By request, I went back and gave Soukyuu no Fafner: Dead Aggressor Exodus a once over. Like any second season for a show, whose first season I did not have a chance to watch, SnF:DA-E had a serious challenge before it: digesting an obviously complex sci-fi/alien invasion plot populated by dozens of characters coherently AND simultaneously presenting the new content and basis for the second season.
[Soukyuu no Fafner’s original season aired in
Fall 2013 Summer 2004.]
For all intensive purposes, SnF succeeds — I vaguely understand who/what/where everything was and is now and SnF’s strong visual effort makes a compelling argument for why I should give it a chance.
Unfortunately, while the clips effectively paint each character’s archetype in an approachable way, much of the flashback dialogue came off as unintentionally funny. “I’m doing it for my Bro!”, “Oh No, I killed an Ally!” “General, you are bleed! We must find survivors!”…it all rings a little hollow.
To sum up: Aliens attack and kick humanity’s duff. However, humanity eventually fights back with brain-powered mecha that are piloted by teenagers. A major battle happens on Hawaii, one of humanity’s last food-supply bases in the Pacific, and…well…basically it all falls apart.
Whatever happens to the pilots, which the clips imply was mostly not winning, the UN ultimately nukes the island three times and still doesn’t manage to kill the aliens. However, a little girl with a crystal in her shoe is spared and that brings us to the new stuff…
Following the war, a artificial island is made, which may also be a submarine and is hidden by a cloaking device out in the ocean. All of the old teenagers are there and most of them have moved on to other things. One is a teacher, another an engineer, some guys are drawing Manga on tablets, others are cooking curry.
There are also new teenagers there but they get so little face time that I can only tell you that there is a love triangle between two boys and a girl and nothing else.
Then the general from nuked Hawaii shows up on a plain with a psychic girl I think and she senses a little crazy girl who likes crayons and maybe the crystal shoe girl who lives in an Evangelion-style clone tube. I don’t know. I don’t really know who any of them are.
Then aliens show up. Probably. And the narrator gives a foreboding forecast of doom.
In its favor, FnF has sharp, brightly-colored design and wonderful backgrounds. In fact, the backgrounds that are animated in 3D may be the best I’ve seen to date. The mechs are sophisticated if not a little chunkier than Aldnoah’s and there’s a lot of tech-variety, which is admirable.
That said, everything feels sterile and FnF’s human nose design is just bizarre.
Also not in its favor, FnF has too many characters to keep track of. Sure, I’d known them all better if I had watched the first season but it’s a big cast regardless. Perhaps worse, most everyone seems like an anime stereotype.
From the Brooding Hero who’s turned away from his calling as a soldier to the Peppy Tomboy who has no idea the Class President likes her, no one felt unique or exciting.
Whatever my verdict, it won’t be entirely fair to FnF or it’s fins and even if it had excited me enough to take a deeper dive, now is not the time to go back and retro-review the previous season.
So, for now, I’ll leave it at decent looking but not enough to make the cut this season and, at least for me, probably lost to the sands of time. Sad, a little, cause I’m giving it a low 8.