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.
By taking the place of an incoming transfer student, Jin infiltrates Neo-Deava Academy with orders to observe the Reaiglers (women) and gather information on those that seem most powerful. Under the alias of Akbarjin, he quickly gains a reputation for being creepy and awkward, as he is disturbed by the females’ behavior and doesn’t know how to interact. However, he finds an unlikely sympathizer in Yunoha, who sees a lot of her former antisocial self in him. Meanwhile, Shrade detects an abductor in the sounds of the school, and Cayenne follows Jin and catches him trying to climb into Yunoha’s dorm. Jin saves Yunoha from an errant stun gun blast with a protective barrier – an element power Jin didn’t know he had.
We’d question the logic of sending an undercover agent who has no idea how to interact with women into a situation full of them, but considering his homeworld has no women, it seems they had little choice but to send the last child born of a Reaigler in Jin. He observes high school girls burying men alive (Mix), ripping a man’s hand off (Suomi), stampeding over melon bread, and talking in apparent code; and only Yunoha keeps him from getting gang-beaten when he accidentally stumbles into the girls’ locker room. We really enjoyed his fish-out-of-water experience; the school is indeed overwhelming from his point of view. We can certainly see how Amata and Andy giving him a nickname that’s actually his real name would be unnerving.
Enter Yunoha: and leave it to this series to redeem a character we took an immediate dislike to mere episodes after she was introduced. She takes pity on him, as she herself knows what it’s like to feel totally unable to reach out to people. Hesitating and being ignored caused her invisibility power to awaken, and in the episode’s climax, Jin’s power suddenly awakens right when he needed it to. What’s clever about this episode is, some people suspect Jin’s up to no good (Shrade and Cayenne), and others don’t (Yunoha, Andy, and Amata), but with the birth of his powers and his first friendship with a girl, the truth about him may be somewhere in the middle. It was up in the air whether he’d go through with abducting Yunoha or merely wanted to talk to her. Now, will he retrieve the True Eve for them like a good little pawn, or will he choose a different path? It’s still up in the air.
P.S. This is the second anime episode in a row we’ve watched that focused on the “bad guy(s)” mingling with the “good guys” relatively peacefully. Also, the ending theme was remixed with new vocals and a more pronounced piano track. We loved it, and continue to love the ending’s visuals, which portray everyone as souped-up Final Fantasy characters.
While trying to dig his way to the girls’ locker room, Andy happens upon what he believes is the Book of Twin Stars, the key to Aquarion. Mix, an expert in linguistics, determines it to be an ancient student handbook. She wants to start implementing its strict dress code, starting with Zessica covering up more. Jin returns to Vega in search of the “perfect reaigler” who could be “True Eve” to Altair, which no longer has any women.
Amata, Mikono, and Zessica are sent out, but Jin proves a tough customer, using infiltration ammo to bypass Aquarion’s armor and deliver shockwaves straight to the pilots. This has a side effect of tearing their uniforms, and Zessica realizes the more skin she’s showing, the better she can dodge the weapons. Amata and Mikono follow (de)suit, stripping off most of their clothes, giving them the best offense – a total lack of defense, or modesty. They dodge all of Jin’s attacks and defeat him with a decisive blow.
The moral of this episode was “Naked Is Good.” Tyler Durden said “It’s only when we lose everything that we’re free to do anything,” which we’re gonna go ahead and apply here. After so many episodes of Zessica strutting around in Sexy Espada cosplay, the series – through the ultra-prude Mix – finally calls her out on it. But this week her near-nakedness was her secret weapon. She had to show more skin than ever. And Amata and Mikono also had to tear away their inhibitions – and clothes – in order to prevail.
Is this really ridiculous? Sure, but the show at least knows that; Jin couldn’t believe he was beaten by something so stupid. That awareness, and the nice tie-in with Zessica’s exhibitionism vs. Mikono’s bashfulness outside the cockpits, helped us let our own guard down and just enjoy the silliness. But against even her own judgement, Zessica continues falling for Amata. But they’ve seen each other mostly naked, so they’ve cleared that hurdle…
Amata wakes up in a dorm, where he learns Cayenne is Mikono’s big brother. He’s given tour of the Neo-Deava Holy Angel Academy, where elements are trained, and he’s subjected to a series of tests to determine his worthiness to enter himself. That night, while pining for Mikono, he falls down a deep pit, which is being dug by fellow element Andy W. Hol beneath the “Berlin”, a wall that segregates the male and female wings of the academy. They dig to the other side, coming up right beside Mikono, causing a…misunderstanding. In a mock battle the next day, Amata not only unions with Andy and Cayenne to re-form Evol, but prostrates as an apology to Mikono, who is watching along with the rest of the academy.
In some other dimension, on a world called Altea, the Abductors plot and scheme and prepare to attack Neo-Deava again. But their battle is for another episode; this was about Amata getting acquainted with his new surroundings. He, like Cayenne, Zessica, and Mikono, also have a reputation around the academy for being in boy-girl unions which is talked about like it’s sex. The nigh-impenetrable “Berlin” wall is a nice touch; what we have here is essentially back-to-back boys- and girls-only schools, with the genders in constant states of both rivalry and flirtation. Those who unioned with the opposite sex aren’t just gawked at; they’re envied. Kinda makes you wonder what calamity occurred that led to gender segregation in the first place, eh?
Whatever the case, it would seem Amata has a clear path to Mikono’s heart, and while he shoots himself in the (winged) foot by lifting her high into the air by the crotch with his head in the middle of the night, it would seem she acknowledged his apology, made at the cost of winning his first mock battle. The foreboding bookends of the episode foretell rough times ahead, so the kids need to have their fun while they can. We can also gladly report there was no discernible downturn in production values; everything was tip-top. Yoko Kanno’s distinctive score has some corny numbers, but we’ve always loved her eclectic sound that’s somehow both nostalgic and forward, perfect for this series.