Despite a frightening fraction of this episode being consumed by two unlikable assholes punching each other in the face over a boring girl, this episode actually had a lot of plot in it. And incredibly, some of it wasn’t based on two unlikable assholes or a boring girl.
Amata and Kagura
But some of it was. May as well start there.
This is, supposedly, the framing concept for the series: which is more important, the love from 12,000 years ago or the love that’s blossoming now?
Except no, not really.
Kagura and Amata are Original Amata divided. I don’t see Kagura having any greater claim to being Apollonius or Apollo reborn than Amata. Hell, he still calls Mikono “Silvie.” Either both of them can claim to have won 12,000 years ago, or neither of them can.
Also, the “fate” angle is comical considering that from a narrative perspective, Amata’s single-minded devotion to Mikono is extremely fated. The ship is being carried on the flow of scenario writing like a raft down the Mississippi river.
Anyway, there were some plot developments surrounding the Amata/Kagura split too. One shouldn’t surprise anyone: it was Mikage’s fault. Everything is Mikage’s fault in this show. That’s another spot of bad writing – the villain is godlike. He can cause plot developments arbitrarily at a distance (Jin, Zessica), most things are solidly under his control (Cherubims, the Gate), and as it turns out, everything is going according to a plan he engineered ages ago. Watch out for him being responsible for the ongoing collapse of Ianthe, too.
Strange that he should say “two memories.” Kagura seems to have unlocked his. How about Amata? What is he forgetting? Maybe it’s something about Aquarion’s last battle, or his mom, or his dad. (If it’s Apollo, the fate angle becomes even more laughable.)
First, let’s get the elephant out of the room.
This reaction was not the problem.
This was the problem. You see, much like this show has two Zessicas, the ace fighter from before episode 14 and the mewling triangle girl afterwards, it also has two different Amata Soras: one reasonable character who is a little nervous and a little sarcastic, a fine student and a good friend who gets bogged down at times by regrets of his childhood, and another Amata who only comes out in the presence of Mikono Suzushiro, who speaks entirely in her name and terrible romance-drama lines and hasn’t another thought in his vacuous head.
The problem with Amata in this episode is that at the end of last episode, he was concerned about the enemy that suddenly appeared and especially about Zessica, who apparently sacrificed herself to save him in the saddest way she could. But when Kagura appears before him and brings up Mikono, Heroic Amata goes away and is replaced by Pod Amata, who promptly gets into an incredibly boring fistfight over love or some shit.
Amata’s reaction to Zessica’s return isn’t the problem here. It’s only enraging because it shows the real problem: that the mere mention of Mikono and Kagura wiped her out of his mind.
Also, this line is lame as hell and I’m glad Kagura rebuffed it.
Kagura’s reverse speak is getting worse. Translating these lines results in what I guess Mikono would consider a very sweet advance, but “hating her smile” goes right back to creepy.
Since I now hate the entire main triangle, and also Zessica for killing and eating one of my former favorite characters, Shrade is the hero of this episode.
We joke about how he always promises he’ll die and never does, but you can kind of see that each time he goes out, he gets closer to biting it for real. This time, Crea assures us that the next time, he’s out for good.
Though we can’t really see it other than Shrade’s obtuse hints, it seems like as he gets closer to death, he also gets closer to completing his “perfect song.” Shrade’s death episode is going to be awesome, you guys. (Why do I get my hopes up?)
So I guess Crea’s a vampire. I’m not quite sure what this bloodsucking bit was meant to accomplish for the characters? Either way, this relationship is very nice, if kind of rushed, and beats the hell out of the central one, much like every other pairing in the show and several that aren’t even real.
The Legendary Aquarion
So as it turns out, the section of its arm we saw in the bananas episode wasn’t actually decayed, just kind of dirty? Also it’s kind of weird that the exposition characters call Aquarion itself the Wings of the Sun. Hmm. Anyway, for now it’s a Plot Artifact, sitting dormantly and waiting for all the pawns to come together under Mikage’s and Zen’s direction.
Sorry, this came out of nowhere. I know it looks like very little can come out of nowhere in Aquarion, but this is a special type of coming out of nowhere that is especially possible precisely because it’s Aquarion. The themes the show has staked out for itself involve destiny, reincarnation, and free will (and also the nature of love I guess). Dragging in a yin/yang symbolism to make Amata and Kagura make sense is forced not because it disobeys the series’ physical laws, which don’t exist, but because it doesn’t fit with the series motif. Making Mikono key to the whole thing (again!) is just a cherry on top.
She’s a story engine. She exists for Amata and Kagura to fight over, and she’s probably going to use her power to cause the end of the series. As a person, her personal shit is weak and manufactured and she has essentially no goals or interests of her own. Her existence is an entity to push the development of the story, and it’s a story about her for no other reason. Other characters are either interested in her because she’s special or, if they are Amata Sora, become concerned about her when she’s around at the expense of all their other interests.
She doesn’t deserve a screenshot.
Cayenne’s Wedding in Mourning Clothes returns with a new twist: is Aquarion the priest? This is more obtuse foreshadowing and I guess I could analyze it, but I don’t want to devote the brainpower when it’s just about how Mikono is going to save the world with her shitty love.
Izumo still thinks he’s relevant. If this plot thread actually bears fruit, it could be very interesting, with Kagura, Amata, and Izumo all fighting over Mikono, and the former two having to deal with all of Altair’s forces, including Mixy, who Andy will… I’m getting my hopes up again, aren’t I?
In seriousness, Izumo does still have a few relevance bombs to drop; his relationships to Alicia and Amata, however obvious you think they are, need to actually be touched by the show. However, while I can’t see the show ending without addressing Altair, that doesn’t really need to involve Izumo; Legendary could just get fixed (by Mikono?) and solve everything at once.
The last time I blogged about hearing something wrong, I got myself into trouble, but this has been bothering me: this line was translated against 朝まで殺し合う “kill each other until dawn,” but I kept hearing あさばで殺し合う, which I guess would be “kill each other in shallow water”? It makes no sense, opposite or otherwise, and “kill each other all night long” is a beautiful line for Kagura that does make sense. But I can’t stop hearing that “ba” instead of “ma” even now. Am I insane?
This one threw me for a loop because the fight going on isn’t between lovers (which is what this generally refers to), though it is over a love triangle. Either way, I’m glad Zen agrees with me that the central romance is the shittiest thing about this show.