As the new season premiers roll to a close, my brain starts to get fried and I gradually run out of new things to say about each new uninspired drivel that Japan rolls out. Thank god then for Aquarion EVOL for being the goofiest fucking thing and giving me plenty of highlights to talk about.
It appears to be a good season for Macross wannabbes. First Nymphogear and now this. Aquarion is Allowed to be a Macross ripoff though, because it’s by the same guy, Shoji Kawamori. We have the usual sci-fi setting in which a force of mysterious aliens in giant robots come down to attack. Our protagonist is some idealist yet wimpy douche with the power of Garzeys Wing, who gets trapped out in the open when the aliens attack. Suddenly, the Powah inside him awakens and he gets magically transported into a giant robot and fights off the aliens with the power of adolescent sexual drive. Yes, these robots are powered by adolescent sexual drive. This isn’t just a throwaway single idea either. The entire show is based around some strange idea that these robots are directly connected to sexual feelings. The government doesn’t want this happening for some reason, so attach chastity stones to the characters. It’s an utterly bizarre concept, but I kinda like it.
You see, I’m kind of at a loss most of the time why I like anime. I’m not particularly any big a fan of animation more so than live action. The usual reasons given that anime follows a clear story instead of running on forever is flimsy, as there’s plenty of western TV shows that follow a cohesive story. One of the things I really do like about anime though, is that it can take truly crazy concepts and just run with them, making them into something much cleverer and (dare I say it) deeper than anyone describing it could possibly do it justice for. Take Count of the Monte Cristo except set it 5000 years in the future with giant robots and the count is a vampire? Fuck yeah! A man powers a giant orbital space cannon with the power of his guitar playing as a metaphor for a midlife crisis? Awesome! When you think about it, Aquarion’s idea is not that much more out there than Gurren Lagann’s idea that robots ran on the power of heart and manliness. If anything, you could probably say far more about the human psyche by exploring that awkward stage in puberty where you can’t walk by a girl without your jaw going slack.
Not that Aquarion tackled this subject with much intelligence. Sometimes it’s just the writing being incredibly cheesy, which I’m fine with because that just makes it endearing. Then there’s other times, such as when the main character said “I have to protect her, she’s just a girl”, which was made to look all the more out-of-place considering the girls in the episode had proven to be much more capable pilots than the men. I’m just going to assume that counts as ‘room for character development’ as he learns that they have to trust each other equally to get the best out of their love machine or something. Which, in a way, highlights what I’m talking about when I say how these crazy concepts can be used (although it does bring a whole new meaning to the famous line “your drill will be the drill to pierce the heavens”).