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Genesis of Aquarion
Logo aquarion.jpg
創聖のアクエリオン
(Sōsei no Akuerion)
Genre Mecha, Science fiction, Romance
TV anime
Director Shoji Kawamori
Studio Satelight
Licensor Australia New Zealand Madman Entertainment
Canada United States FUNimation
Network Japan TV Tokyo
English network United States FUNimation Channel
Original run 4 April 200526 September 2005
Episodes 26
Anime film
Gekijouban Aquarion
Director Shoji Kawamori
Studio Japan Satelight
Released 15 September 2007
Anime and Manga Portal

Genesis of Aquarion (創聖のアクエリオン Sōsei no Akuerion?) is an anime TV series written and directed by Shoji Kawamori, produced by Satelight.

The science fiction series is a homage to the Super Robot shows of the 1970s and 1980s, executed with modern animation techniques and aesthetics. Set in the future, a giant fighting machine called Aquarion is humanity's only weapon in the fight against the technologically advanced species called the Shadow Angels.

Aquarion aired from April 4, 2005 to September 26, 2005 on TV Tokyo. An alternate retelling of the television series, the Genesis of Aquarion OVA, is in production. A feature film adaptation premiered on September 15, 2007. The television series is licensed in North America by FUNimation while on the 14 February 2006 it aired on MTV Italia.

On April 27, 2009, the series made its North American television debut on the FUNimation Channel.[1]

Contents

Plot

Eleven years before the start of the series, a disaster only referred to as the "Great Catastrophe" destroyed significant parts of the world and killed off many of its inhabitants. Along with the disaster came the appearance of the Shadow Angels, winged-beings who have been in slumber for twelve thousand years in their city of Atlandia and have technology so advanced, it may be defined as very nearly magic. The Shadow Angels begin to harvest humans on Earth, dubbing them as "the wingless ones", like cattle, extracting their prana (life force) from them to serve as energy and nutrition to the Shadow Angels, but also to feed the legendary Tree of Life. The Shadow Angels facilitate their harvesting via giant, floating harvesting machines called harvest beasts guarded by giant mecha called Cherubim Soldiers. They are sentient, yet there are times when they are piloted by Shadow Angels.

Ordinary weapons prove ineffective against the Cherubim, but a human expedition under the leadership of Gen Fudou eventually excavates three very technologically advanced fighter planes. Gen Fudou disappears, but an organization called Deava takes over the research of these machines, called Vectors, trying to find out how to use them. The three Vectors are the green Vector Luna, the blue Vector Mars and the red Vector Sol. Deava discovers only people with special powers called Elements can control the Vectors and, ultimately, unite the three to form a giant fighting machine with three transformations called Aquarion.

During the first sortie to fight a Cherubim by uniting the vectors into Aquarion, Deava encounters 15 year-old Apollo, who seems to be the reincarnation of the hero Apollonius, also known as the "Solar Wing", who betrayed his Shadow Angel brethren for his love of the human warrior Seliane.

Characters

Mecha

In the process of Unification, the Vectors combine to form the humanoid robot Aquarion, with the head being the leading section. This process also merges the souls of the Elements to some degree, as each supplies one of the supposed three aspects of their soul into one when Aquarion is formed. During Unification, the Elements experience an influx of power and energy, which in classic Japanese fan-service style is shown to be a feeling of wondrous power for the men, while for the women it is blatantly orgasmic in nature.

Aquarion

Solar Aquarion
Corresponds to Vector Sol as the head, Vector Luna as the back, and Vector Mars as the legs. This is the most balanced of the three basic Aquarion forms, with its specialty in melee combat. It is the only form that can manifest the "Solar Wings" on its back. Later in the series, the Elements develop the Solar Aquarion's signature "Mugen (Infinity) Punch", an attack extending the arm indefinitely in order to reach even the most agile enemy; to elaborate, the Mugen Punch can reach distances that extends to the surface of the moon. The Solar Aquarion is almost always used by Apollo.
Aquarion Luna
Corresponds to Vector Luna as the head, Vector Mars as the back, and Vector Sol as the legs. It specializes in ranged combat, with the ability to wield a bow and arrows, or as another form to partake in melee situations, given the Aquarion Luna's agile movement and reflexes. It too can manifest a set of wings on its back. It is mostly used by Silvia de Alisia and Hong Lihua (Reika).
Aquarion Mars
Corresponds to Vector Mars as the head, Vector Sol as the back, and Vector Luna as the legs. It does has a set of wings on its back, but it cannot manifest or De-manifest them. This is the fastest of the Aquarion forms. It is Sirius de Alisia's favorite because it can wield a sword and due to its long legs and speed, it is perfect for Pierre Vieira's "Fire Kick" technique.

Powers and Abilities

All three forms are capable of using the powers and/or the abilities of the elements that are piloting it separately or in any combination, as well as combining them with the main powers of the form Aquarion is in at the time (Mugen Punch, bow and arrows or sword) and using the main powers in special ways such as classifying them with unique names or using them in unique ways. The elements piloting it can combine their status such as strength, speed, targeting, mental strength and willpower in any way as well, and enable Aquarion to use it as its own in battle.

Secondary forms

The following are other forms the Aquarion can take, but only appear in specific situations:

Aquarion Soluna
After the Solar Aquarion's arms are destroyed and is separated, Lihua, Tsugumi Rosenmeier and Pierre unite to form this Aquarion. Essentially the Solar Aquarion, it uses the Vector Luna as the head, but flipped forward, becoming the torso on top of the Vector Sol, making a leg/stomach/head formation. It is assumed this is the tallest of Aquarion's forms due to its configuration.
Aquarion Angel
When the Vector Mars is absent, Apollo, Tsugumi, Lihua and even Silvia unite to form an Aquarion out of the Vector Sol, Vector Luna and a Military Vector Omega, respectively, with the Vector Omega taking the position of head. It is assumed this form retains all of the Aquarion Mars' abilities, even with the lack of the Vector Mars' presence in the combination.
Aquarion Sol 2
Another Aquarion form with the Military Vector Omega. It consists of the Vector Sol as the head, the Vector Luna as the back and the Vector Omega as the legs, this time the Vector Omega is piloted by Pierre. It is only featured once.

Assault Type Aquarion

The Assault Type Aquarion is a copy of the original Aquarion, constructed in a joint operation between DEAVA and the New United Nations using Shadow Angel DNA collected by force. It follows the same basic architecture of the original with a couple of physical differences and uses conventional weaponry of cannons, rockets and machine guns as opposed to the original's more traditional weapons of bow and arrows, sword and Mugen punch. Colored mostly in gray/black, this Aquarion is normally piloted by one cyborg element or even a normal human being, while the other two corresponding Vectors AI-controlled. It can configure into six different forms and is composed of Vectors named Alpha, Delta and Omega, which corresponds to the Vector Sol, Vector Luna and the Vector Mars, respectively. The Vectors are compatible with normal elements and the original Aquarion's vectors and they are mass produced by the New United Nations.

Aquarion Alpha
Corresponds to Vector Alpha as the head, Vector Delta as the back, and Vector Omega as the legs. It is the equivalent of the Solar Aquarion. It uses an enormous PSG Cannon as its primary weapon and like the Solar Aquarion, it can deploy the "Solar Wings" on its back, but does not have the mystical effect of the original. Oddly enough, its head is shaped like the Aquarion Luna's and has a visor over its eyes. This configuration can transform into the Walker Formation without the need to separate the Vectors and reuniting.
Aquarion Delta
Corresponds with Vector Delta as the head, Vector Omega as the back, and Vector Alpha as the legs. It is the equivalent of the Aquarion Luna. Taking a similarity to the Aquarion Luna's bow, the Aquarion Delta specializes in long-range combat through a complement of rockets that fire from its own customized bow and can also utilize the Aquarion Omega's machine guns, mounted on the same part as the rockets.
Aquarion Omega
Corresponds with Vector Omega as the head, Vector Alpha as the back, and Vector Delta as the legs. It is the equivalent of the Aquarion Mars. Using a pair of machine guns, this form is only featured once and can transform into the Armageddon Formation without the need to separate the Vectors and reuniting.
Armageddon Formation
A formation where the three Vectors combine into a 6-legged walker with the Aquarion Alpha's PSG cannon mounted on top, similar to a tank. This formation exists due to the PSG Cannon able to fire at its maximum capabilities with a stable footing. This form can transform immediately into Aquarion Omega without separating and reuniting.
Walker Formation
A vehicle formation used for speed, it appears as a jet-like machine with two legs. This form can transform into Aquarion Alpha without separating and reuniting. Its appearance closely resembles the GERWALK mode of the VF-1 Valkyrie from Super Dimensional Fortress Macross, another anime written and directed by Shoji Kawamori.
Aquation Beast form
In the Aquarion movie, when Reika got mad and didn't understand why Apollo was helping Silvia (who everyone thought was Scorpus, the person who killed Apollonius) Aquarion Omega transformed into a evil beast form.

Shadow Angel Mecha and Monsters

  • Cherubim Mars
After allying with the Shadow Angels and taking the Vector Mars with him, Sirius uses a Cherubim Soldier in place of the other two Vectors. The Cherubim Mars acts the same as the Aquarion Mars, but if its Cherubim Soldier body is destroyed, another Cherubim can take its place.
  • Antichthon
A three dimensional polygon that brings out the inner hatred and/or jealousy of those that see into it long enough.
  • Black Rena
A harvest beast with the ability to make itself look and act like what the people facing it fear most. Because the elements were afraid of Rena at the time, it took on a vampire Rena-based form and acted like a vampire to drain prana.
  • Cherubim Blumeblatt
Miniature versions of regular cherubim soldiers that act as anti-military forces. Although they lack legs they are highly maneuverable users of levitation and are armed with pulse lasers from the head. They are very important for the Shadow Angel invasions of human cities to harvest human beings, as they are what broadcast the Shadow Angel's "Soul song", which hypnotizes normal human beings and makes them sitting ducks for the harvest beasts to collect.
  • Cherubim Graave
A special cherubim with immensely thick armor that can stand up to most assaults with little damage. It can fire CPulse beams from the head and hands and it can also use its drill-like gloves for melee combat as well as launch them.
  • Cherubim Iskuron
A colorful custom cherubim used by Mohora capable of bisecting. Its pulse beams are green instead of blue and aside from being normally fired from the head and claws can also be used like daggers in melee. Other powers include an energy beam from the chest and teleportation.
  • Cherubim Lune
A special cherubim that was infused with "the moon's ability to be not too near yet not too far". It can dodge nearly any attack and can produce black/purple electric balls from its hands. It can also quickly recover from normal attacks.
  • Cherubim Soldier
Standard mecha used by the Shadow Angels capable of flying very fast and firing pulse lasers from their head and palms. The only two notable versions are the soldier armed with the gravity staff user from episode 4 and the soldier modified by Futaba in episode 21.
  • Cherubim Sue le Kubera
A black cherubim soldier used by Toma in two of the last episodes in the series. It is armed with a pair of rapiers and pulse lasers from the palms designed for impalement like spears and has great speed and agility.
  • Cherubim Verizeva
A customized cherubim used by Toma and later Otoha armed with a pair of swords and pulse lasers from the palms designed for impalement like spears.
  • Harvest Beast
Standard Hammerhead shark-like vessels used to collect humans for Shadow Angels. They possess no offensive capabilities.
  • Kumba and Nikumba
A pair of cherubim that share a core and can exchange it between each other; the one without the core becomes indestructible.
  • Legend Monster
An ancient harvest beast that remained dormant in a lake.
  • Mirror Aquarion
A fake version of Aquarion that possesses all the regular abilities except expansion of the body.
  • Mongie
Tiny harvests beasts used to consume all the food consumed by humans with a great resemblance to the kaiju Dogora.
  • Titania
A dream manipulator harvest beast from the Moon that entraps people in their nightmares.
  • Xibalba
A cherubim-like digging machine that is essentially a large mechanical worm with clawed fingers and a large mouth used for burrowing through the ground quickly and can fire pulse lasers and missiles from the back of its hands.

Design

Despite early references to biblical trees, the Book of Genesis and such, the bulk of Aquarion is tied to many other non-Christian myths.

Age of Aquarius

Age of Aquarius, also known as the Aquarian Age, was a concept popularized by Carl Gustav Jung. The Age of Aquarius was seen in contraposition with current the Age of Pisces: whereas the Age of Pisces represents duality and antithesis (thus, conflict), the Age of Aquarius is an age of synthesis and spiritualism (in some ways, a new golden age). In the New Age, because of the implications of love, comprehension and one-ness, it can be associated with the fourth chakra. Aquarion as a name is a reference to this concept, but the show digs deeper in symbolism in using the Aquarion as an instrument for a "new era of holy genesis", managing to resolve conflict between the opposing parties of humans and Shadow Angels and showing a not-so-metaphorical process of oneness with the Earth.

Yoga

Aquarion's main theme references Indian lore. The word yoga is translated as "unite" and means "union with the divine through the integration of body, mind and spirit" (in Japanese, the word "kokoro" refers to both heart or mind, but is more often translated as just the heart). During Unification, the Elements merge together their bodies, minds and spirits, but a real Unification of the Aquarion can only be obtained with a Shadow Angel onboard, fitting the scheme of the divine element necessary into order to achieve true Unification and completing Aquarion's power.

Prapti and the Mugen Punch

Yogis are said to develop special powers called siddhis. One of them is called prapti (acquisition) and with this siddhi, the perfect mystic yogi can not only touch the moon, but he can extend his hand anywhere and take whatever he likes. In the series, the Solar Aquarion's Mugen Punch manages to reach the moon, although the real prapti should not involve greatly elongated arms, but rather the ability to cancel distances between objects (resulting in the idea of omnipresence). In this sense, the real prapti in the show is perhaps used by Gen Fudo, who makes things appear out of nothing from his hand. It is worth noting another siddhi called Mahima is the ability to become incredibly big; this may be referenced to the Aquarion's ability to expand itself in size during particular battles with the Cherubim.

Apollonius

The character Apollonius is a passing nod to Greek mythology. Seemingly inspired by Prometheus, he gave fire to humans and was punished by Zeus through an eagle feasting on his liver; similarly, Apollonius gives the humans a fighting chance against the Shadow Angels with the Aquarion, but loses his wings as punishment. Like Apollonius of Tyana, Aquarion's Apollonius dies and reincarnates as the protagonist Apollo, while the Greek god Apollo is stated to have been born in the bank of a lake, Aquarion's Apollo is given his name after he swims in a lake.

The Tree of Life

The Tree of Life

Atlandia's Tree of Life seemingly takes on dual roles, referencing the Tree of Life (image to the right) from the Kabbalah as well as the Yggdrasil of Norse mythology. The arrangement of the flowers at the end of the central flowering portion can be easily seen forming the ten interconnecting nodes of the Sephirot, only that as everyone can or cannot see, the flower at top middle center, the spot that is supposed to symbolize the unity of the nodes is absent, which possibly explains the cause of the tree's unexpected reaction at the end of the series. The tree also acts in a similar function to the Yggdrasil, as it literally holds the entire planet together.

Theme music

Opening songs
  1. "Sousei no Aquarion" (創聖のアクエリオン Sōsei no Aquarion?, "Genesis of Aquarion") by Akino (Episodes 1-16)
  2. "Go Tight!" by Akino (Episode 17-26)
Ending songs
  1. "Omna Magni" (オムナ マグニ?, "I Can Fly") by Yui Makino
  2. "Kōya no Heath" (荒野のヒース?, "The Heath of the Wasteland") by Akino
  3. "Celiane" by Gabriela Robin
Other themes
  • "Nike 15-sai" (ニケ15歳 Nike Jūgo-sai?, "Fifteen-Year-Old Nike") by Akino
  • "Genesis of Aquarion" by Akino (English lyrics by Bless4)

Yoko Kanno is the composer of the soundtrack music. Performed by the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra.

Other appearances

Reception

In America, Genesis of Aquarion has been praised for its excellent mecha designs, musical score and animation style. The story, however, has mixed reviews. AnimeonDVD, and Anime News Network has rated the series overall a C+, stating that Aquarion tries to please everyone with the different elements that are reminiscent of other series, and fails to establish its own identity.

Most fans consider the series to be a homage to other like-minded mecha series, and appreciated the above average enjoyment that its predecessors lacked. Other fans found that the lack of a completely original story from Kawamori, was countered by a smoother, less complex manner of execution that familiar stories couldn't pull off.

Overall, Aquarion has been received well by the majority of fans and critics, appealing more to the former than the latter.

References

External links








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