Aquarion Logos – 01 (Part I)

aql11

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.

aql12

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.

aql13

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?

aql14

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.

7_brav2

Advertisements

Mirai Nikki – 06

On a three-day leave to take care of an orphan of the “Sacred Eye Incident” Yuki’s mother catches up with him. When they get home, Yuki learns that Yuno has broken in, cleaned his room and prepared dinner, knowning from her diary that she’d get to meet his mother, who approves of her. Yuki is weary, but Yuno’s diary tells her he will fall for her one day. When the orphan arrives, he turns out to be a diary holder, and makes an unsuccessful but innocent attempt on Yuno’s life.

As Murmur points out to Deus Ex, the game will only end when there is only one diary holder left. Because Deus Ex is on the verge of “decaying” (strange, since he’s a god), it’s probably best if someone rises to godhood to replace him. But if Yuno and Yuki are the last two standing, we doubt one would kill the other, leaving Murmur and Deus Ex in a bind. The solution would be to kill one of the two lovebirds, as this new orphan kid tries to do. We’ll be honest, we spent much of this episode wondering what the hell is wrong with Yuki and why he’s such a pathetic weenie. He was particularly insufferable this week, going so far as to call the best day ever the worst.

Yes, we know Yuno is touched in the head. But as long as Yuki cooperates with her, she won’t hurt him or anyone else. What the hell’s so horrible about getting with a cute-as-all-hell girl who’s totally devoted to you? Someone with a stronger will would take Yuno by the reins, but Yuki is voiced by Romi Park, so he’s about as far from a man as you can get before you’re a woman. All that said, it was pretty funny – and ludicrous – that a relatively tame domestic episode contained so much horror-film camerawork and close-ups. But Yuki’s panic is misplaced. Yuno is not the one he should be worried about. You’d think he’d learned that last week…


Rating: 3

Mirai Nikki – 05

Yuki waffles over whom to choose – the Sixth or Yuno, so when Yuno takes him by the arm to escape, he grab’s Sixth’s arm as well. But as her flashbacks show, the Sixth has been victim to some awful acts, which have made her bitter. After letting Yuno dispatch the Twelfth, she plans to kill her, Yuki, the Fourth, the Ninth – everyone with a diary – so she can become a god. Yuno sacrifices herself so Yuki can escape, but he returns to save her, throwing a dart into the Sixth’s diary and killing her. As Yuno’s phone reveals to him, she really does seem to love him, and has been protecting him all along.

He’re’s a Mirai Nikki Top Tip: if you’re half blind, try to do a better job of protecting your enormous roll of paper containing your life force. Also, if you’re a whimpering, waffling coward, better the crazy girl you know. And he knows Yuno much more than he knows the Sixth, who as it turns out is prepared to have Yuno gang-raped in order to bait Yuki to his death. Yuno, for her part, manages to hack a lot of people to bits, including slicing the Sixth’s arm off. The Twelfth, meanwhile was just kind of a bad joke; too stupid (or just too nuts) to live.

The Sixth’s sudden but inevitable betrayal makes the choice pretty easy for Yuki, as she really did stick her neck out for him this time. She’s quite the enigma. With three diary holders down, it will concievably come down to the two of them, and then what? We somehow doubt the DEM will allow the game to end without a victor. So after five episodes, it’s pretty clear that most everybody is whacked out of their gourd, with the exception of our Olympic bed-wetting protagonist.


Rating: 3

Mirai Nikki – 04

Yukiteru’s level of anxiety continues to rise as he contemplates Yuno’s potential to kill him at any time. Meanwhile, Kurusu brings the happy couple with him to check out a cult called Sacred Eye, where he believes Uryuu is being held. The Eye, called Tsubaki, is also the Sixth, and in possession of a “clairvoyance diary” that tells the future similar to Yuki’s. She’ll let them have Uryuu if they help her avoid a Dead End, but everything goes pear-shaped when the psycho Twelfth hynotises the cult into hacking each other to bits with axes, then reanimating the corpses. Axe in hand, Yuno gives Yuki an ultimatum: Tsubaki and death, or her and life.

This episode hikes up the horror factor while revealing two more diary holders, so now we know more than half of them. We also still don’t know exactly what Yuno’s goal is, because with the power she has, if she wanted to kill Yukiteru, she certainly could have. Could it be she’s too conflicted between love (or rather fixation) and the desire to become a god? Whatever the case, this week she’s jealous, and Yuki’s life depends on whether he chooses Tsubaki or Yuki.

Since the episode ended with that cliffhanger, it’s not unrealistic to expect some kind of third way defusing the situation next week. After all, we have the Fourth, Ninth, and Twelfth in play; between those three, We’re confident Both Yuki and Tsubaki could yet emerge with their heads firmly attached to their bodies. We really wish Yuki would take Yuno’s reigns and start manipulating her rather than cowering from her presence, but he’s just not that kind of character. He’s a wuss to the core. But Yuki, seriously: Next time, don’t call a nutcase a nutcase to her face.


Rating: 3.5

Mirai Nikki – 03

Keigo, a detective and the fourth diary user, sends Amano and Yuno off on a fun-filled, romantic date to serve as bait for Minene Uryuu, whom they have to finish off. She’s sneaking around the city, staying in the shadows and suffering from the pain of losing her eye. A mystery dude who turns out to be another diary user carries her to a secluded cabin where he drugs her in hopes of gaining intel on the other users she knows. Just when Amano’s fears about Yuno are allayed, she brings him to her house, where he pokes around and finds rotting corpses, making him flee from her in terror.

For some reason, we kept noticing unintentional references to other series this week. Like Deadman Wonderland, you have your girly-sounding guy (Amano, actually voiced by a girl); your seemingly harmless, cute girl (Yuno); amusement park complete with ferris wheel; and the pretty but psycho bitch with a horrible, pain-filled childhood (Minene Uryuu), who gets more depth this week. Like Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, there was your sexy pool scene. Like Blood-C, you have things starting out all happy and bubbly, but with hints of unease, and then it gets real dark real fast, and our whelpish hero is in a very bad way. We have to say, while we were somewhat convinced Yuno was helping Amano out of love, we had no idea it would be “I want to use your entrails as hair ties and eat your face” love. Poor Amano…

With Minene – the would-be top threat – neutralized this week by the man with the bag on his head, Yuno is our wolf in sheep’s clothing this week. What’s so scary about her is that she’s really capable of anything; but hasn’t yet to come out and said what she wants or what she’ll do, which is good for a horror story, because what’s more fearsome than the unknown? Creepier still is the fact Amano will have a very hard time avoiding her, since her diary is basically set up to stalk him. So kudos to the show for starting out with a bafflingly placid date complete with acute bikini top loss, and taking it in the complete opposite direction. Now Amano needs to grow some bullocks.


Rating: 3.5

Mirai Nikki – 02

Amano’s school is bombed by the terrorist Minene Uryuu, AKA the Ninth. She then holds the school hostage and promises to finish the job until they hand him and Yuno over. They do, but the Fourth, a policeman, arrives and evens the odds. They’re able to defeat the Ninth with teamwork, but she escapes before they can kill her. Amano, Yuno, and the Fourth agree to form a “Diary Alliance”.

A school being bombed: we remember that about the brief OVA preview for this show. Turns out the perpetrator is a psychopathic pink maid with purple hair who was able to fill a school with bombs and mines. She wants godhood, and she’s good and ready to kill whoever gets in her way. This episode did a good job establishing just how much danger Amano is in, but also how his future/destiny is always changing as his actions deviate from what the diaries say.

And it isn’t only his phone. Everyone has a special diary that gives them an edge. Amano’s sweats the details; Yuno’s is all about him, whom she calls “Yukkii”, while the detective and bomb maid have diaries of investigation and escape, respectively. It’s a neat plot device that I hope the series continues to use in clever ways. It is indeed an interesting narrative that comes right out and gives you an outcome, and then puts the onus of preventing that outcome on the characters. It’s also nice that they didn’t forget about Amano’s prowess with darts, which will surely keep coming in handy moving forward.


Rating: 3.5