells him she was glad when she learned he and Mikono weren’t destined (at least according to Cayenne’s visions), because it would mean she’d have a chance with him. But something tells us letting Mikono and Kagura come together is a very bad idea; world-endingly bad, in fact. So Zessy can keep that flame burning if she likes; but we doubt Amata will give up on Mikono so easily, prophecy or no. I mean, who’s to say he isn’t Apollon?


Rating: 4

Car Cameo: No matter how the rest of the episode turned out, as soon as we saw this Victory Red Lancia Delta HF Integrale 16v Evoluzione II involved in an awesome car chase with Beast-mode Kagura, we were ready to award it a 4 right then and there. Especially when he used his reversal power to put it in reverse. Since Ozma Lee also drove a Delta in Macross Frontier, we assume Shoji Kawamori is a fan of it. And why not? It’s one of the most awesome cars ever to exist. Other cars? A dinky yellow Mitsubishi i drives past Amata and Zessica, who saves him from getting run down by a silver Toyota Prius.

P.S. New ED. Nice enough animation, but not as cool as the old one…and who thought it would be a good idea for Yunoha to sing? Sounds like a chipmunk on helium…otherwise though, it’s a pretty song.

Aquarion Evol – 14

Yunoha locks herself away in her room, invisible and in despair, during Jin’s funeral. Fudo sends Mikono to flush her out, and the class travels to Neo-Stanley for Jin’s interment. When he’s buried, Fudo orders Andy to dig holes for all everyone, for “Special Training of The Grave” Everyone except Mikono is buried alive with only a bamboo snorkel. Their thoughts of attachmend, wickedness, love, stubbornnes and hatred all become jumbled until Mikono uses her power of connection to bring everyone back. They emerge from cocoons of energy, reborn…even Kagura.

Well, now…that was a bizarre episode. No battles. No flirting. The skies over Neo-Deava are grey and dreary for the first time. Jin is dead. Kagura…isn’t. And as for everyone else save Mikono, well…Fudo wanted to teach a harsh lesson, and there was apparently no time to lose. As soon as Jin is buried, while the pain is still fresh in everyone’s minds, he has Andy dig graves. By himself. It seems to take the better part of the day. Everyone else just stands around. Like we said; Bizarre.

But that’s not the half of it. The ground in which everyone is buried seems to be reflecting all their thoughts into one another. Down there, six feet under, you’re mano-a-mano with yourself, and the minds wander. All kinds of inner philosophizing ensues. It may seem to be downright cruel and unusual training, but Fudo has a plan. Mikono refuses to be buried, and it’s a good thing, because she’s the one who ends up bringing them back from the edge of life with her element power. And just when you thought the training was over, boom, Kagura appears, good as new. This series is edging toward sadism vis-a-vis its characters!


Rating: 3.5