Posted by psgels on 25 June 2012 with categories: Anime Reviews, Aquarion Evol



There is one director out there for which I’m ashamed to admit that I’m a huge tsundere: Shoji Kawamori. No, it’s not Shinbo, because with him there is a well distinct line between his good stuff and his bad stuff. With Kaawamori though, I both love and hate his works. I know his tropes, I know wow he’s a huge troll, and yet I nearly always end up blogging his series. And this time he’s working together with Mari Okada!

The result is a completely bizarre mecha-epic that is chock full of sexual context. I mean, romance and mecha have been done plenty of times before, but this show really takes it up to eleven: everything in this series is about romance: the mechas in this series can fuse by having three characters enter orgasm mode, it’s chock full of love triangles and subplots that all have their own storylines, and there is a ton of symbolism in this series, everything relating down to some sexual context in one way or the others. This series really is about men versus women and the tensions between them and it does all of this over the top.

The result is a really fun and often bizarre and cheesy series that definitely has plenty of entertainment value. It’s got a solid script so everything fits together very well, and the themes connect well with the characters, the plot and vice versa. the plot is well built up, but has a few issues: being incredibly cliched at times, and making no sense whatsoever. The cliches are often played straight with a very conscious purpose, but this does lead to a bunch of cringe-worthy been-there done-that episodes, along with a completely useless female lead who fails to do anything throughout the entire series. The plot has a few nice twists, but ultimately it’s just too stupid and corny to really stand out.

This show will most likely be remembered through some of its bizarre symbolism, though. This show can get completely crazy at times and it has some of the most wtf-inducing ways of introducing new powers or have characters learn something new. There was a slight danger of the creators turning this too much into a formula, but this was neatly avoided with a plot that did keep changing.

A guilty pleasure? I wouldn’t really call Aquarion that. Aquarion knows exactly what it is and what it isn’t. It’s a show that’s heaps of fun to watch as it explored the sparks and chemistry between men and women. And for this, its main plot had to be incredibly corny and it refuses to make any iota of sense. the result is a series that is overall very entertaining, but does have a number of lesser parts when the script is trying to make sure that the plot and characters actually remain strong enough to carry the series. This show has plenty of creativity in any case, but it definitely could have balanced this out a bit better.

Storytelling: 8/10 – Silly, corny, creative and strangely enough well built up and really fun to watch.
Characters: 7.5/10 – Mikono… even for a Shoji Kawamori female lead she is useless. This show excels in its chemistry, but the characters remain two-dimensional.
Production-Values: 9/10 – Tons and tons of eye candy, plus a godly soundtrack that is the best of the year so far.
Setting: 8,5/10 – Excels in its themes that are often completely bizarre.

Suggestions:
Basquash!
Ben-To
Cobra the Animation

14 Responses

  1. Hachikuji Shiro says:

    Godly soundtracks, damn right. Hope there’s more to come for Yoko Kanno.

  2. Kamen Grinder says:

    That was the worst piece of shit I watched since Guilty Crown. Orevall it was a big nothing.

    God bless Yoko Kanno.

    • wicked says:

      nah, this is at least an order of magnitude better than guilty crown.

      If you let go of plot making sense, Evol is hilarious and fun to watch, Guilty Crown is not.

      • Kamen Grinder says:

        Dunno, GC often looked retard, sometimes acted retard yet unlike EVOL it didn’t spend all its time full retard.

        • wicked says:

          yeah, but isnt it boring when it’s not retarded? It really was not entertaining at all. Every time you think “oh this might get interesting” it often just got worse

          • FreshSushi says:

            I think you took the series too seriously in that case. I found the world was silly but chock full of charm and heart.

  3. CL says:

    I guess everyone who were able to watch the series (from start to end) can attest that Yoko Kanno is the saving grace of this show. The soundtrack of the series is definitely an “eargasm”.

  4. krl says:

    Why the Ben-to suggestion ? I dropped Evol before half a season but I really enjoyed Ben-To.

  5. Aversion says:

    Did not enjoy the ending or the last 3 episodes.

    I am embarrassed and disappointed when I thought the series would be awesome with all the mechs, magic powers and fan service.

    • FreshSushi says:

      The ending felt too quick, but I guess that is the case with most action endings. I like a longer resolution but that is just me. Also having Amata ditch Zessica at the end after she was willing to die for him twice was kind of a douche move.

  6. FreshSushi says:

    I guess most people who come into this expecting a serious epic are going to be disappointed. I think the reason I like EVOL so much is because its so stupid. It just doesn’t care about how silly outsiders think it is and boldy crafts its story; it reminds me of FLCL in a way.

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  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 07:21 AM)
    All thats left now is macross 7.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 07:20 AM)
    However this one begged to go on for more than just five episodes, come on now and it had the franchises penchant for weak villains. It doesn’t get me as emotional as do you remember love does, the characters of Macross plus were more likeable. Still its a step above Macross II and I at least had fun with it on an action level.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 07:17 AM)
    Thats Macross zero completed then, it was great to see the background arc/plot for this franchise, the pace is tight and the action is arguably the most immersive, well done of the Macross universe along with Frontier.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:33 AM)
    While Tatami Galaxy and Ping Pong were definitely sharp I felt that Kemonozume and Kaiba were more inventive.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:30 AM)
    Aye,it was the visual style of the film being so different from the norm that drew me in. Still out of Yuaasa’s stuff I found myself more taken with tatami galaxy.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:22 AM)
    I think creatively the anime industry has plateaued a bit by now, where we see more derivative stuff and there has a formed an almost universal “anime style” which hinders non-traditional voyeurism.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:18 AM)
    I love the tonal whiplash that the story goes thru and the then-impressive-and-new visuals. Both 4°C and Hifana take queues from the Kansai art and the underground graffiti styles that prospered in Japan after the 70’s. Parallel to the postmodern movement in the Western world, the new wave was more expressive than fine and you see its heavy influence on the manga and anime industry.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:14 AM)
    @Bam: It is at the last stretch on the film where it is at its strongest visually in my opinion.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:10 AM)
    @Bam: For only 100 minutes it did a decent enough job on its protaganist in any case.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:02 AM)
    Mindgame is amazing. It is as unorthodox as they come but not really pretentious. It’s pretty humble and does have an actual message and proper story arc, so it’s definitely not just random for random’s sake. The industry needs more Yuasa.

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