Top

Aquarion Evol: Part One (a J!-ENT Anime on Blu-ray Disc Review)

January 5, 2014 by  



aquarion-evol

If you enjoyed the original “Aquarion”, “Aquarion Evol: Part One” is an action-packed and fun mecha anime series worth recommending!

Image courtesy of © 2013 FUNimation. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Aquarion Evol: Part One

ANIME RELEASE DATE: 2012

DURATION: Episodes 1-13

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0, Subtitles: English subtitles

COMPANY: FUNimation

RATING: TV 14 V

Release Date: December 3, 2013

Originally Created by Shoji Kawamori

Chief Director: Shoji Kawamori

Directed by Yusuke Yamamoto

Series Composition: Mari Okada

Screenplay by Hiroshi Yamaguchi, Mari Okada, Masahiro Yokotani, Shinsuke Onishi

Music by Ayako Otsuka, Yoko Kanno 

Original Character Design: Chinatsu Kurahana, Kana Ishida

Character Design by  Hirotaka Marufuji, Kana Ishida

Art Direction by Shunichiro Yoshihara

Mechanical Design by Stanislas Brunet, Takeshi Takakura

Anime Production by 8-Bit, Satelight

Backgrounds by Studio Biho

Featuring the following voice talent:

Ai Kayano/Brina Palencia as Mikono Suzushiro

Yuuki Kaji/Christopher Bevins as Amata Sora

Ayumi Fujimura/Alexis Tipton as MIX

Daisuke Namikawa/Eric Vale as Shrade Elan

Hiroki Yasumoto/Mike McFarland as Izumo Kamurogi

Jun Fukushima/Todd Haberkorn as Jin Muso

Junichi Suwabe/Justin Cook as Donar Dantes

Kana Hanazawa/Caitlin Glass as Zessica Wong

Keiji Fujiwara/Brandon Potter as Fudo Zen

Kenichi Suzumura/Jason Liebrecht as Cayenne Suzushiro

Kensuke Satou/Ian Sinclair as Malloy

Kouki Uchiyama/Taliesin Jaffe as Kagura

Kousuke Toriumi/Josh Grelle as Andy W Hole

Megumi Nakajima/Tia Ballard as Sazanka Bianca

Sakura Tange/Carrie Savage as Crea Drosera

Sanae Kobayashi as Suomi

Yui Ogura/Luci Christian as Yunoha Suroor (Thrul)

Yūichi Nakamura/J. Michael Tatum as Mikage Towano

With Kanuka having returned to New York, the search is on for her replacement as Ohta’s backup. The pressure on Shinshi to step up is so severe that he contemplates leaving for a civilian job. At the same time, the powers that be are taking the opportunity to make some other sweeping changes, introducing an experienced new member to the team in the form of Takeo Kumagami.

However, the addition of another female to the SV2 is the least of Noa’s problems. A new series of stunning Labor-related crimes rapidly escalates into an all out war against the Mobile Police. Unlike any previous encounters, the SV2 are now up against a superior form of Labor – and possibly even better pilots! And just to make the disaster complete, the Police Chief’s proposed new economic move to cheaper Labors may ultimately result in the scrapping of Division 2’s Ingrams. As the terrifying Griffin stalks the streets and skies of Tokyo, the Second Special Vehicles Division must fight a battle for survival on multiple fronts!

The sequel to the 2005 anime series “Genesis of Aquarion”, “Aquarion Evol” brings us back to the same universe but 12,000 years after the original series.

Mankind is now living on the planet Vega but all of a sudden, humanity is under threat by those from the planet Altair, a female population that was wiped out by a mysterious disease known as “Curs eof Eve”.

Similar to Shadow Angels, the Alteans have invaded the cities and are trying to steal all female inhabitants to preserve their race.

But to defend humanity is the Neo-DEAVA organization which pairs males to females and each pilot a machine known as Aquaria.

Can the Aquaria defeat the Alteans? Find out in “Aquarion Evol: The Complete Series”, now available on Blu-ray+DVD combo from Funimation!

What is Aquarion?

For anime fans, Shoji Kawamori and Hiroshi Onogi are both a legendary anime industry powerhouse duo.  The two are known for their work on the popular “Macross” (parts of the storyline is known in the US as “Robotech”)  and “Macross Plus” series.

Kawamori is also known for creating anime series such as “The Vision of Escaflowne”, “Earth Girl Arjuna” and known for his mechanical designs from Macross but also for series such as “Eureka Seven”, “Dangaio” and “Ghost in the Shell”.

Hiroshi Onogi is known for his many screenplays and writing for anime such as “RahXephon”, “Eureka Seven”, “Mobile Suit Gundam MS Igloo” and many other titles.

The two teamed up together again in 2005 with the anime studio Satelight, Inc. (a studio in which Kawamori is an Executive Director) to create the series known as  “Genesis of Aquarion” (Sosei no Aquarion) which aired on TV Tokyo from April 2005 to September 2005.  And in Japan, whenever Kawamori and Onogi team up, fans can always expect an entertaining and deep anime series.

“AQUARION” takes place during a time in the planet in which human kind is facing near extinction.  The series takes place during a time when “The Great Catastrophe” had destroyed many areas around the world with many of the humans now living on the streets.  After the catastrophe, the Shadow Angels (winged-beings that have been dormant for nearly 12,000 years have re-appeared on Earth and use humans (aka “wingless ones”) to harvest on.

Humans have become food for the Shadow Angels, who depend on humans to supply them with prana (life force) as a source of energy but also to feed their Tree of Life.

A human named Gen Fudou had excavated three advanced mecha fighters with absolute strength and the power to defend human kind against the Shadow Angels.  With Fudou gone missing, an organization known as Deava is responsible for the three machines known as Vectors and researching them and how it behaves in battle against the Shadow Angels but most importantly, how certain humans that are known to be “Element Users” can pilot and control them but can combine the vectors to create a powerful machine known as Aquarion.

Depending on which element users are using the machine, they can turn Aquarion into the following forms: Solar Aquarion, Aquarion Luna, Aquarion Mars, Aquarion Soluna and Aquarion Angel.

The series focuses on the adventures of the element users who work together and face challenges in their lives as pilots.  A lot of them don’t know their true potential and a lot of them don’t know the potential of the Aquarion, but everything changes when they encounter a young man living on the streets known as Apollo (who appears to have element capabilities)  but also a return of the man who discovered the Vectors, Gen Fudou.

Aside from the battle between the humans and the Shadow Angels, there is also a storyline about reincarnation and how certain element users may be tied to the ancient past.  We also learn about the drive of the Shadow Angels, especially with the character of a Shadow Angel named Toma who has this hatred towards the humans and we slowly discover why.

Fast forward 12,000 years later and now we have…”Aquarion Evol”.

What is Aquarion Evol?

In 2011, “Aquarion Evol” was announced in Japan.

Wanting to explore character reincarnations and a connection of the original series and the sequel 12,000 years later, “Aquarion Evol” was created and aired on TV Tokyo in Japan in 2012.

The series is directed by Yusuke Yamamoto (“Sgt. Frog”, “Welcome to the NHK”, “B Gata H Kei – Yamada’s First Time”), series composition by Mari Okada (“AKB0048”, “Angel Tales”, “Darker Than Black”, “Black Rock Shooter”, “Black Butler” series), music by Ayako Otsuka and Yoko Kanno (“Aquarion”, “Cowboy Bebop”, “Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone complex”, “Macross Plus”), character design by Hirotaka Marufuji (“Legends of the Dark King: A Fist of the North Star Story”, “Nobunaga the Fool”), Kana Ishida (“Eden of the East: Paradise Lost”, “Mahoka Koko no Rettosei”) and art backgrounds by Shunichiro Yoshida (“Ah! My Goddess”, “Attack on Titan”, “Giant Robo”, “Gurren Lagann”).

In the future, the Neo-DEAVA has been protecting the planet Vega.  But one day, the Alteans from the planet Altair have attacked Vega and are kidnapping the women and girls in order to preserve their race.

During that day, a young man named Amata Sora, who has the element power of Anti-Gravity (which he has a hard time controlling when he is excited) which he tries to keep secret, goes on a date with Mikono Suzushiro, a fellow movie lover.

But as it looks as if Neo-DEAVA is about to be defeated and before Amata and Mikono are nearly killed, Amata Sora activates the sealed power of Aquarion Evol. a process that allows male and female to to unite to form a mecha robot known as Aquarion Evol.  A long banned union that no one has tried for a very long time.

Because Amata and Mikono have unsealed Aquarion Evol, Neo-DEAVA makes the two join their forces and seeing the power of Aquarion Evol., Neo-DEAVA becomes a co-ed institutional but there is one strict rule: No one is allowed to fall in love with each other if they are in a program together.

As Neo-DEAVA wants to build the program with their male and female students, Kagura of Altair has developed an obsession towards Mikono’s scent and wants her badly.  But can Amata protect Mikono from him and will Neo-DEAVA have what it takes to protect the planet from the Alteans?

And what happens when Amato is revealed to have a connection to a figure from 12,000 years ago?

VIDEO:

“Aquarion Evol: Part One” is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:78:1).  The series looks absolutely vibrant.  Characters are well-shaded, CG and special effects are colorful and for the most part, the series features wonderful character designs and detailed art backgrounds.

If anything, the art backgrounds for this series is quite amazing and 8-Bit and Satelight did a wonderful job!

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Aquarion Evol: Part One” is presented in English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0.  As one can expect with the English dub having a 5.1 soundtrack, the English dub utilizes the surround channels especially during the more action-driven sequences.  Voice acting for the English dub is very good as with the Japanese soundtrack.  It’s just that the soundtrack is lossless 2.0, so primarily front channel-driven.  But I would have loved to see this series with a 5.1 Japanese soundtrack but that’s how series in Japan are typically presented, so you get lossless stereo soundtrack and and an English dub track that features better dynamic range.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Aquarion Evol: Part One” features the following special features:

  • Audio Commentary – Episode 1 – Audio Comentary by Christopher Bevins (voice of Amata), J. Michael Tatum (voice of Towano Miyakage) and Brina Palencia (voice of Mikono).
  • Audio Commentary – Episode 9 – Audio Commentary by Christopher Bevins (voice of Amata), Alexis Tipton (voice of Mix) and Josh Grelle (voice of Andy W. Hole).
  • The Myth of Ten Thousand Years and Two Thousand More Returns – A special feature about the announcement of the series, background on the original series and its connection to the new sequel.
  • Textless Opening and Ending Theme
  • U.S. Trailer – FUNimation trailer for “Aquarion Evol”.

When I first reviewed the original “Aquarion” back in 2009, I discussed how the series was quite original in its way of incorporating reincarnation scenes, almost sexual merging with its pilots but also its humor and seriousness.

It was an original style of mecha series that caught a lot of attention because Shoji Kawamori and Hiroshi Onogi were involved.

Kawamori is also known for creating anime series such as “The Vision of Escaflowne”, “Earth Girl Arjuna” and known for his mechanical designs from Macross but also for series such as “Eureka Seven”, “Dangaio” and “Ghost in the Shell”.

Hiroshi Onogi is known for his many screenplays and writing for anime such as “RahXephon”, “Eureka Seven”, “Mobile Suit Gundam MS Igloo” and many other titles.

But this time around, this story does feature Kawamori as the executive producer but gives more leeway to its creative staff at Satelight to create a new original story that somehow connects to the original storyline.

The director for this sequel is Yusuke Yamamoto (best known for “Sgt. Frog” and had worked with Shoji Kawamori on “Arjuna” several years ago).

But with “Aquarion Evol: Part One”, the storyline which takes place 12,000 years in the future is rather interesting as Evol. has been outlawed and perhaps because of the unity between the pilots and its sexual nature, the program was stopped and tried to focus on individual pilots for a mecha.

But after a new threat has disturbed humanity and the new character protagonist, Amata Sora along with his date Mikono Suzushiro were able to united and bring the Aquarion Evol back, Neo-DEAVA brings back the program and makes their academy co-ed and tries to find perfect matches among male and female students.  But also implementing a no-relationship rule.

The first half of the 26-episode series is more or less about character development.  Introducing people from other teams, the young men and ladies trying to co-exist and work together to pilot a mecha, but most of all, just try to get along with each other.  And as hard as Neo-DEAVA tries to prevent love with their young pilots, love is going to exist somehow, someway.

Meanwhile, Kagura of the Alteans becomes overly obsessed with Mikono’s scent and wants her to himself, but Amata will do anything to protect her.

But as these young pilots continue to train and get used to each other, will they be ready for the next fight with the Alteans?

As for the Blu-ray release, the picture quality of “Aquarion Evol” is amazing.  Characters are well-designed and shaded, while art backgrounds are just detailed and beautiful to look at.  Colors are vibrant, mecha action scenes are also well-done and for the most part, the first half of the series is pretty fun and exciting.

While I did enjoy the more seriousness of the original series, I do look like the change of making things much more simplistic and fun for the storyline of “Aquarion Evol” and not having to rely on the union segments or reincarnation.

But I do look forward in seeing how “Aquarion Evol” progresses during its second half of the series.  But for now, for the first 13 episodes is primarily about character development and learning about each character’s strengths and weakness, but I imagine the second half of the series becoming more serious and expect to see a different tone and more action!

If you enjoyed the original “Aquarion”, “Aquarion Evol: Part One” is an action-packed and fun mecha anime series worth recommending!

Please follow and like us:





General Disclaimer:

J!-ENT has not received any compensation from the company for this post. J!-ENT has no material connection to the brands, products, or services that are mentioned in this post.

For Product Reviews:

For product reviews, J!-ENT has purchased the above product for review purposes or may have received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free by the company which in no way affects our reviews, may it be positive or negative. We only recommend products or services we have tested/reviewed and believe will be good for our readers.

For Advertising:

Some of the links in our posts are "affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, J!-ENT will receive an affiliate commission.

J!-ENT is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Comments

RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Google+
Google+
http://j-entonline.com/blu-ray-dvd-reviews/blu-ray-reviews/anime-blu-ray-reviews/aquarion-evol-part-one-a-j-ent-anime-on-blu-ray-disc-review/">
Twitter
Bottom