A little thing called… LOVE
Did you know that I loved Aquarion Evol? Or, rather, love it? Because I do, from the very depths of my icy, diseased heart, I do. In fact, I love it soooo much, I really wish I’d actually blogged it! And I never feel this way, not even about shows I loooove, like Mawaru Penguindrum (although, admittedly, that would actually involve rubbing more than two brain cells together to do, whereas with Aquarion EVOL, I probably could’ve done it while high on spray paint).
I was not an early adopter for AE, as I knew everyone and their cousin hated, hated, hated the first Aquarion… or at least felt afterward that it had been a waste of their time, stuffed to the brim with stupid sexual innuendo, and cratered by a sudden and burning need to become tragic as all hell. So, I noted AE’s existence with mild surprise (given the gap in time betwixt it and Aquarion), and went bumping along with my life, thrilling to the delights of quality shows such as Tantei Opera Milky Holmes II. But with the increasing din about AE, I took a little notice… and then, finally, I was persuaded to give it a go. And I never. Looked. Back.
PLOT SPOILERS HENCEFORTH
AE was a really, really fun show. It was also frequently a pretty stupid show, and almost always a really cheesy show, and it looked PRETTY. But I care more about the cheesiness and stupidity than that, although it was a really nice addition to that all. In fact, AE was such a thoroughly fun show, I was barely bothered at all by its more problematic aspects (kind of sexist, the rape allusions in the final episodes were skin-crawling) and its flaws (Amata’s kind of lame). In fact, I think that, ultimately, the only thing that truly stuck with me as being an irritant was that when Mikono was about to use her power to save the day by, basically, healing Mikage’s heart, Amata was all, “Nooo, you can’t do that, you can’t do anything by yourself, let me protect youuuuuuu!” and ruined her potential moment to shine. Really, dude? Ugh.
I liked Zessica better than Mikono, but I think Amata and Mikono getting together was perfect, they made a great couple from the start because of how similar they really are; both had to overcome having been cowardly in their pasts after all. I don’t think Mikono got enough credit from viewers for her journey to find Fuudo, because it just didn’t have the same flash and dazzle as the mecha fights had – for Mikono, going off on a trip all on her own was a pretty massive step. She was extremely sheltered growing up, and had her confidence routinely undermined by her parents, because she seemingly had no power and was thus “useless”. Yeah, yeah, I know, her power essentially was the Heart of the AE universe*, but I maintain that she wasn’t nearly as feckless as folks have made her out to be.
By the way, speaking of pairings, Cayenne and Shrade? Totally. Fucking. Canon. Cayenne absorbed Shrade’s golden sparkles in the last episode. The only person Shrade ultimately displayed any interest in was Cayenne. And while even Malloy was at least visually paired off (if not romantically) with a girl, Cayenne remained conspicuously without a female counterpart of any sort. CayennexShrade 4 (After)Lyfe!
And to polish off talking shop about characters, I loved Chairwoman Crea, even if I wish we’d been told her age (apparently not terribly young, based on her comment in the final episode about getting too old for participating in battle). I really enjoyed that this was one of those rare times when we had a loli-looking powerful woman who wasn’t sexualized, and actually existed as a legitimate character and not an excuse for moe-shit and fanservice. She was a pretty strong expy for Mashiro from Mai-HiME, though.
I don’t really have much more of substance to say about AE. I’m saving my feelings about Mix and Andy’s reunion for a standalone post (spoiler: that scene made me soooooooooooooooooo happy), and, really, my enjoyment of AE boils down to it bec=ing, as I’ve said before, a really fun show, and a really self-aware show. I never felt like AE thought it was more substantial than it is, which would’ve ruined it. I got a bit concerned around the half-way point when things got gloomy, but where other shows get all soppy and unbearable frequently when changes in tone occur, AE managed to maintain a levity to the proceedings, I suppose in part because although a few characters died, there was a consistent sense of hope. Yunoha, for example, was really upset by Jin’s death, but she became stronger for it and decided to go forth and hold her positive memories of him in her heart. So even though there were sad moments, they never felt engulfing.
About once a year, I really get on fire about an anime. Even this early in the year, I think it is safe to say that Aquarion EVOL was that anime for me for 2012. It was the kind of show that left me smiling a big, dopey sile when all was said and done.
Although, I do wonder: how did a badass like Celiane apparently was end up becoming the soft-spoken and meek Mikono?
EDIT: Almost forgot to mention… basically, Aquarion EVOL was the lovechild of G Gundam and Mai-Otome. So now you know why I loved it so much.
* Dear lord, please, please tell me that someone got that reference. Please. “…He’s our hero/Gonna bring pollution down to zero!” Anyone? Anyone?!