Aquarion EVOL 06

Has it been a few weeks since I talked about Aquarion? It’s really gotten good since then.

  • In episode 4, Fudo GEN ZEN came back and singlehandedly turned the show around. Mikono had a moment of being less lame, Cayenne got a moment of existing, the Berlin wall went down, ZEN started his campaign of trolling for the greater good, and Genesis fans got an enormous bone with the return of Aquarion’s most iconic move.
  • Episode 5 was basically everything I ever wanted: time for every character (including Yunoha the frog cat doll!), ZEN yelling, ZEN saying weird things, some focus and exposition on Donar, and Zessica. There’s a little to be said about Zessica in that episode, but I’ll shelve it, because it’s way past the time for it, and also because I’m waiting to see what happens to Zessica next week.
  • Episode 6 looks like a Shrade episode, but I would say it’s actually more of an establishing episode. It has a lot of villains talking cryptically, a lot of hints from both sides of the table, spends quite a while following Kagura around, and lets everyone know that Aquarion EVOL is going to be, at times, darker than anything in the goofy ramp up of the Genesis days.

Here are the parts of episode 6, “Agitato of Life”, that I was most interested in.

Kagura’s sense of smell

You stink deliciously.

Eww.

When Kagura appears in episode 5, he smells a random girl and declares she smells nice. In 1 and 6, he tells Mikono she stinks, and proceeds to call her a “smelly wench” (or, in super literal Japanese, a “poop woman”). But in 6, he adds that she smells sweet or nice in stinking. Weird.

Why the hell don't you have a smell?

Kagura is puzzled by this "bathing."

Kagura is a wild man and a dick, so I’ve been letting him use foul language fairly liberally, but mostly when it’s warranted (not throwing “fuck” into every sentence). In this case, he’s actually kind of freaked out that Amata doesn’t have a scent. His Japanese word choice reflects this, but I just wrote him reacting like so.

There are lots of theories flying around as to why Kagura says this (Amata is a construct, Amata just smells exactly like Kagura, Amata has no scent for reincarnation-shenanigan-related reasons). Obviously I have no idea what the answer is, but it’s sure that this is a foreshadowing point.

And you smell kinda like her.

No comment.

Apparently everyone thinks this line here refers to Mikono. The “her” in the sentence is literally “that woman” in Japanese. It could be Mikono, but my money is actually on Alicia, the actress and singer from Skies of Aquaria who has been kidnapped by the Altairians. (More on her later.)

I can smell better from here.

Giant robot smell-o-scope.

He can smell better from inside his robot, he says. Apparently this is true, he uses it to locate Mikono by scent repeatedly. Though in episode 6, when trying to track her, he zeroes in on first Cayenne, then Zessica (from inside their Vectors no less). That sounds pretty important.

Reaiglers, Alicia, Altair

I don’t know what the word Reaigler means. Japan doesn’t, either; the katakana レアイグラー is all that appears of it, usually in the context of Aquarion and “what is this I don’t even.” If it turns out to have some deep pseudo-Latin meaning later in the series, I’ll correct it after cursing out the writers.

There’s supposedly one in Aquarion, the Altairians keep bringing others back, and one of them woke Mikage up. It’s probably some special class of people, of which Alicia is probably one and Amata might be one, that they need to restore their planet or something.

This is as good a time as any to bring this up:

It may be the true Eve for us of Altair.

Sounds unenviable.

This was kind of a guess, but I think it was a good one. Altair doesn’t look like a very nice place, and the show ending with regenerating it (and/or rescuing its remnants onto Vega, another popular theory thanks to Altair’s and Vega’s relationship in Japanese mythology) would be right in character for Aquarion. Also, have you seen any ladies on Altair? It’s just Alicia, and she’s in a glass case while pictures of her are extremely valuable.

What this all adds up to is that Altair is being very cryptic about what they actually want, and I’m grasping at straws for clues.

Gnats Cashy

 But why does it feel so comfortable?

The Japanese word natsukashii is, dictionary-wise, pretty well covered by the English word “nostalgic”. It’s an adjective that describes the warm fuzzy feeling you get when reminded of the halcyon days of youth.

The only problem with that is that I don’t think anyone seriously describes anything as “nostalgic”.

Well, okay, that’s not true. What I should say is that I know of very few cases where a natural English speaker I know has described something as “nostalgic” without being very conscious of the fact. But in anime, the word comes up a lot, and so I make it my business to drill deeper and understand just what is so natsukashii about whatever is going on.

(A lot of the time it just means “oh man I used to do/see/have this when I was a kid and now I’m excited to do/see/have it again.” Pretty straightforward.)

When Mikono says it, she means she feels like she and Kagura have met before. In English we don’t call that nostalgia, we call that déjà vu. Amata says the same thing later in the episode, and I wouldn’t say either of them mean that seeing Kagura is warm, fuzzy, or reminiscent of fond memories of a younger age long past. The important part is the sense of déjà vu.

But when Amata says it when doing Union, he’s talking about the other side of it, the side that makes him feel safe and at home. This ties into Shrade’s line about the Melodic Union being the most natural sound a human can make. This is absolutely a sense of longing for the innocence of being young, but not in a way that anyone would call “nostalgic” as such.

Amata, Mikono, and Kagura

 I think I know him.

Both Amata and Mikono have phantom memories of Kagura. In Mikono’s, he’s a good figure; she says he cares for her passionately. This is probably supposed to remind us of Apollo and his protectiveness of both Sylvia and all of the people he considered his friends.

Amata won’t say what Kagura reminds him of yet. See what I mean about this episode having lots of hints?

Shrade

I’m not going to comment on Shrade’s physical condition or his supposed death. I want to talk about this thing, though.

If you can play me.

He's actually not propositioning Kagura.

Every time Shrade says “play” in this script, he means play as in an instrument. There is probably some extremely involved symbolism in the way he uses it.

For when I could finally play Aquarion!

Aquarion coming soon for PS3.

I’m particularly interested in the way he talks about piloting Aquarion as playing on it.

Set the moon in the sky with vibrato

This isn't here just for Shrade's crotch, but you're welcome anyway.

This, however, is probably just Shrade trying to be a musical ZEN. (And stop getting your Italian in my Japanese! My job is hard enough as it is!)

Can I kill you?

Mind if I kill you? I'd really prefer you didn't...

I did like this sequence, but it reminded me uncomfortably of the worst thing in Ben-to. Go figure. To Kagura’s credit, he did just shrug and leave.

He asked Shrade the same thing, and Shrade said “sure whatever.” Awkward.

Other images

What? But I was finally about to Union with a girl!

Never.

Oh, Andy.

I know he’s going to end up with MIX, but I’m pulling for Zessica. The best characters deserve each other. (Her or Yunoha, anyway.)

I like Andy though, I really do. I like him as comic relief, I like him as a foil, and I really want his hat.

Aquarion Spada

Speaks for itself.

The only thing I have to say about this one is I really like the Spada. Yes, it’s the equivalent of Aquarion Luna (the shield is the equivalent of Luna’s enormous bow arms), but Luna was an archer with a side of kickboxing, while Spada is a swordsman with a shield. Like how Gepalt was structurally Mars but it’s an assault form with a giant cannon.

And while we’re on the subject of strained parallels to Genesis, is it just me or is Shrade the equivalent of Reika? The primary trio of the original Aquarion was Apollo, Sirius, and Sylvia, where Pierre would occasionally take over Mars or Reika would take over Luna. Now it’s Shrade’s turn to take Mikono’s seat in Vector Y (Luna) and pilot with Amata and Cayenne. Maybe Sazanka is on to something after all…

(This also makes Zessica the new Pierre, and I guess Tsugumi and Jun can be MIX and Andy. Huh.)

Whew. Words.

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