Series Recommendation: Sousei no Aquarion

A love that transcends thousands and thousands of years

“A show about psychic teens who pilot an orgasm-inducing giant combining robots to fight Shadow Angels who feast on the lifeforce of Humans”.
I mean, that’s just a summarized synopsis of this crazy series Shoji Kawamori created, but let’s go for a less brief way to recommend this show.
Twelve thousand years before the current setting, the Earth was terrorized by beings called Shadow Angels who feasted on Prana, which is human lifeforce energy. An angel named Apollonius turned against his fellow Shadow Angels because he was in love with a human woman named Celiane. This, in turn, gave the humans a fighting chance, and they won, with the Shadow Angels going dormant in Antarctica.

Ancient mage families are fighting for a supreme magical power that can grant wishes in a battle royale (but there are NO historical figures involved, okay?). Innocent schoolgirl Mangetsu was enjoying her daily life when suddenly she got transported to the battlefield between the mages. There, she met Shingetsu – a participant in the battle royale and befriended her. After the fateful encounter, Mangetsu was drawn into the vicious battle between sorceresses from many noble families for the ultimate power. How will the duo deal with the war? What are their wishes? And what is actually at stake?

+ Plot: Now, in the current setting, the world got screwed up by an incident known as the Great Catastrophe. This led to two things: Young Humans gained the power to become Espers but with different abilities, like causing explosions just by being excited, being pyrokinetic by kicking, having high fighting ability, and using telekinesis, while the Shadow Angels are up and about again, harvesting humans for whatever purpose they got. Ordinary Military couldn’t even handle the Shadow Angel’s Automaton-type enemies. It’s up to an organization named DEAVA to train said psychic teenagers, called Element Users, to pilot the Aquarion. This mech is a combination of three flying machines called Vectors, that also joins the souls and spiritual bodies into one, which causes the pilots to have an orgasm. Yes. I’m not kidding about the last part. Will we see how the fight between Humans and Shadow Angels end? The fate of humanity lies in the Element Users named Apollo, Sylvia, Sirius, Reika, Pierre, Jun and Tsugumi.

+ Animation: The animation was done by Studio Satellite, an animation studio that had a history for actually doing well with both 2D animation and CG animation. Genesis of Aquarion is a prime example of blending such styles of animation. It doesn’t look or feel conspicuous much, and the flow of the animation between digitally colored and CG animation is really good for its time. Though, in one case, you can confuse Reika, a female, to be a male when you see her in CG.

+ Mecha Design: Despite being a full-blown Super Robot Show, they have pretty well-made designs that are actually doable in real life. And I do not mean the giant robot, even if I do have ideas as to how Giant Robots can be a viable thing; I meant the Vectors. You see, Shoji Kawamori is not just a mechanical designer; he’s an aeronautical engineer. You can see the Sol Vector, Luna Vector, and Mars Vector modelled in an aerodynamic way, and they are able to combine with each other.

Yes, Getter Robo has had three jets combine, but Aquarion takes it to a level of detail where we understand how said jets combine with a full understanding of how they combine. The level of detail is so great it actually can give ideas as to how mechs can be a possibility or even a reality in the near distant future. Did I mention that the Vectors can fight like “Flying Geodudes”?

Nevertheless, the actual mech, Aquarion, has three forms, depending on the formation and who is the head. Almost like Getter Robo and its multiple incarnations, Aquarion has the three forms that fulfil a certain role. Aquarion Luna is a ranged-centered form, Aquarion Mars is a melee weapon-based form, and Solar Aquarion is the form centred on trying to combine the aspects of the other two without feeling too generalized in combat. For example, Aquarion Luna can shoot down foes, and Aquarion Mars can slash them. However, Solar Aquarion can do a long-ranged punch that can manually send an enemy to the moon. Crazy, right? There’s more, but saying anymore is actually spoiler-filled. But of course, making the Aquarion divided into 3 parts also makes it less likely to be crushed by its weight, making it more physics-abiding than non-modular mechs.

Music: The music is pretty good, though two songs take centre stage. “Sousei no Aquarion” is a love song that plays during the first combination of Solar Aquarion and captures the interaction between Apollonius and Celiane and how their interaction is inherited by their spiritual successors, Apollo and Silvia. The song is used as the first opening, which doesn’t appear until Episode 3. The second opening is “Go Tight!” which captures the increased tension as the plot continues. How are these earworms, you ask? The one who performed these two songs was none other than AKINO, the same singer who performed “Miiro” for Kantai Collection’s Opening.

+ Conclusion: The show is like Kawamori’s love letter to Super Robots in 2005, and I can see why they had a sequel series. The titular mech is amazing, with three forms that flaunt the good aerodynamic designs of the vectors. The songs used in the series really capture the story and feelings of the characters, while the characters themselves feel life-like. The series is worth watching, and because of it, I came to appreciate combining mechs. I can assure you that you’ll enjoy Sousei No Aquarion too. Furthermore, the franchise is having a comeback series called Aquarion: Myth of Emotions in the near future, which is a direct tribute to this series.

Check out more recommendations: