Aquarion Logos – 01 (Part I)

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Gosh, has it only been three years since Aquarion Evol? I’m getting too old for this shit. Now it’s apparently the tenth anniversary of the Aquarion franchise, the first installment of which I never watched. Evol felt kinda like Macross Frontier’s younger, less accomplished, more sex-obsessed red-headed cousin, complete with mecha battles set to pop ballads.

I assumed Logos wouldn’t have anything to do with Evol or the first Aquarion, but this first half of the first episode would seem to be a kind of commemorative prologue/forward/episode 0 before getting into Logos in earnest. It also seems like an attempt to squeeze a feature-length movie into 26 minutes. It is packed, and it rarely makes sense.

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But Aquarion has never been about making a whole lot of sense, it’s about shoving as much stuff onto the screen as possible as youths do battle in elaborate CGI mecha with super-elaborate attacks with goofy names fueled by love and/or lust. Casts from both previous shows appear as though from different dimensions, along with a couple new characters residing in a third in 1966 Japan, Yuno and Shin, who look just like Yunoha and her dearly departed friend Jin from Evol.

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The reason for the dimensional merging/out-of-whackness revolves around an old book in a language only Yuno could read, until Shin came along and read it. They accidentally tear the book in two, and we’re off to the chaotic races, with the two of them being whisked from one bizarre, trippy inter-dimensional setting to another, all while some old fart lectures about tadpole awareness as they grow into frogs in his hand. Are you getting all this?

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Anywho Yunoha’s stuffed frog travels to a dimenison and forms a froglike Aquarion with Yuno and Shin, who combined with the other Aqarion crews, manage to zip up the dimensions and get everyone home (or kaeru, which also apparently means frog.) Yunoha wakes up to see her hand being held by an apparition of Jin. I kinda wanted everything that had happened before to be her dream, but nope, all that stuff happened.

But now what? This first half reached dizzying heights of nonsense masquerading as profoundness, but l was frankly pretty disoriented throughout, having been just thrown back into a franchise I hadn’t watched in over three years, and which I thought would be moving on from what I had watched. The preview for the second half suggests it will do just that…so maybe this was just one last curtain call for the last two shows? I guess I’ll find out.

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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

Aquarion Evol – 13

The berzerk Kagura, in his fortified Mithra Ghis, wreaks havoc on the movie screening, looking for Mikono, his “Sylvie”. Amata, Mikono, and Zessica form Aquarion Evol, but Kagura is being fed by an energy thread through a dimension gate to Altair, and is able to reverse any element power, quickly overhwelming the trio. Mikono and Amata are saved by Andy and MIX. Meanwhile, Jin learns that Yunoha knows of his treachery, so he prepares to return to Altair with her as his hostage, but she convinces him to stay and aid their new friends. Cayenne and Shrade, who came to pursue Jin, instead union with him, forming Espada. They close the gate and defeat the weakened Kagura, but in the process Mikage kills Jin and turns his attention on Amata.

With this episode, we’re now halfway through the sci-fi romance epic that is Aquarion Evol, and we’re pleased to say it’s a hell of a midpoint. Like any good season finale, it showed us things we hadn’t seen before, pulled out all the emotional stops, gave just about everybody something to do, revealed new potential routes for the story to take, raised fresh stakes…and killed off at least one character. The character in question is someone we had really grown to like in Jin. His struggles with divided loyalties and similarly schitzophrenic relationship with Yunoha made him one of the more interesting, well-rounded characters, so it’s a shame he’s gone.

But his death wasn’t just random; Mikage was pretty adamant about cutting his head open with rose pedals, despite his being the final son born on Altair. Wasn’t he…important? Or was his decision to side with Yunoha an act of treason that lifted him of his responsibilities – and life. We’re thinking this because Mikage (who has wings coming out of his head) really wants to know where the guy with the golden wings is – who we know to be Amata – and perhaps Amata is his next “project.” It would be par for the course, as Mikage has already manipulated Kagura and Jin. At the end of the day, everyone seems to be the pawn of some superior being.


Rating: 4

Sket Dance – 50

In the first half, Himeko’s horsing around leads to Bossun’s fingers getting broken. As retribution, he makes her sign a “servant contract”, effectively making her his personal maid, complete with costume and Maiko vernacular. But it turns out to be more of a hassle for Bossun, as he just doesn’t get the satisfaction from it he expected. When he saves her from a batted ball, she learns his hand is actually find, and is none too pleased. In the second half, Jin returns to observe the Sket-dan’s downtime, still hopeful to woo Himeko. However, spending time with her and Bossun reveals to him that the two have a special and powerful bond that is not wise or even possible to get between.

Both parts of this episode deal with the unique and complex relationship between Himeko and Bossun. Suffice it to say the two seem to like things the way they are, even if the way things are baffles most outsiders, such as Jin. Switch, not surprisingly, has a fairly good bead on what the two are all about. He notes that in Bossun’s case, you have a guy who is mature at times but is childish and naive by default, and therefore may not quite understand his feelings for Himeko, and just goes with the flow. While he’s less sure of Himeko, he suspects she harbors feelings of gratitude and respect for Bossun, who delivered her from a life of petty delinquency and set her on the path of using her talents to help others. He did the same thing with Switch.

You have to hand it to Sket Dance, they still have a lot of gas in the tank even after fifty episodes, are able to delve even deeper into this core trio of characters. This was an interesting episode in that the mission was secondary to the actual interaction of Himeko and Bossun. Even though we’ve seen these two act like a married couple, first lovers, and a mother and son before, it all seems new and fresh when observed through Jin’s eyes. Now that all three characters have received considerable backstory, the only major story we can think of that’s still missing is the actual founding of the Sket-dan itself.


Rating: 3.5

Aquarion Evol – 12

Disappointed that Amata hasn’t confessed to Mikono yet, Andy organizes a perfect opportunity in an outdoor screening of Wings of Aquaria, projected against the Berlin and preceeded by an overture by Shrade. Jin is almost caught contacting Izumo by Yunoha, and he accidentally tears her stuffed animal. He repairs it and they agree to go to the screening together, but she discovers his communicator. Amata and Mikono also go together, and hold hands and fly up into the sky during the film, which is also interrupted by the berserk Kagura.

This was primarily a calm-before-the-storm episode that tightened a triangle by bringing Amata and Mikono closer to true love than ever before, and making Zessica jealous enough to destroy school property (likely foreshadowing). When Kagura shows up, he seems to be in the mindset of tying Mikono up like a ham and roasting her on a spit with a side of fava beans for supper, which we don’t have to tell you is not chivalrous conduct.

One can’t blame Jin for getting antsy when he thinks his cover is blown, because not much later Mikage (we think) plays a prank on him by allowing his communicator to fall in Yunoha’s hands. Credit to Yunoha for not giving away that she knows what’s up, but it seems to us if someone hears “Kagura is on the way. The gate to Vega will open soon,” it’s probably a good idea to, I don’t know, warn somebody of an impending attack rather than go on your movie date. Ah, youth…


Rating: 4

Aquarion Evol – 11

Mikage antagonizes Kagura until he escapes from his thorn cage in beast form and steals his mecha. Izumo tries to stop him, but Mikage exponentially enhances his combat abilities, and opens the gate to Vega for him. He’s coming for his “wench”, Mikono, thought to be the Sylvie to his Apollon – the ones who will awaken the machine god Genesis that slumbers beneath Vega. Back at Neo-Deava, Zessica struggles with feelings for Amata, while Amata tries to make his feelings known to Mikono, and learn what Kagura is to her.

After last week, when an antagonist was given the most screen time, this week is primarily dedicated to Kagura as he escapes from Altair. Our usual cast occupy the B-story; the antihero gets the A. But for all the time he and his voice-throwing benefactor get, they’re still not the most compelling characters, and this episode wasn’t nearly as good at fleshing them out as it was Jin. We find Kagura a shonen-like pain in the ass, frankly, what with all his roaring and screaming and “my wench” this and “my wench” that. That’s not how you court a lady, son.

As for Mikage, well, we’re not huge fans quite yet. Now that he’s awake, what, Izumo and the powers that be simply tolerate him? Or perhaps they weren’t aware how powerful he could be, how how strong he could make Kagura. Either way, his constant flowery patter gets a little repetitive. One things for certain: there’s more than one faction of the Abductors. Izumo wants True Eve to repopulate Altair, but Mikage has a more romantic – and for Vega and possibly Altair as well, more dangerous and chaotic – goal. And if Kagura unions with Mikono, well, that’s good news for Zessica, as Amata will suddenly be a free agent!


Rating: 3

Aquarion Evol – 10

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.


Rating: 4

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.

Aquarion Evol – 08

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…


Rating: 3.5

Aquarion Evol – 07

When Andy suggests the class change its seating chart, Amata ends up seated between Mikono and Zessica but closer to the latter. Andy is seated between Mix and a strange doll he claims belonged to a former student. After class Amata and Zessica end up locked out of the dorms, but they run into the doll, which is moving on its own, and freak out; Mikono sees them together and is displeased. It’s abductor Jin’s turn to attack Neo-Kowloon, and after her wavering heart negatively affects the union, Zessica is switched out for the doll, which it turns out has been held all along by an element named Yunoha, who is alive, but invisible. Her power shields Aquarion in invisibility, and Jin is defeated, though he was only controlling his mecha remotely.

We don’t really mind love triangles, with so much else in common with Macross Frontier, it was inevitable we’d run into a couple with this series; it’s just part of the territory. At least this week, a misunderstanding occurred and was cleared up. But Zessica is clearly starting to like Amata, so the tension between those two and Mikono will likely continue apace. Meanwhile, Mikono can’t stop thinking about Kagura. Whether that’s love or a crush or a brainwashing, we’ll have to see. Neither of these triangles really bothered us. But there was stuff this week that did, and it was enough to break this series’ perfect “4” streak at six episodes.

For one thing, while we like her invisibility power, the Yunoha character is a little moe. We already have a childlike character in the chairman: with Yunoha the series doubles down, and Yunoha’s voice is wayyyy more irritating, quite like Sae’s from Amagami SS. We also thought it was kind of silly to evacuate a city block, but let Aquarion use the buildings as cover. Aren’t those people’s homes and businesses? And all those roads will have to be re-paved…repaving ain’t cheap son. Unlike Rinne no Lagrange, this series has little or no regard for collateral damage, which is just a bit silly, considering Amata has the power of flight and could have drawn Jin’s fire away from the city. Ah well, perhaps they want to redevelop that particular district…


Rating: 3.5

Car Cameo: Cayenne and Shrade are rollin’ in a Ferrari California. Must be Shrade’s, ’cause I doubt Cayenne has that kind of coin. I mean, look at his clothes!