Aquarion EVOL – 01, 02
「終末を抱いた神話的禁じられた合体スペシャル」 (Owari wo Dakiita Shinwateki Kinjirareta Gattai Supesharu)
“The Mythical Forbidden Union that Embraces the End Special”
The sequel to Kawamori Shouji’s Sousei no Aquarion arrives seven years later and kicks off with a one-hour special of the first two episodes. Things took off at a feverish pace with the reawakening of the legendary robot Aquarion, complete with the orgasmic-like “gattai” combinations that the original was known for, and quickly shattered the premise where male and female unions are forbidden. There was a lot to take in and I really enjoyed the action-packed start, but I admittedly found the progression a bit of a “garbled mess” at the same time. Rather than the first two episodes of a TV series, the pacing was very reminiscent of the Sousei no Aquarion OVAs (which I did get around to watching recently, only to find out that it’s a noticeably different retelling of the series).
After a quick glimpse of how Amata (Kaji Yuuki) and Mikono (Kayano Ai) first met, the two of them are caught up in an Abductor attack not too long after. Amata is forced to “release” his Element powers to protect Mikono — in spite his childhood complex about them — and subsequently awakens as the reincarnation of the Solar Wing Apollonius, seizes control of the “Aquaria” Vectors, and forces a “Sousei Gattai” with both sexes to form Aquarion Evol. Not only that, there’s actually an intermediary conclusion with Amata, Zessica (Hanazawa Kana), and Cayenne (Suzumura Kenichi) driving back Kagura (Uchiyama Kouki) and his hound-like robot, effectively providing the same roller coaster of emotions as its predecessor’s one-hour OVAs. Heck, there were even scrolling credits to seal the deal.
For a condensed OVA, I kind of expect some of the subtleties in the story and characters to be lost in the pacing; however, it’s an unusual approach to take for a TV series that has the time to properly build up the story, hence my confusion over the producers’ decision to start Aquarion EVOL the way they did. Amidst everything that happened, they even found time to inject some backstory and foreshadowing to give us something to look forward to, so I really didn’t see the need to go all-out in these first two episodes. If anything, this feverish pace might work negatively against them because 1.) it’s probably incredibly jarring to those who haven’t seen Sousei no Aquarion and 2.) the high tension will make subsequent episodes feel like a huge step back.
Of course, it’s far too early to tell exactly what this sequel has in store in the upcoming episodes, so if there’s one real positive to take away from this jam-packed start, it’s that I’m really curious to see how Aquarion EVOL turns out. From what I’ve seen of the original series and heard about it, there’s almost an unwritten understanding that almost anything goes on the robot side of things — true to its intended homage to super robot anime — so providing a heavy dose of that could have very well been the goal of this one-hour premiere. In terms of high-speed high-adrenaline mecha action that defies all logic — such as Kagura ripping an arm off one of his ally robots and attaching it to his own to replace a leg — we definitely got that and more. Once the opening theme “Kimi no Shinwa ~Aquarion Dai Ni-shou” started playing as an insert song, my suspense of disbelief kicked into high gear and I just enjoyed the over-the-top super robot ass-kinking that Amata delivered.
At the moment, the only thing I’m wary about is how well the story will hold up. While the “anything goes” mentality is perfectly fine when it comes to super robot action — especially when it’s backed by a soundtrack by Macross legend Kanno Youko — the same can’t be said about the main plot. Thus far, I like what I see from the characters and the support cast, so the potential is definitely there for EVOL to be another great chapter of the Aquarion legend that takes place 12,000 years later. On the seiyuu side of things, I’m a bit too reminded of Guilty Crown with Kaji Yuuki, Kayano Ai, and Hanazawa Kana in the lead roles, particularly when Uchiyama Kouki is opposing them as Kagura, but at least Amata’s already proven to be better than Shuu for having the “courage” to ask Mikono for her name. I just hope he can bring about the same story of love that transcends time, since he’s a lot more wishy-washy than Apollo in Sousei no Aquarion.
* The obvious possibility is that Mikono is the reincarnation of Celiane and Zessica of Scorpius, so it’ll be interesting to see how their actions mirror them.
* I like the setting for this sequel as the city’s waterways and gondola seem to be modeled after Venice, Italy.
* Hanazawa Kana in a bit of a promiscuous role always works for me. As does the interesting “sounds” that she and Kayano Ai when they’re manhandled into unions.
* Full-length images: 11, 33, 48, 55.
ED: 「月光シンフォニア」 (Gekkou Symphonia) by AKINO & AIKI from bless4
Watch the ED!: Streaming ▼