Series Recommendation: Aquarion Evol

It’s time to revive the legend of 12,000 years!
Sousei Gattai! Go, AQUARION!
We all know of Master Kawamori’s orgasmic (literally) tribute to Getter Robo – Sousei no Aquarion, and he and Satelight decided that it needed a sequel. From there, Aquarion Evol was born. Basically with the same concept but with a new coat of mecha design, cast and some really mind-bending stuff, in classic Fudo fashion.

Aquarion Evol took place in a really, really long time after the conclusion of Aquarion (if you know which number the series’ obsessed with, you can guess how long). And the world now faces a new threat, not from the skies like the Angels of old, but Abductors from another world – Altea. They arrived on Earth to harvest humans for sustenance and only the Neo-DEAVA Academy and their Aquarions stand between them and total annihilation. However, their Aquarions have to obey a single rule: do not combine with pilots of other gender due to the legend of Apollon and Sylvie. But our main characters – Amata the naïve boy and Mikono the pure girl – will break down that wall and bring about a new Aquarion!

+ Plot: In a sense, this paint over the old Aquarion of having an academy of pilots with supernatural abilities to pilot Aquarion Vectors and fight against invaders with new concepts. Enemies from another world that are just as “human” as us, yet they wanted to harvest us as fuel. This evokes a sense of an Alter-Deava versus a Neo-Deava and not just everyone good against a single big bad like in Aquarion. This created a chance to develop characters on both sides and have them help each other go beyond their set personalities. In my opinion, the side characters actually have even better development than the main couple. Mix and Andy is a really refreshing relationship, Jin and Yunoha was beautiful, Shrade and Cayenne is pretty much peak bromance. Just like in Aquarion, relationships and their intricacies based on the character’s quirks are treated very seriously and they have an effect on their Aquarions, this is something both series did very well.

Story-wise, there are some twists and turns that will definitely make you do a double-take, but since absurdity is basically the first word in Fudo’s handbook, don’t think too much about it and just take it as-is. The specific logic behind things maybe not as solid, but the emotional impact and bonds the series create along the way is very genuine.

+ Animation: Satelight really did improved after a few years (duh!). Evol looks much smoother and more consistent than Aquarion. The movement of the mech aren’t as jerky and janky. And the CG texture has improved for both sides as well as 2D. Well, we don’t really have wacky angels doing really weird dances for the most part. Overall, the Aquarion attacks have the same extravanganza energy to them, but in Evol they are a bit more polished with special effects. Furthermore, the characters look more…moe-style like other romance anime at the time of release, which might please some and not please others but hey, that’s not a big deal. The point is: it looks very very good.

+ Mecha Design: It’s Getter Ro…I mean Aquarion but with different Vectors. Going for a more mechanical and feasible combination for a 3-jet mix-em-up isn’t easy, so keeping the core mechanism and just replace the smaller bits with new stuff is definitely the right choice. If it’s not broken then don’t fix it. Kawamori-sensei put some new toys on the Aquarion but the core concept is pretty much the same, this time with more Macross visual reference, especially Frontier.

+ Music: Akino and Bless4 always hit the beat just right. The songs for Evol is a bit more “mythical” and melodic compared to the original, yet it still has the same energetic feel of “Go Tight”. The original opening Sousei no Aquarion is quite iconic and it’s safe to say that there’s no overcoming that one, but the rest of Evol’s songs are really really good and fit the atmosphere of a more “relationship-centric”-series.

+ Conclusion: Aquarion Evol in a way is a distant sequel to the original Aquarion. The timeskip is enormous but there are things that hasn’t changed. The things that change, however, are quite new and breathtaking. The cast of Evol got more development overall compared to Aquarion, but I must say Apollon and Sylvie is still the best couple in the series. In addition, Evol is also a visual upgrade (this time with no funky-looking meme episodes) with very high consistency. It might be different, but it’s also an epic saga about love!