Genesis of Aquarion is an anime that I watched lat week, this show was 26 episodes long and was aired from April till September in 2005. Two additional OVA were made and a Movie came out in the year 2007. In this latest anime season a new adaption of the Aquarion franchise called Aquarion Evol started. So far I enjoyed it a lot and so I got curious about the previous anime.
With its fancy transformations, special moves and sudden enhancements of power levels Genesis of Aquarion is a little homage to the Super Robot shows of the 1980’s.
In the distant past mankind faces a fearsome enemy, the Shadow Angels who harvest them to extract their plana, the energy source of the Angels. The Shadow Angel Apollonius once betrayed his comrades after he fell in love with the human girl Celiane. In a bloody battle Apollonius and his human comrades were able to seal the Shadow Angels in their base, called Atlantia. In the future 11 years prior to the story an great crisis occurred and the Shadow Angels from 12000 years ago were free again. They start to attack the humans again with mecha units and harvesting machines to catch the inhabitants of the cities. The weapons of mankind have no effect on the enemy.
Out of desperation the organisation DEAVA started an excavation mission to find a weapon to fight the superior enemy, they found three plane like vehicles, called Vectors. These Vectors were already used by Apollonius and his comrades 12000 years ago. Only people with special abilities can pilot the Vectors, these three vehicles can be combined into a huge Robot called Aquarion. One part forms the head, one part forms the midsection and the third part forms the leg section. Every Vector can become the head part and so the whole Aquarion machine has three slightly different shapes with different abilities. When combined the emotions and the special Element abilities of the pilots are amplified, nevertheless the performance of Aquarion depends on the emotional compatibility of its pilots, which causes a few problems for DEAVA from time to time.
During the merging event the male pilots just feel a big boost of power, while the the female pilots apparently have an orgasm, a funny kind of fanservice, Silvia does a great performance XD.
In the 26 episodes the story progress is slow, most of the time there is the Shadow Angel attack of the week pattern where the characters have to face a new challenge and improve parts of their teamwork, personality or overcome personal issues during the fight with Shadow Angels
The main focus of the anime are the characters, and the slowly developing understanding for each other, at first the team of loosely conglomerated pilots don’t seem to harmonize very well, the playboy Pierre, the depressive Reika and the aristocratic siblings Sirius and Silvia are just too different in mind. The latest member is no exception, Apollo is a crude street kid, he has a lot of potential, but he’s also a big delinquent. Some people believe that he is the reincarnation of Appolonius, the Shadow Angel which helped the humans in the past. The idea of reincarnation plays a big role in this anime, even though only the three main characters are really involved in this subject. During the show there are a number of backflash scenes from their previous lives.
An interesting but also a bit weird character is the commander of DEAVA, Fudo. He is guiding the team with his odd teachings. They appear somewhat fragmented in the first place, but they are efficient. After a lot of entertaining (mostly for the viewer) drill, the team mastered the basics of piloting the Aquarion unit, but it still isn’t enough to stop the harvesting attacks of the Shadow Angels on a worldwide scale. Because of that, the setting keeps its apocalyptic and melancholic atmosphere most of the time. Even though there are many lighthearted moments in the show.
The clashes and tensions between the different personalities play a big role in this anime and adds the comedy element to it, the little fights between Apollo and Silvia are damn funny.
The main antagonist is Toma, the leader of the Shadow Angels, he is still hurt that his partner (one sided Yaoi detected) Apollonius betrayed him 1200 years ago. Toma could easily crush DEAVA, but his superior goal is to complete the tree of life which is very important for the Shadow Angels. But to make it possible, he has to wait until Aquarion reveals it’s true power.
The overall plot is interspersed with the spiritual concept, called the Aquarian Age, which was popularized by Carl Gustav Jung, I haven’t read it, but the main idea behind it is that humanity overcomes their differences and problems in the new Age of Aquarius and that all our differences, all our dualities should mix together to create a better enlighted future, while each individual personality remains distinct and individual, otherwise it would be called communism.
Also the teachings of Yoga play a big role in Genesis of Aquarion as well as greek mythology.
The animation style could look better, but for an anime of 2005 it is still good enough, the character design is good and unique. Even though I prefer 2d animated mechas, the mecha design of Genesis of Aquarion looks good and the CGI scenes are very well integrated in the 2D environment, there are some reused scenes here and there, overall its a solid animation quality.
The orechestral and the ancient chorus back ground music work really well in Genesis of Aquarion and give it this epic touch, The insert songs, especially the usage of the first one feels a bit repetitive, even though it is a Song that you like more and more every-time you listen to it.
In summary Genesis of Aquarion is a good and interesting show, the main appeal for me was the way how the different characters grow together as friends and how their personalities slowly developed with each episode. I liked every member of DEAVA, Silvia became my No#1.
On the downside the main story feels quite dragged in these 26 episode, the finale episodes unfortunately turned out quite rushed, they should have used more time for a better explanation. There are probably better mecha shows of this kind, like Neon Genesis Evangelion or Zegapain, but Genesis of Aquarion kept me entertained over its entire length. With the likeable characters, good comedy and an interesting setting I got quite addicted to it.
To get a better impression of the anime you should watch the 2 OVA’s afterwards, which more or less are an alternative continuation of the anime show. I have yet to watch the Movie.
From my impression you don’t have to watch this anime to get a better entrance in the new Aquarion EVOL adaption, even though a few characters seem to be reincarnations from the old anime, so far Aquarion EVOL appears to be a mainly independent anime.
Have you already watched Genesis of Aquarion? I’d like to know your opinion.