Animated by Satelight studios, which has made several anime, yet only Noein amongst them is worthwhile for me. Directed by Kawamori Shouji, who is famous for making several Macross related shows but in all, his roster doesn’t look so good. Thus we have nothing much to expect on first sight.
The first Aquarion series was based on an interesting concept that was trashed by the lack of an interesting plot and by lots of retarded fan service. It remained known as nothing more than a train-wreck called roborgasm for trying to sound serious and dramatic when it had over the top erotic humour and silly robot action. So after some years they decided to make a sequel to it; something normally ludicrous for a title so loathed by most. The good part is that they flavoured the main idea to look more interesting. The bad part is that it’s still the same retarded presentation.
The story takes place 12.000 years after the previous battle AGAIN and has the same cast AGAIN although in slightly different roles because they are reincarnations of the original characters. In this setting, the world is now revived and humanity is flourishing, so you are presented with much more than a wasteland. There is a whole city full of buildings, nicely detailed, colourful and definitely more bright and cheery than that gloomy dark world of the prequel. At the same time there still is a second dystopian world, so you are offered a nice antithesis as the two planets clash. The action scenes are also more complicating and have more interesting choreography than before. In all, there is a lot more for the eye to keep busy even when the plot is not going anywhere. And to the most part it doesn’t, at least not significantly.
Speaking of the plot, it is not serious at all AGAIN as most things happen for the sake of comedy or really stupid internal logic. If you try to see this in a reasonable manner then you will be greatly disappointed, as it is just a patchwork of silly clichés from various mecha titles of the past. Individually none are that great to deserve their own show (especially when they already have one) but putting them all together in the same show leads to an interesting chemistry. Here is what I mean.
1) Just like in the prequel, the main idea is present. We have people mentally bonding in order to fight in a mecha, which leads to a condition akin to orgasm (thus roborgasm). They also try to expand on the idea by including how using divine weapons through this union is very dangerous and thus they install special seals to prevent that. Those seals are called… chastity stones! Taking the whole ludicrous idea on the next level is rewarding on its own. They even make a villain to be the reincarnation the hero of the first series, thus making you think that something went wrong along the way and what was good back then, is now evil. Thus trying to reverse the roles is an easy way to hook you into a premise you already have experienced and would probably find boring.
2) Since the union is considered unholy, boys and girls who pilot the robots are not allowed to be together, much less have relationships. So the school they are in has this huge wall to keep them apart called Berlin (just like than wall in Germany). This separation is a very interesting scenario generator to see how they will cope now that they need to cooperate (and boy do they seem like they are not getting any smexy love all their lives). I remember seeing something similar in the mecha show called Vandread, which was very good for its time. It fondles nicely with taboos by considering heterosexuality to be wrong, while homosexuality being granted as normal.
3) The alien invaders of the show (humans from a different planet actually) kidnap people in order to harvest something out of them. This is also interesting as a concept and reminded me of Dimensional Cavalry Southern Cross.
4) The events of the previous show have been turned into a movie, which reminded me of Macross Frontier. It is also a nice opening to see how the characters try to find the truth out of the myth and later on you even see clip scenes from the first show. So they are trying to blend in the two series instead of considering them separate. They even flavour it further by revealing how some things were not as they told you in the first show.
5) The villain being able to teleport or use escape pods after he loses? This is so kitsch, it fits like a glove in this show.
6) Gender bending curse on top of a split personality that went amnesiac. Further details are unnecessary; you will be watching this for the sake of watching this.
Of course all these good ideas can only help you to have positive first impressions. They still need to develop them if they intend to keep you interested and, guess what, everything is completely chaotic. You quickly find the same huge asspulls that ruined the first season by making everything possible if the scriptwriter felt like making it so. It ruins all sort of strategy, as well as the emotional conflicts if you can accomplice anything with some magic gizmo. I mean they have a huge selection of superpowers to use in each possible situation so nothing seems impossible to them. Thus although the premise is constant and attractive, it is never taken seriously. All issues the characters have are always resolved in the same episode they begin in. Heck, they even form teams of three, based on antithesis instead of uniformity. Then they are thrown to fight invading robots while still hating each other, with wise guy Fudo expecting them to solve all their problems in the most improbable moment: During a battle for the salvation of the world. And you know what, after awhile saving the world is less important than getting their silly teen issues resolved. Thus here is what you get in pretty much every episode:
Enemy pilot: I will destroy this place because it has horny hot girls and my place doesn’t.
Girl pilot: You only like me for my boobs.
Boy pilot: That’s not true, I love your ass too.
Nun general: Will you please cut that out and just fight the robot that is trying to destroy our world?
Wise guy Fudo: (plays with cards, says some weird stuff about passion and life and shit).
Girl pilot: Oh, I get it now.
Boy pilot: Me too. Let’s teleport in the person we need, get into an orgasm, and beat the robot in a most improbable way.
Enemy pilot: That’s not fair! They use any special attack they like and gang up on me!
And despite their defeat once again, the evil Gaylord leader Mykage will play with some rose petals, say some weird stuff about love and duty and shit, and makes anything he likes to happen with hax powers, thus rendering the previous battle completely pointless.
Just like before it was interesting at first before the lack of doing something with its premise and the retarded roborgasms full of asspulls made it too stupid to care about it after a few episodes.
Although many viewers can claim that this is a super robot show and realism is the least you should be expecting, it still doesn’t work out in the longrun. Even guilty pleasure shows like this one need to have some sort of internal logic in order to work and this one in particular doesn’t even try. The proof of which are the motives of the villains for attacking the world of the good guys. After they reveal the reason, you will be scratching your head without the faintest idea of why this war happened in the first place. They could have just asked them for some humanitarian aid, or permission to relocate. We could assume they were denied all that, or they are too proud and prefer to fight than beg, or that their leaders are insane megalomaniacs, or whatever else generic villains do in fiction. The problem is, we don’t see any of all that; the villains act like normal people and thus you will feel like the whole war was not only pointless but could also have been avoided altogether. And sure, avoiding the war in a super robots show is the same as saying we won’t “have” a super robot show in the first place. But the excuses for it are just retarded.
Going further than that, Fudo clearly knows everything about what has happened in the past and is even the leader of the whole robot organization, yet he doesn’t explain the enemy’s motivation up until the final episodes. It would make sense if he had enemies that would abuse the hidden information. But clearly nobody can stand against him so revealing the truth from the start could have helped his team in knowing for why the devil they are fighting for. But instead, you get this stupid plot where they are fending off the attacks and don’t even know why they do it but are otherwise too preoccupied with their unimportant sexual frustration. So what’s the point of telling them at all in the end if they don’t care? There is another scene where a heroine is possessed by an evil spirit and although she had full control of her body for several episodes didn’t even attempted to tell the others about it for no given reason. I mean sure, the show would feel a lot less mysterious if everything was clear right away but there was no reason to withhold information. It runs on mysteries that have no reason to be mysteries in the first place.
And skip that, even the explanations that are offered towards the end make no sense. They are closer to trolling as the scriptwriter is constantly rewriting the events of the prequel every time he feels like it. It makes the story even dumber than it already is.
But let’s try to see past all that. Pure dumb fun comes first and thus all the attention is given to over-the-top situations and extreme doses of action. The mecha battles are great, there are cool transformation sequences, energy beams that fill the screen and special attacks that have all sort of improbable results. Even the music themes are very good in uplifting emotion, despite being just silly j-pop nonsense. Plus we have characters who are all hormone-crazy teenagers who are never allowed to have some fun with the other gender, so imagine their sexual tension as they board the same ship and with their burning passion reach to a state of orgasm and rain havoc upon the poor aliens. Crazy stuff. Who cares if nothing makes sense in the plot?
As long as you see it as nothing but guilty pleasure and don’t think about how pointless everything feels, chances are you will enjoy it. Even so, it may feel tiresome and stupid after awhile, as it still tries to be serious and dramatic even when it makes no sense, plus it lasts too much and has too many secondary characters that don’t seem to matter much in the longrun. In all it is quite weaker next to other similarly action packed titles, such as Tengen Toppa’s constant escalated action or Red Line’s short and tight duration. So although it tries a lot, in the end it is just random nonsense and it won’t appeal to an audience who prefers some elaborate plot and seriousness.
And now for some excused scorings.
ART SECTION: 9/10
General Artwork 2/2 (good looking)
Character Figures 2/2 (generic but cool/sexy)
Backgrounds 2/2 (wonderful)
Animation 1/2 (basic)
Visual Effects 2/2 (lots of pretty colours)
SOUND SECTION: 8/10
Voice Acting 2/3 (silly but fitting with the feeling of the series)
Music Themes 4/4 (great)
Sound Effects 2/3 (ok I guess)
STORY SECTION: 5/10
Premise 2/2 (interesting)
Pacing 0/2 (loose and random)
Complexity 2/2 (rich context)
Plausibility 0/2 (none)
Conclusion 1/2 (cheesy)
CHARACTER SECTION: 6/10
Presence 2/2 (funny/sexy)
Personality 2/2 (cheesy but well founded)
Backdrop 1/2 (simplistic but it’s there)
Development 0/2 (it’s there but it’s completely random)
Catharsis 1/2 (cheesy)
VALUE SECTION: 3/10
Historical Value 0/3 (none)
Rewatchability 1/3 (low because it gets too stupid after awhile)
Memorability 2/4 (the roborgasms are a very memorable trait but other than that there ain’t much to remember it about)
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 5/10
Art 1/1 (looks great)
Sound 1/2 (the dialogues are stupid but the music is great)
Story 1/3 (nice ideas but presented too silly)
Characters 2/4 (cool and sexy but eventually hollow)
Funny and sexy but loses steam fast.