Review: Aquarion (Collection One)

aquarion_v1_dvd_coverRelease Date: 24/06/2009
Audio tracks: English 2.0, Japanese 2.0
Genre: Action/Adventure, Anime, Fantasy, Mecha, Science Fiction
Subtitles: ENGLISH subtitles
Number of Discs: 2
Runtime: 325.0 mins
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What happens when you combine robots, ancient love, and unbelievable powers? If you’re Shoji Kawamori (creator of “Macross Plus” and “Escaflowne”) you make an Anime series and name it “Aquarion” of course!

This series presents us with a futuristic view of Earth, however the time period isn’t known to us. 12,000 years ago, Shadow Angels plagued the Earth. They harvested humans and destroyed anyone (and anything) in their way. Now they’re back to continue what they started – which they claim is to create a paradise.

Luckily, descendants of those who survived have prepared themselves for such an occurrence. They’re gathering and training as many people that they can find whom they have named “Elements” – people that have special abilities. How powerful these abilities are depends on the level of emotion that is used at the time. But for them to beat the Shadow Angels, they need to use robots. Yes, those Shadow Angels are huge!

The robots start off their attacks as flying crafts, and they are only deployed in groups of 3. They need to “Merge” to create a giant robot (similar to the 80’s cartoon “Voltron” actually) which allows the Elements to channel their powers to combat the latest Angel attack. The giant robot is known as “Aquarion”.

Each time an attack occurs, different Elements are sent out and therefore the Aquarion form is also different. And even when the same Elements get sent, the form can be different – it just depends which Element is the head as to what Aquarion form is used.

The Elements themselves are just as diverse. When we start watching the first episode we meet Apollo – a street urchin living on whatever he can to survive. He and his friend Baron raid a food shelter to feed themselves and the younger street urchins they are looking after. They successfully avoid being captured by the robotic authorities, and return to their camp. The next day, some Elements track him down and spy on him from the sewer. Detecting their scent, Apollo calls them out.

They no sooner start battling each other than a Harvest Angel appears. However the song it uses to attract its victims doesn’t affect Apollo and the Elements – but it does affect Baron and the others. Apollo tries to rescue Baron – but it is in vain.

Meanwhile, Aquarion has been sent forth to handle the Angel. The Angel lands a powerful blow to the Aquarion, which separates the Elements from their Merge. One of the Elements gets knocked hard enough to be sent into a coma (which for this collection he doesn’t come out of). Apollo gets close enough to this particular Elements ship that the machine itself chooses to swap Apollo for the injured Element. After all, he’s determined to save his friends, and the Aquarions are fuelled by such emotion.

All 3 pilots manage to Merge and get rid of the Shadow Angel threat, however this does not save Baron. It appears as though he is being used as fodder for the Tree that the Shadow Angels plan to use in their creation of paradise. With no other choice, Apollo is then taken back to the Aquarion HQ to be trained.

They soon discover that Apollo has a large amount of power, and as the head of Aquarion he becomes the legendary form of Solar Aquarion. This fact is a possibility that he could be (and ultimately is) the reincarnation of the legendary Appalonius – a Shadow Angel that turned his back on his comrades in favour of Celiane, the human he loves.

The reincarnation of Celiane is a stuck-up Princess named Sylvia. She is an Element (one of the 2 that had originally found Apollo), and dislikes Apollo right from the moment she lays eyes on him. She has a strange attachment to her older brother Sirius (who is also an Element) which I guess you could compare to the Luke and Leia story from Star Wars – the difference is that they’ve known each other from birth.

As stories and friendships begin to take shape, watch as Apollo and Sylvia awaken their past lives – battling Shadow Angel after Shadow Angel, as well as their own personal demons! Will Apollo curb his old habits and submit to the new skills he’s being taught? Will Sylvia work through her disgust and jealousy to see the bigger picture? Can Apollo save Baron and their friends, AND finish the 12,000 year old battle against the Shadow Angels?

The Special Features include:

  • Interview with Director Shoji Kawamori
  • Tokyo International Anime 2005 Talk Show – A live on-stage interview with Shoji Kawamori, Terashima Takuma (Apollo), Sanae Kobayashi (Reika) and Hiromi Sato (Rena).
  • Tsugumi’s “All About CG!” Solar Aquarion Edition, Cherlbim Edition, Aquarion Luna Edition & Aquarion Mars Edition – individual in-depth segments on the different Aquarion forms and Cherlbim soldiers, narrated by Tsugumi.
  • Textless versons of the opening song (Sousei no Aquarion) and closing song (Omna Magni).
  • Trailers for other Madman releases

Mecha and robot shows have never been a genre I like however I really did enjoy this series. It’s a mixture of action, comedy, drama, and romance, and the development of the characters’ storylines appeals to me enough to want to see the rest of the series. And I’ve fallen for the closing theme so much that I want it as a ringtone on my phone.

I would recommend this to buy, however I would get it for someone old enough (or mature enough) to handle the more adult scenes. Go, Aquarion!

Review product was provided by Madman Entertainment, and does not affect the outcome of this review.

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