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Aquarian Age is quite the mixed bag of an anime title where in spite of its high points in regards to the main character relationship, it suffers quite heavily with the supernatural elements of its plot. Based on a trading card game released during the time of the anime's run, the series is focused on childhood friends Kyouta and Yoriko getting caught up in the middle of a supernatural conflict between several factions competing for influence over humanity.
On the plus side, the anime offers a good deal of development on the characters of series leads Kyouta and Yoriko. Both undergo their own varying developments as Kyouta tries to get his start in the entertainment industry performing with his band while Yoriko finds herself at odds with her supernatural roots that come to light from her family as she gradually develops feelings for Kyouta. As the two become entangled in the conflict between factions, both find themselves facing their own varying conflicts as Yoriko is manipulated into becoming part of an enemy faction and Kyouta becomes doubtful of himself when he sees the sudden change in Yoriko's personality due to the manipulations she gets entangled in. The events lead their bond to be tested and it comes across as a legitimately convincing one to see develop and escalate throughout the series. The rock band aspect to Aquarian Age's storyline creates an engaging soundtrack that mixes rock ballads and dramatic musical pieces to compliment the show's developments.
On the negative side, the major shortcoming of Aquarian Age comes from the show's rather packed supernatural story elements. With several factions focused on throughout the series, there is little time to delve into their motives and the major characters that make up each faction due to the anime's rather limited 13-episode run time. Matter of fact, there is little revealed about what drives each faction beyond a passing narration provided from one character during a later episode in the series. Plus beyond our two lead characters, the remainder of the cast get little in the way of fleshing out and are mostly left as character archetypes that exist only to represent their faction or fulfill specific roles that advance major points in the anime's plot.
Overall, Aquarian Age is quite the mixed bag. While having a solid soundtrack with engaging developments involving its lead characters, the remainder of the cast lack the fleshing out afforded to our two leads and the supernatural aspect of the series is too crowded with the several factions that make up the so-called major conflict taking place. The series is worth a look for the developing storyline with Kyouta and Yoriko, though I would find it hard to recommend rewatching it often.
Last updated Friday, December 25 2015. Created Friday, December 25 2015.
review coming after I rewatch the anime...|
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Last updated Friday, December 05 2008. Created Friday, December 05 2008.
|Rent 4||9||7||8||9||8||9||Devil Doll||[series:728#752]|
[Score: 83% = "Buy-". Other recommended Supernatural Conflict anime: Silent Mobius, Kannazuki no Miko]|
A teaser for a popular collectible trading card game; this anime only shows a side story of this conflict with a dual focus on teenage romance and showbiz careers. I strongly recommend reading the ↗Wikipedia page for the Aquarian Age game before watching this anime (which will give you only a small part of this during episode 8), thus learning about those many supernatural factions fighting for world domination; the anime characters aren't even mentioned there (the anime has a separate and very short entry) so no risk of being spoiled about the drama development.
During my rewatch, and much better prepared for the story this time, my ratings for this anime are increasing significantly. This conflict is even more complex than the one in Rahxephon, so don't expect to be able to understand everything during the first pass of watching.
The opening episodes provide the two obvious layers of this story: A rock band suddenly becoming popular, and magical girls flying around and fighting. This scenario feels silly at times and made it difficult for me to take anything serious. Look at the keywords to understand what a strange mix of elements are involved here! And that's how the story continues: More entertainment business (music, movie, models), more fan-girls who are actually supernatural beings battling against each other.
The story remains focused on the (post) high school romance between Kyouta and Yoriko in the least probable of all environments. Lots of clichés, lots of non-human beings around (is there anybody actually who you think they are?), and lots of foreshadowing - but as the series proceeds things start making more sense (episode 8 was a big step forward in transparency). Not every question is answered in the end, but like in other good shows the creators were able to let those open questions appear less important in the end than those that were answered.
I like the character visualization, and I like the way they use different music styles (Everlasting Love, Irritation Silence, Prism) for different characters (most notably for Kyouta's singing - his voice actor is best when Kyouta sings the worst due to his character's emotional crisis). During my first review I was unnecessarily harsh about the animation of characters moving & walking; as I will go up with my overall score anyway this will be one of the significant areas for an upgrade.
What really kept me watching were the lead characters and my wish to see how they solved their respective problems. And with time, a number of the side characters became more transparent and thus more interesting as well.
Therefore my final rating turns out to be a lot more positive than I expected half-way through this show. While this isn't one of the deep, meaningful philosophic shows (although it might possibly even attempt to be one...), in the end I consider this series entertaining and interesting. Just be prepared for a hyper-complex dependency graph between characters, factions and showbiz agencies, and every single bit of this matters. Even the factions' color code (Arayashiki = red, Darklore = yellow, E.G.O. = green, WIZ-DOM = blue) is an additional information in many scenes.
Last updated Thursday, January 26 2012. Created Sunday, October 31 2004.