Aquarion EVOL 24

I’ve been going through phases regarding this episode ever since it aired (I watch live before translating). I might reach another one after I’ve slept, like last week.

First I liked it because shit was actually happening. Then I hated it because all the shit that happened was awful. Now I’m just sort of numb.

See, I thought that Aquarion not engaging me was because it made the curious decision to have long stretches of people (ZEN) expositing about things I don’t care about like reincarnation drama, and people (Amata) yelling about their feelings. It’s too late in the game to go back to Fun Bro Times, even though they were the best parts of the show, but can we at least get the ball rolling?

Well, the ball rolled, and I was wrong, because it rolled straight through the land of Awful Melodrama and when it stopped rolling I couldn’t feel anymore.

There are a few issues at play in this episode, and some of them are issues that have been plaguing the writing since around episode 15. I’m pegging it at the Special Training of the Grave, which is when the balance of the show started moving towards more drama and less personality, as exemplified by Zessica Wong turning into a worthless crybaby from a brilliant ace all at once.

By the way, neither Mikono nor Zessica did a single goddamn thing of note, and I’m trying to decide if I appreciate that or not.

Because there was a lot of action for the first time in a while, the show was straightforward for once, which means I have less to elaborate on, which is probably why I’m writing all this.

Izumo and Alicia

Surprise!

So I’ve been following various reactions, and they’re, well, something. Everyone hates these two. It’s really breathtaking. Kawamori seemed to want to play them as In True Love, not to mention that final scene as motivation for Amata, but the actual judgement is that they’re terrible parents who abandoned their kid because they’re selfish assholes and then had the nerve to dump their responsibilities on him with their last breath.

Either Shoji Kawamori is completely incompetent or a perfect genius at predicting audience reactions!

Misunderstandings drama: the best drama. (Did Amata really need another reason to fight Kagura?)

The absolute best part is when Amata goes from “I hate you mom why did you abandon me” to “I understand completely, you are a saint” because she basically said she cared about Izumo’s issues more than her kid.

But wait! Speaking of those issues, we haven’t even gotten to the punchline yet.

Izumo and Ianthe

This twist is straight out of some Outer Limits shit. Izumo’s entire arc as portrayed in this episode is melodrama of the cheesiest kind, and this bit of manufactured irony is frosting on the cake (I may be hungry). Come on, you guys! Izumo was a damn good villain who didn’t deserve to play second fiddle to the likes of the all-powerful, laughing mad Mikage. Turning the coda on his entire fight into this shaggy dog story is kicking him while he’s down, and kicking Amata in the bargain (because all his mommy trauma was retroactively over this).

Oh, I forgot this:

Apparently Mikage didn’t realize Ianthe was tapping Altair’s mana, and was actually kind of mad about it. So that’s one bad thing in this show that wasn’t Mikage’s fault.

I’ll admit, though, the Altair Cannon was cool as hell.

Andy and Mixy

I went through phases regarding these two, too. Remember when I got super mad (twice!) about how all the characters I used to like in the first half are now pod drones defined by their powers and single-minded devotion to their designated loves? Well, at first, I thought Andy was better. Then I realized that he was only a little better, because he’s still consumed by Being Mix’s Love Interest, but he’s allowed to be his loud, hole-loving self about it. It does help.

On the other hand, the conclusion at this point is strictly a matter of whether or not Mixy will get his big bangs back in addition to having his memories restored by the power of love and getting with Andy and being cute newlyweds again. Since the story’s end is effectively written, and Mixy’s presence isn’t doing much for the actual story (the one about an airhead and her dogs), I have no idea what the point is drawing it out for four episodes.

Mikono and Everyone

Much like how I was mad about Izumo’s shit, but then decided to accept it as the overblown drama it was and not worry about it, I’ve decided to stop worrying about Mikono and realize she’s just a catalyst for the show. After about three episodes of establishing that Amata likes her, okay, the show just ran out of things for her to do. I’m not the first person to observe this, but Mikono doesn’t do anything on her own, so Amata’s constant pining and fretting over her is kind of comical.

For a while, she was a base for an episodely hijinks-drama where Amata would do something, she’d be mad, and then he’d figure something out as a result. After the Big Suckification, she became something for Amata to worry about and a reason for Kagura to antagonize. Then she went on her journey, which served only to enable exposition, and when that ended she went back to being a prize for the two Amatas to fight for. As an entity, she could be cleanly replaced by a flower, a slice of cake, or anything shiny.

This has nothing to do with episode 24, which is exactly the point. Mikono sat mutely inside Legendary while drama erupted all around her.

She still doesn’t deserve a screenshot.

Finally

I might as well end this on things that happened which I actually liked.

I hope this was meant to go into a Super Robot Wars game, because it’s the MAP attack Aquarion needs (and not a little reminiscent of Wing Gundam Zero’s Rolling Buster Rifle, which I have to assume was deliberate).

Have more of the Altair Cannon, too, because it was great. I especially liked how Izumo incanted it – not by yelling, but calmly, like a stone cold motherfucker. What? He’s a shitty father (who didn’t even know his son’s name!), but I still respect what he managed to do as an antagonist. If the show were actually about him, instead of Mikage visiting pain on everyone with a twitch of his omnipotent finger, I think it could have been a really solid super robot show.

And these guys were awesome. Let’s give them a hand.

Finale’s in two weeks. Enjoy. Or don’t, whatever. I’ll be here, no matter how jaded and bitter I get, until the very end.

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10 Responses to Aquarion EVOL 24

  1. exious says:

    I think the writers just decided to shit on every character that was good or could have been good in favor of OTP Amata and Mikono. Mykage is technically still good since he’s still winning this whole damn thing, but he bodyjacked the only character that might have been able to not have her head up her ass because writing killed her.

    At this point I kind of just want the entire main cast to die.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Mikono actually did something in this episode. She stopped Kagura from killing MIXy

  3. WhatSht says:

    Shouldn’t the gattai of Solar Aquarion break? Mikono clearly wasn’t trying to fight.
    Solar Aquarion got more OVERPOWERED. Aquarion is going to be more of a gamebreaker in SRW. AND YES, BREAS- WING FIRE!
    Looks like all the problems and shit all have the same characteristics of being right in front of their eyes, out of their sight. Ianthe being the thing that caused the curse of eve. pretty sure Apollonius is in Aquarion, that would make him right beside both Sylvia and Mikono, but out of their sight.

  4. I thought this show was getting on an upswing after last ep. This ep just sends it down the shitter. So much melodrama, poor writing, and nothing happening… I thought I was watching the third act of a Bollywood movie. Mikagay is the source of all problems, no matter how pointless, arbitrary, or implausible. What’s his deal? If he can be anywhere, know anything, and do anything, anywhere, why does the show even exist? If he’s being limited by ZEN, where was ZEN when Mikagay killed off Jin or whoever? Head was cool because he was an asshole, but had limited powers. Imagine if Star Driver followed up the Night Flight play episode with a treatise on how Head was behind every misfortune in every character’s life and also, he is crushing Takuto’s grandpa who came to the island to see the play with a Cybody, just to amp up the melodrama factor. That’s how I feel right now.

    • Kajitani-Eizan says:

      I’m not so convinced just yet. He maybe sounded pissed that Izumo would use the power of Altair against him. I’m not as sure that that line represented him figuring out that Ianthe draws upon the power of Altair itself and is the cause of the whole problem. It’s possible that he didn’t know prior to this point, but given what we’ve seen thus far, it’s more likely that he engineered the whole thing. I mean, *given what we’ve seen thus far*, is it likely that it’s sheer coincidence that Izumo’s mother messed up big time and produced this mana-sucking machine that happened to produce a catastrophe that resulted in expeditions to Vega and therefore chances to investigate/obtain the Wings of the Sun?

      • It seems way too late to reveal that Mikage was behind Izumo’s mom or whatever, and even if they did it would be pointless now. Although it’s not like they’ve needed a point to make Mikage fuck anything up for no reason so far.

  5. You sound mad.

    The funny thing is, as disappointed as I am at how Mikage is still the omnipotent puppetmaster of everything this late in the curve, what made me maddest about this episode specifically was the one thing that wasn’t his fault: reducing the noble but conflicted Izumo’s entire arc into a farce.

  6. exious says:

    By the way, thanks for your efforts even though you seem to hate the show right now. Is there anything that could redeem it in the last two episodes?

    • Hate is a very strong word for it. As for fixing the show, I think the issues with it are fundamental at this point and it’s too late to do a full turnaround now. Even if the show takes a sharp turn to something like a satisfactory conclusion, we’ll still be looking at almost a cour’s worth of ruined Yunoha, Andy, Zessica, and what the hell, even Amata and Mikono; a series of broken themes (unrequited love, fighting destiny, yin and yang, gender roles??); and all the writing kinks I and many others have been pointing out since the Grave Training, which have gotten no better as recently as episode 24.

      • exious says:

        It’s unfortunate that the show turned out this way. I think all of the characters could be easily fixed except for Mikono who’d have to be totally rewritten. The director did say that they were aiming for an ending that wouldn’t leave a bad taste in everyone’s mouth, so maybe we can hope for some better stuff in these last two episodes.

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