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…
As Shrade, Amata and Zessica traverse dimensions, Fudo briefs the rest of Neo-Deava on the Book of Twin Stars, starting with Celiane and Apollonius, then Silvie and Apollo, Apollon’s winged dog reincarnated; and finally Mikono and Amata/Kagura. Like Vega and Altair, the two were once whole, but split apart by the latest incarnation of Toma, Apollonius’s betrothed, who is now Mikage. Shrade sacrifices himself to get Amata and Zessica into Altair, but they’re separated and Mikage takes possession of Zessica’s body. She meets up with Kagura and Mikono, and urges Kagura to summon Solar Aquarion to oppose Izumo.
Whoa, major exposition dump this week; and not quite done the way we would do it. See, we’ve never been fans of the abstract and somewhat silly ways past information is presented on this series, and unfortunately there’s a lot of that this week. The elements standing on a big book with trippy patterns in the background; images lifting off the pages like a pop-up book; and floating video screens helpfully illustrating Fudo and Crea’s tale (who, pray, was filming these events 12-24 millienia ago??). Like we said, it all looks a bit silly. Frankly, we would have preferred if the story were told as a flashback episode in and of itself. This felt like a recap, even though it revealed lots of information we either didn’t know or weren’t sure about. And recaps are boring. But at least it’s out of the way now.
All that exposition, while necessary, kind of ground proceedings to a halt. As Cayenne said, they didn’t have time to sit around listening to a story, but Fudo didn’t listen. We just wish there was a more serious, less goofy way of supplying this information. For that matter, Shrade’s death was kind of…meh. Between turning the blood stains on his shirt into musical scales and his overwrought “final melody”, it was all a little silly and hard to take seriously, unlike Jin’s death. Meanwhile, as expected, Mikage has made his move on Zessica, which means he now has physical form. From unrequited love victim to unrequited angel vessel…you can’t say she’s not moving up in the world(s)!
As Schrade, Cayenne, and Sazanka battle Mikage’s mecha, Kagura tells Amata how they were once one person, but Mikage split Amata in two and raised the dark Amata as Kagura. When Mikono emerges from a fissure in the earth, along with the Legendary Aquarion, they fight over her. Mikage wakes up Zessica, urging her to fulfill her promise. Mikages mecha snatches the Legendary Aquarion while Kagura snatches Mikono and the two enter a dimension gate. Amata, a fading Shrade, and Zessica team up to follow them to Altair. With the Aquarion’s seal broken, the past balance between Vega and Altair begins to shift.
Things are definitely starting to get pretty climactic, as the Legendary Aquarion is finally unearthed, Kagura maintains he’s the Apollon to Mikono’s Silvie, Shrade is closer to death than ever, Vega’s ideal weather is turning, and Mikage’s newest trump card – Zessica – is right where she needs to be to cause the most trouble. If we didn’t know better, we’d say this resembled a penultimate episode, even though three episodes remain to build up what we’re hoping is going to be an epic finale with no cop-outs or deus ex machinas. Kids can dream.
This episode had its share of rock-em-sock-em robots (and dopplegangers) and there was certainly some new exposition (and new music), but there was also a lot of reiterating of key points. Clearly, Mikage making off with the Legendary Aquarion is bad, and so is Kagura making off with his smelly wench. But we know that wench connects people, so maybe she’s the key to bringing the two pieces of Amata back together. Or perhaps her role is to somehow unite Vega and Altair in peace. In any case, here’s hoping Zessica and Mikono don’t turn into dudes due to being on Altair.
Forced to return without Mix, everyone awaits Mikono and Fudo’s return. Fudo tells Mikono the legend of Genesis, in which the angel Apollonius shed his wings and joined the humans after falling in love with Celiane. The time has come for the legend to repeat. A disturbing dream leads Amata to sortie without authorization. Both he and Kagura are drawn to the city where Amata first met Mikono, now a deserted ruin, decaying and overrun with vines. Zessica and Cayenne are sent to retrieve Amata, but a powerful mecha attacks them. Zessica is trapped under stones, and kisses Amata so he’ll fly away to safety. Shrade and Sazanka union with Cayenne to battle the mecha, but Kagura and Amata meet and learn they are – and always have been – the same person.
We should have known; the reason Amata is so kind and shy and the reason why Kagura is so forward and aggressive: they’re two sides of the same coin. Amata is Kagura and vice versa. It seems they’re meant to coalesce into a single entity, “Amagura.” This also rather neatly explains why Mikono feels such a close attachment to both of them: she’s the Big Connector, and she’s to be the Celiane to their Apollonius in what is the latest version of the Legend of Genesis, which created the world. Amagura and Mikono will create a new world, which probably means bye-bye old world.
Speaking of farewells, it’s not clear at all whether Mixy will ever be able to become Mix again, Shrade is probably not going to last much longer considering he can’t help but union yet again, and Zessica says goodbye to Amata in a pretty contrived and random sequence of unfortunate events. Her element power allows her to break up rocks, but for some reason she can’t break the ones on top of her. We liked how she made Amata leave her behind by kissing him, thus involuntarily activating his flying powers. But we don’t believe she’s dead. Not yet, anyway. Mikage had plans for her, after all.
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.
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…