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DVD Review

DVD cover

Volume 1


Starring (voice): Takuma Terashima, Tomokazu Sugita and Yumi Kakazu
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 15
Available 16 November 2009

Earth has been devastated in the Great Catastrophe, at their moment of greatest weakness and after 12000, in the Holy Genesis year 0011, the Shadows Angels of Atlandia have arisen to attack mankind. Mans only hope lays in the mecha machine ‘Angel Aquarion’ a multi-part craft that when joined together creates a powerful robot, but to make the machine work its pilots have to merge their souls with the machinery...

Aquarion (2005) is a science fiction mecha anime directed by Shoji Kawamori. The show is a tribute and homage to the popular mecha shows of the nineteen seventies and eighties, updated with modern animation.

I was never a great fan of this type of show, partially because it always felt that the primary purpose was to flog toys, consequently the shows usually suffered in term of production quality and weak storylines. That said, they were insanely popular with young males.

The first disc of the new show has a generous six episodes 1. Memories of Heavenly Wings, 2. Beast of Darkness, 3. Element School, 4. Barefoot Warrior, 5. King of the Underground Labyrinth and 6. To the Other Side of Emotions. The show is presented in its original 1.78:1 anamorphic aspect ratio with a choice of either a pretty good English 5.1 or the original Japanese 2.0 audio track, with subtitles.

Being the beginning of the story these episodes introduce us to the world and the main characters. The opening episode relates how during one mission they come across Apollo, who is suspected of being the promised reincarnation of Apollonius. Apollonius was a great warrior and a Shadow Angel, who betrayed his own kind for the love of a human, the beautiful Celiane. What follows is a fairly predictable teen story of training, school, love and violence. Don’t get me wrong, the show looks great, but it also suffers the same problem of most mecha shows by having a weak plot.

The disc does have a bumper crop of extras in the form of a interview with the director (6 min, 17 sec), who discusses the look of the show in comparison to its predecessors. Next up is The Tokyo International Anime 2005 Talk Show (18 min, 40 sec) with the director as well as voice actors Takuma Terashima (Apollo), Sanae Kobayashi (Reika) and Hiromi Sato (Rena) bigging up the show to an ecstatic audience.

There is the inevitable clean opening and closing sequences and four Tsugumi’s “All about CGI” on four of the machines, Solar Aquarion (2 min, 24 sec), Cherubim (2 min), Aquarion Luna (2 min, 06 sec) and Aquarion Mars (2 min, 11 sec) which takes a look at some of the important aspects of the various machine configuration. These are in Japanese with burnt in subs.


Charles Packer

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