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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Izumo cancels all sorties until Jin’s safety is confirmed, but Mikage manipulates the minds of three pilots and sends them to Vega. Andy is confounded by all his holes getting filled, and isn’t surprised when it turns out to be Mix’s doing. Her element power is the exact opposite of his, but despite being able to fill holes, she can’t fill the hole in her heart, caused by a father who ran off with another woman. Fudo sends the two out into battle with Mikono. Thanks to her powers of connection and Andy’s selfless acts, Mix agrees to union with them. Before they can complete it, the abductors attack, and Andy takes a hit for Mix. He is switched out for Amata, and re-unions with Mix and Mikono. She uses her power to jam the enemies’ weapons, causing their machines to explode.
Chairman Fudo is quite fond of donuts, and waxes philosophically about holes. Everyone else joins in the absurdity with traditional sayings modified to include holes, with perhaps the silliest being Crea’s “Bros Before Holes” line. But all the talk of holes – and the rings around the holes of said donuts – was consistent with the key conflict of the week: whether Mix and Andy can ever union, let alone get along. They’re diametrically opposed: oil and water, digging holes and filling them. And Mix is an insufferable prude, believing all men to be evil and tainted.
That position was going to hold her back from exploring her full potential, however, so Fudo had to get them working together. It’s helpful that Andy isn’t a dick, but rather an otherwise charming, honorable guy who just happens to have a compulsion to dig holes. It’s in his blood. We’re definitely enjoying how elements’ character traits shine through in their abilities, but even those can’t be fully expressed unless all the members of a union trust one another. Mikono is the glue that helps those unions stick – making her a very hot commodity for both Neo-Deava and the lady-less Abductors.