For those looking for for the simple, easy way around reading the entire review without reading it, here you go: Aquarion is pretty much a post-apocalytic mecha/angel series; average in its development; average in its conclusion. That about sums it up. Now, on to the real review.
Story… I do believe there was a story, although I can see how some people get lost during the fray of it all. The series starts out like a number of others and just jumps right in and throws a zillion things and termonology at you before you even get to the end of the first episode. Many questions are answered throughout the course of the show but many more questions are asked. I believe that to truly understand Aquarion you have to read between the lines in some places. A few things aren’t spelled out for you along the way and a few things aren’t explained at all. Which, sometimes is a good thing and works for most movies, but leaves loose ends other times. Aquarion DOES however answer a few of these in a subtle way, but you have to pay attention to it or else you’ll miss it entirely. Unfortunately the series’ greatest downfall is its over-zealous ingenuity. Creativity is a good thing, but not when you re-design or re-invent something EVERY episode. Because just when you finish an ep and thing you know something new, it doesn’t count or you have to wait for the series to give you another crazy explaination for how their next struggle will be solved. Etc. Etc. Etc. There’s more to go into but that would involve a lot of spoilers so, no more about that.
On another note the characters that were well defined, Each character has a bit of his/her own personality and stereotype surrounding them (which is almost expected nowadays in characters) but at episode 18 breaks the mold and totally changes before your very eyes. Not only do you get to see the characters realize their OWN stereotypes, but they’re aware of each others as well and thus are able to consciously better themselves. I thought this touch was amazing due to the way that each person was allowed to evolve at their own pace. Couple that with not necessarily having a “star” character but the entire cast seems to star, giving everyone a chance for their time in the spotlight. Bad guys, though don’t fit any of this formula. They’re almost cookie-cutter right off the assembly line and hardly change at all. That and there’s a few times where a decision is made but then their personality doesn’t uphold with it during the following episodes.
I however found the music very very Disappointing. The first opening theme didn’t seem to fit too well initially until it got into the meat of the song and then it still felt off. The second opening just was plain annoying. The lack of addition score to accompany various parts of the show seemed a bit out of place, what with their great animation. But during the climax of a battle you’d hear the opening theme playing in the background. Which, again, wasn’t bad till the second opening came around in which case it didn’t fit at all. Aside from that there weren’t many notable pieces of ear candy (ie. environmental sounds, etc). The voice actors were dead-on for their characters though, kudos there.
I enjoyed watching this series and didn’t really find any negative things to say as I was watching it. In fact, I pretty much sat through the entire thing in one day, except for about the first six episodes. I just had to know what was going to happen next as the cliffhangers piqued my curiosity enough to keep going.