You know, at first I thought I’d have a lot about this episode, and then when I looked, not so much. Actually, there’s a lot to tlnote in this episode, but ultimately, very little to actually discuss. The characters learned a lot of things we already knew, but the audience didn’t learn much at all, though a few more vague hints and infuriating riddles were dropped.
If it wasn’t obvious, I’m quickly getting disillusioned with the new, serious Aquarion EVOL.
Fudo, the Immovable
From my perspective, this guy is both the best and the worst thing about this episode. First off, 不動 (“Fudo”) literally means “the unmoving.” It’s not exactly a pun, more like a Japanese thing. But it gets worse.
Here’s the tl;dr if you don’t feel like reading the Wikipedia page (p.s. if I’m mistaken on any of this correct me because I’m going off it too): The Achalanatha is one of five “Wisdom Kings” and actually, in Japanese, his name is read Fudou Myou-oh, literally the Immovable Wisdom King. Fudo is saying the “Fudo” in his name is the Japanese name of Achala. Plus, his job as a god is to destroy obstacles that stand between devotees and enlightenment. Sound familiar?
The Immovable ZEN is not in a physical sense, but metaphysically – he is omnipresent, everywhere at once without every having to physically move, and, ZEN implies, also every time at once without ever really being born, dying, or changing in between. In every way ZEN is literally calling himself a god (though an Asian-flavored one). In fact, his speech to Mikono echoes some of the ways transcendents in Asian legends and religions have described their divine state (I’m thinking particularly of Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita).
How serious is he? Who the hell knows? Other than that crazy-ass new age guy Shoji Kawamori at the wheel, obviously.
The omnipresence angle is important here because there’s another way of seeing omnipresence: Solar Aquarion hasn’t moved for twelve thousand years, almost undoubtedly, yet because its arms pervade the entire planet’s crust, it is in a sense everywhere at once, even under a certain little lake outside of Neo-Kowloon.
One way or another, the big conflict of this show is going to be finding Aquarion’s true body, and ZEN and Mikage are racing for it. But whose journey is he referring to? His own? Mikono’s? Everyone’s?
Two people said something along the lines of “go back to the place where it all began,” Mikage and Preview Amata. Returning to where everything began usually signals that what was begun must now end. Between that and the title, “Kiss,” maybe something will happen next episode. On the other hand, previews and titles have been unreliable before.
Like the journey, the question here is “where what began?” The show, with Amata and Mikono meeting in Neo-Kowloon? The story, the last Aquarion disaster that I guess was also when Alicia vanished? It’s going to be on Vega and in that city, but many things may have begun there, and many things are due to end there.
So, you know how Izumo said that Iguras transform in body and mind?
Yunoha started talking like a tough shit, and it wasn’t just her conjugations. What she says was more forward, even to the point of being rude (Yunoha has always been polite and sweet) and her body language was rougher too – just look at that pose in the first shot. Even with those cues, her dialect was crass to the point of self-parody, so I had to write like this.
To be honest, I was kind of going for an escalating effect over the course of the episode, which is the only reason that says “freaking” instead of “fucking.” I didn’t want to go too far too early.
Which should explain this. I know it doesn’t look like it matches her body language or tone of voice, but after she said “It’s up to you now,” she followed it up with べらぼうめ, which means “…you goddamn stupid idiot.” This is one of the reasons I tried to shoot for escalation and ended up here. I really wish I’d had more time to spend crafting this dialogue, and also more motivation to try hard on this show the way it’s headed.
(I hope this sticks next week. It’s a riot, and it might just catalyze something if the real change is Yunoha being more forward and saying what she thinks instead of being shy.)
I probably don’t really need to write about this asshole, but I feel like I should hit the obvious marks.
He didn’t know Amata’s name. This is obvious in retrospect but I didn’t realize that would be so until he said it. He has all the information on Rare Iguras he could want, yet for all his worrying about the Boy with Wings, he never asked Jin or anything.
The only thing to say about this is TROLOLOL. At this point, if Izumo is Amata’s dad, I’ll actually be madder than otherwise, because they’ll have spent all this useless effort dragging it out pointlessly like every other plot thread in this show since Jin died.