Posted on 7 May 2012 with categories: Aquarion Evol

Okay. This episode caught my attention.

Last week I noted that I had gotten bored with this series. After watching this episode and thinking a bit more about it, I’m able to explain a bit more accurately why that happened. It’s got a lot to do with the structure of this series, and mostly my expectation for the interesting stuff and development to arrive with the arrival of the second half. Instead, the development of this series came to a grinding halt with the random filler episodes. The problem was that no character really improved or was developed further. Everything came at a standstill, apart from Zessica of all people. And she was in no way an interesting character to watch, with her only character-trait being love triangle bait, resulting into that incredibly stupid wardrobe change of her.

Looking back, these episodes were wasted. These filler episodes with the bizarre bananas and burying: they should have been done earlier in the series. These episodes should have been used to build up the plot some more. What originally attracted me to this series was the bizarre romantic subtext, along with the promise of featuring boys versus girls. Instead of that we gradually saw this show turn into a standard love story. There are plenty of those series already, and done better. Looking back, this series really could have used these ideas more in its first two thirds.

With this however, things actually changed and became more interesting. Shrade finally did something again, we got a closer look at what that other world is, Amata’s story with his mother FINALLY got somewhere at the end of the episode. What’s more: Mikono actually did something on her own (was I the only one reminded of Star Driver at the scene where she left? It would be pretty interesting if she were to follow that example), there was this bizarre plot twist pulled in which… Mix was gender-swapped (O.o). Finally things got shaken up! Finally it uses its characters.

And then there is Zessica. When it first became clear what the creators were going for, I facepalmed at the thought of having all this build-up… leading to her brainwashed and a villain. Now that I think more about it though, this holds potential. At the very least she’s doing something. She still desperately needs another character-trait beyond liking Amata, but finally she’s more than love triangle bait for Amata and Mikono.
Rating: *+ (Great)

17 Responses

  1. PEW PEW says:

    This is just from speculation. If you recall Yunoha and Zessica talking about their throats feeling weird, then could they be turning into males? Their voices could possibly be getting deeper? In Mix’s case, that has happened. She no longer has breasts and her voice seems a bit deeper. My conclusion is that Altair’s environment does not or no longer is able to support women for some reason which led to women becoming extinct on Altair. In Alicia’s case, I guess the capsule that she is being kept in is keeping her from turning into male because she has no contact with Altair’s environment.

    • Scruffy says:

      I think you are right there. It seems that any length of time being exposed to the environment in Altair causes the gender conversion. I It puts a new light on the kidnappings. Previously it suggested that females did not survive the dimension gate. I though that this meant they went into crystal state like Amata’s mum but it appears what this actually means is the gender change!

      I think it will be REALLY interesting for the show if this gender change is not reversable. Be interesting to see how Andy handles that!

      • Qwerty1 says:

        Oh if this isn’t reversible they’ve managed to find a way of messing with people in an even more cruel way than killing off Jin.

        Turn a girl that hates men into a man and destroy the one positive relationship with a man that she hasn’t even been able to start yet.

  2. Anca says:

    I was actually reminded about Sakura in Tsubasa Tokyo Revelations, when she, for the first time in the series, did something. But now that you mention it the boat scene really was familiar, lol.

    About the plot grinding to a halt: that was probably because this same thing happened in the second half of the original Aquarion, the series Okada and Kawamori are trying to emulate yet improve (since it’s a sequel and they can’t deviate too much from the format, or else it loses its sequel-ness). There it was even worse: after the midway climax, which was awesome, we got around – 5? 6? even more? really bad filler episodes that didn’t address the revelations in episode 13 in any way. One of those was an atrocious dieting+fanservice episode that still makes me cringe. The beach banana milk episode was fanservicey too, but at least it was goofy and funny, and did something with its characters.

    All things considered, they handled it pretty well.

    • kuromitsu says:

      Really bad filler episodes? Atrocious dieting episode? But those were the best episodes in Genesis!

      As far as I’m concerned the plot of Genesis was half-baked and not particularly interesting, the romance was wooden and underdeveloped, and Touma provided the only interesting point. Everything else, though, was pure genius.

      • Anca says:

        Hmmm, I’d say there wasn’t even romance in any proper sense… Silvia and Apollo were more friends than anything else, because due to his upbringing Apollon really wasn’t ready for a romantic relationship, mentally or emotionally… what romance there was for him, I’d argue it was Apollonius’ influence.

        There was Sirius/Reika (? the fukou da girl, forgetting her name) I guess?

        • kuromitsu says:

          Both Apollo and Silvia were way too immature for that. But since their previous lives had been passionately in love Destiny said they had to fall in love, too, never mind them being very different people. Which is bad enough, but Apollonius and Celiane had less personality than a pair of socks. They were basically walking plot devices, we barely even knew anything about them, and yet we were expected to be invested in their romance. Right.

          Frankly, I’ve always thoguht the “plot” was a big mess thrown together just to have an excuse for making the rest of the show. And the rest was great.

          Yeah, there was Sirius x Reika but that never really went anywhere, and Pierre x the female Paku Romi character but that didn’t really take off either. And well, the romances involving Touma but Otoha was never taken seriously and Touma -> Apollonius was… well, yeah.

          • kuromitsu says:

            Oops, forgot about Tsugumi->Reika. That didn’t go anywhere either, but at least it provided some absolutely hilarious moments.

  3. Cadentia says:

    I’ll admit I’d been losing interest in the series again for the last two episodes. But this one kinda made me invested in EVOL again. FINALLY things are starting to move again and characters are showing some development. I think Okada wrote this one.

    The bit with genderbent Mix was surprising. But I like this twist more than her being held captive or comatose. Now I wonder if we’ll have male Zessica and Yunoha. They commented on their throats hurting and then Zessica caressed her womb, uh.

  4. Blizt says:

    After witnessing the gender swap event, I suddenly have this crazy thought:

    Is it possible that Kagura was a female? Or maybe more like his previous incarnations were female who turned male??

    Kagura being the reincarnation of Silvia, who loved Apollo TOO much for the past 12,000 years that Silvia under the delusion believed that she is actually Apollo……

    I admit this thought of mine got hole and sounds pretty ridiculous, but with this show, I felt that anything is possible lol…

  5. Guest says:

    One of 4chan’s theories about where this is going:

    Could they be going for a cruel deconstruction, something like Macross with Misa and Minmay but turned up to eleven and very cruel?

    Zessica is the good girl who does everything to earn the man she loves but by the time he realizes it, she’ll be broken and be used to break him.

    Amata is the good guy who’s misguided by his love for someone who takes him for granted, but by the time he realizes where to look, he’s lost that.

    Mikono is the girl who’s taking the guy for granted, expecting him to be there for her at every moment, but at the moment when she needs him he’s gone or in shambles.

    Kagura is the fool chasing a dream, and by the time he reaches it, he’ll be dead.

    • Qwerty1 says:

      You forgot Andy with his false bravado but never able to actually climb out of his hole to really do something with it and by the time he confesses his feelings his girlfriend has a penis.

  6. KaleRylan says:

    Yeah, I have to sadly agree that this series is just losing it for me, and this episode is not doing anything about that. In fact, I’ve decided I’m just gonna read reviews for the next few episodes and see if it goes anywhere I want.

    Halting the plot hurt it, but just getting the plot moving again isn’t enough for me. The plot also has to go in directions I don’t hate. I don’t want to see Mix as a man (she’s hot as a woman), she doesn’t need the boost in development. Her development was going just fine with Andy (they were one of the best parts of the show). I don’t want Zessica as a villain. Zessica’s best, and only, trait is that she was FUN. This show has slowly, tortuously RIPPED every ounce of fun out of her character over the last ten or so episodes.

    In short, it’s just gone in a direction that I’m both bored at, and dislike even if it gets more exciting. Really too bad, because this is the series that got me back into watching anime a few months ago after taking a six year break.

  7. RABUJOI says:

    I didn’t really have a problem with last week’s episode, and was even surprised Zessica wasn’t the one who ended up being abducted. Of course, that set up events in this episode in which Mikage prepares to add her to his collection. It’s definitely a good move, since as you said, she’s too one-note right now. We also liked Izumo’s relatively even-handed approach last week: give us one girl to avoid war, which isn’t that bad of a deal, as well as his superior skills and experience against what are still a bunch of green kids.

    This episode finally left paradise and saw Altair from the ground, and it’s a depressing place in need of reform. Again, Izumo comes off as more than just a villain here: his world is dying and he has to do something, even if it gets his hands dirty. Mikage, like Fudo, meanwhile, just seems to be enjoying playing around with everyone like pawns in a chess game, and observing the results…but where Fudo is clearly looking to Vega’s welfate, Mikage doesn’t seem too concerned about Altair, at least as it currently exists.

    Finally, we thought there was something fishy about the masked pilot’s voice and eyes, and the final shot with the braid confirmed it. Interestingly, Andy daydreaming about her “big bangs” was a kind of strange foreshadowing for when he removes the pilot’s coat to reveal…no boobs.

  8. Kamen Grinder says:

    May your boobs rest in peace.

  9. Golos says:

    There are no filler episodes in EVOL.

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  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 10:19 AM)
    and I still don’t understand “stagnating.” It still sounds like “more of the same old, just in different strokes” which would refer to progressing consistency. Hiroyuki Imaishi, Mitsuo Iso, Masaaki Yuasa, Yo Yoshinari, Masahiro Ando, hell, let’s even throw in Shinichiro Watanabe.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 10:17 AM)
    even without the edits, they employ a nice modern style, focusing on sharp, sleek designs with lots of symmetry and emphasis on form. “detail” is exactly what I think when I see their architecture and environments just spiraling with mathematical forms and stylized lighting.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 10:09 AM)
    @K-Off as for Shaft’s backgrounds, Rebellion is enough to blow any viewer’s mind, new or veteran. Their TV series undergo tons of BD edits (as sites like Sankaku Complex will lovingly detail with hundreds of screenshot comparisons). Granted many of them can seem insignificant, but that’s attention to detail, no mistake, even if it’s unnecessary attention lol.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 10:04 AM)
    In either case, South Korea doesn’t have strong enough support for the animation industry to launch series of their own (else they’d probably go through everything Naver has). Not much point when dramas and games are more popular, thus draw in more money, and people can get their anime fix from Japan. Although with more global successes, it seems like there’s some rumbling in the industry, but likely most of these series are going to be like weekend morning offerings in the US.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 10:01 AM)
    Although that could also be because of the shifting to digital procurement of media.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 09:59 AM)
    @K-Off just like in the US or even in motherland Japan, the hardcore anime communities are a small percentage of the overall population. I said stigma, but it’s not solely present in Korea. Animation in general is usually aimed at a younger audience. You could even say animation is somewhat suffering in the US, compared to perhaps back a decade ago when animated cartoons were filling timeslots to the brim.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 09:56 AM)
    @Friend Satoru Kosaki generally does good, fitting tracks, along with the rest of Monaca.
  • Friend
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 06:02 AM)
    Btw, Nise had some GREAT sound tracks :0
  • Friend
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 05:48 AM)
    @juno :(
  • Juno
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 05:37 AM)
    It’s basically all we wanted the first Tsubasa Cat arc to be from Bake. And it gives a great intro to Hanakawa’s character beyond her veil from Bake. Now you know what’s going to happen, so the start isn’t as powerful. XD

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