This year has already offered two robot anime series, and “Aquarion” may be one of the most unusual series. The anime packs robot-fighting and Greek and Biblical mythology together in a action series that is exciting, no matter how odd the blend is.
I never thought that an anime would even try to mix mythology and mecha action together, but “Aquarion” blends it effortlessly. It’s also no surprise that this series is that good, because it is directed by Shoji Kawamori, who directed the excellent “Macross Plus” series. The series begins immediately with a narrative on the distant future, where Shadow Angels are returning after a twelve thousand years to eliminate all the humans of the world. Fortunately, the humans have managed to launch ships, called Vectors, to destroy these Shadow Angels before they send the humans to an alternative dimension. Only Element users can use Vectors. And, in the Transformers tradition, these Vectors can transform into a humongous robot, called an Aquarion.
Meanwhile, an escapee from an internment camp, is rumored to be long-forgotton descendant of the hero Apollonius, who saved the world twelve thousand years ago. This guy, Apollo, is the Solar Wing whom Silvia, one of the Element users, is looking for to help her get stronger as a pilot. However, they couldn’t be any more incompatible–Silvia comes from a line of nobility and Apollo is a brash street brat who crawls on his hands and feet like a cat. However, he certainly has the ability to harness the Aquarion’s abilities to the fullest.
Then again, his emotions of agony are so strong that he can cause the Aquarion to self-destruct. He also lost his best friend, Baron, to the shadow Angels in episode one. Not surprisingly, one of the Shadow Angels tapped into his emotions to cause the Aquarion to explode, destroying an entire city.
However, despite this dark turn of events in episode two, this is one of the funniest robot anime series I have ever seen. I especially love watching Silvia and Apollo fight over the controls of the Vector. Each the pilots are very recognizable in their physical abilities, too. Sirius, Silvia’s sister, is a perfectionist and swordsman who believes that he deserves to be called the descendant of Apollonius. Hong is a female pilot who is suffering after an accident which put her boyfriend in a coma. Pierre is one of the hilarious pilots, who flirts with the ladies and tends to show off his flaming kick a little too much.
While these are only a few of the pilots of the series, they all are very memorable. I love the chemistry between Silvia and Apollo, who constantly tease each other whenever they meet. And unlike other robot series, this is an anime about teamwork. All the character constantly look at each other’s actions in order to discover the Shadow Angels weaknesses. I loved the fourth episode, where the characters had to discover how to withstand a Shadow Angel’s attack, in which the Angel reversed gravity whenever he beat his staff on the ground. Of course, the Aquarion was able to defeat the angel by tapping into the Earth’s power, buried underneath the ground.
There’s also a much deeper plot to it as well, one that implements Biblical imagery. The Shadow Wings are actually capturing humans to recreate the second Tree of Life. It sounds like a really twisted version of the Creation story. Nonetheless, this series is a true gem.
And it’s not quite for kids either. There is a reason why “Aquarion” is rated TV-MA. Be willing to bear the brief moments when the characters are naked when they are merging the Vectors into an Aquarion, and the scenes after pilots trade places by transporting, when the female pilots are bare naked.