Soukyuu no Fafner

Title:Soukyuu no Fafner
Fafner in the Azure - Dead Aggressor
Fafner in the Azure: Dead Aggressor
Fafner of the Blue
Fafner of the Blue Sky
蒼穹のファフナー Dead Aggressor
Keywords: , , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - SUNRISE
R1 License - FUNimation
A first glance, the quiet bucolic village nestled between two peaks on isolated island might appear to be a perfect place to live. But beneath the ship that looks like an island is one of the most advanced weapons development labs on earth, where they are building the new generations of the Fafnir combat robots to help defend earth against an alien off-world enemy. An enemy that appears to intend on the annihilation human race through assimilation and destruction.

The teenager, Soushi has just returned to the island from the city of Tokyo, when the death of Fafnir's designated pilot causes a crisis for the island's defense. As Soushi has rare skills as a pilot, he gets pressed in service as a pilot for the Fafnir, against an enemy that keeps asking a question that no one knows how to answer, Are you there?

[TV series, 2004, 25 episodes (of which episode 25 is a double episode), 24 min.]

See also
the prequel 2005 TV special Sōkyū no Fafner - Single Program - Right of Left-
and the 2010 sequel Fafner - Heaven and Earth
"蒼穹" in combination is a given name "Soukyuu"; the separate kanji mean "蒼" ("sou") = "blue, pale", "穹" ("kyuu") = "sky".
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Rent 8 7 7 7 7 7 Ggultra2764 [series:840#1552]
(Watched 3 episodes, nearly 2 years ago)

I have to wonder if Fafner was unsure what kind of identity it wanted to accomplish for itself. Setting aside the fact I get visions of Evangelion dancing through my head in my watch, this series laid it on pretty thick from the start with enough technical jargon used as the Fafner robot was being setup to pilot and brief introductions to a multiple number of characters who appear to be getting used as potential pilots for the robot. I couldn't get attached to any of the characters because of how flat they seemed on the surface and Fafner gave off the vibe of being some sort of melodrama as the series often got in the habit of narrating an irrelevant soliloquy to try having you feel for the problems facing humanity. Guess I'm dropping this one as well without any final review.

(All episodes watched, as of now)

Let me make one thing clear with Fafner in that the series isn't gonna win any awards in originality considering the number of cliches and plot setups in the mecha genre it pulls from teens forced into fighting an alien threat to the mental anguish faced by said teens as they are faced with the reality of war. If you're approaching the series to expect anything different from the mecha genre, don't waste your time watching this as going with this mentality led me to drop Fafner two years ago due to my disappointment with its unoriginality. But if you're approaching the series for an engaging plot while knowing it's not gonna be offering much new, then Fafner offers up solid, yet flawed, engagement to look forward to in its 26-episode run.

The main draw to the series comes in the form of the teens involved in the battle with the Festum alien threat. The series slowly builds up in revealing the major elements of its plot and how they come to affect the teens who get forced into the conflict with the Festum. Some shocking secrets regarding the true nature of the island home that Kazuki and his friends live on and the purpose of their upbringing on said island come to affect Kazuki and several of his friends throughout the course of the series. Each of the characters have their differing levels of growth and development that come about as a result of these revelations throughout the course of the series. They are also impacted by the realities of war and the nature of their upbringing as the series isn't afraid to make its major characters go through large amounts of suffering or even kill them off. This does result in the series dipping into melodramatics with the characters at a number of points as they angst over their situation. But the series knows when to show a level of restraint with pushing its drama in most instances where it doesn't get too overbearing.

Other elements of the series are a bit of a mixed bag. There's an element to the series focused around tensions between the islanders and the Neo U.N. resistance faction, which the series tries to play up for drama to show their different mentalities of approaching the Festum threat and treatment of those in their factions. But other than Canon's developments, this story element is a bit subpar and didn't feel too significant for me due to the lack of focus on the Neo U.N. The show also gets a bit too heavy at points with dipping into its Norse mythology nods and techno-jargon where the former has no symbolic relevance other than "rule of cool" and the latter can get convoluted to keep up with. While the Festum do get their focus with exploring their motivations, the series never does bother exploring their origins nor much of the past history of how events in Fafner had started thanks to the Festum threat. Also, this series may get too overwhelming with its serious mood for some folks as there aren't many breathers in the drama for one to get a break from the show's serious developments.

On the visual end, Fafner is standard in its quality for a mid-2000s title featuring subdued color tones to accompany its serious mood and a decent amount of detail added to the designs of characters, mecha and scenery. Scenery shots are great on the eyes featuring different parts of the island in gorgeous detail, but character designs are typical for an anime series and the Fafner units aren't too pleasing on the eyes compared to the various Festum they fight. The show has its moments of great battle sequences when the Festum threat begins to intensify in later episodes and multiple Fafner units get dragged into the fight, but doesn't stick out too greatly compared to other shows airing at the time like Gungrave and Hell Girl.

Overall, Fafner does deliver a somewhat solid story with its focus on Kazuki and others as they struggle with learning shocking secrets and making life-or-death decisions as they become further immersed in the war with the Festum. While having its issues and not really breaking the mold for the mecha genre, it is still a decent watch if you can look past the cliches and frequent melodrama that are packed into Fafner.

Last updated Tuesday, July 16 2013. Created Monday, August 15 2011.
Rent 10 10 10 10 10 Violet D [series:840#1393]
I just got this yesterday and it kind of reminds me on the concept of the Razephon. That has to do with becoming one with the Robot they are using for to fight the Alien. The teens of the island are all being called to learn how to use the Fafner. So far I have only see episode 1 through 4 but I'm going over to my favorite Hastings store and renting more episodes. Action packed and who is this girl they keep showing. I have to know.

Last updated Friday, June 02 2006. Created Friday, June 02 2006.
Unevaluated Jan-Chan [series:840#967]
Lets see ..giant robots piloted by a mixed group of teenagers, with weird golden-angelic aliens from space that have strange powers, and on an island where all of the teenage boys tend to be very bishounen/bishoujo. But, just to be different from Evangelion, this series has a very Germanic names for everything technical, and even tries to have a hint of a tutonic flavor-of-a-series, but hey!!.. if you have a formula that works.then why not try it again.?

But otherwise the anime is good, the story is a bit confusing at the beginning, (but it does settle down) and the music is well-paired to the series. So, having seen up to episode four, this series is showing some measure of promise, if one is into the pretty boyz and girlz, and big robot style of anime.

Last updated Friday, April 15 2005. Created Wednesday, September 01 2004.

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