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REVIEW: Aquarion DVD Set 2




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Zalis116
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 1:53 am Reply with quote
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but ultimately it devolves into a mess of mysticism, retread story elements, and mecha merging gone mad as it rides out to the end.
Great, sounds like Gasaraki all over again. Although I didn't hate that series, and I do plan on giving Aquarion a chance in some format someday.
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The first disk contains an English commentary track for episode 15 that is only accessible through the Episodes menu.
I still wonder why Funimation does this, especially on these series with high episode per disc counts. Why not just have it as a selectable audio track for episode 15 to avoid having the video data on the disc twice? That also allows people to have subtitles on while listening to the commentary. And I do with they would've stuck with the 3-disc sets; as was pointed out on AoD, doing a 26-ep series with 5-4-4-7-6 is a lot stranger than 6-5-5-5-5. But I guess that would prevent 13-ep sets from being created.
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Is it a solution to the problem of stagnating anime DVD sales, though? That still remains to be seen.
At Funi's Acen panel, Adam Sheehan said that Aquarion was selling quite well, so the "season set" pattern seems to be paying off.
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The March 2008 release of the first half of this series as a box set seems to have initiated a trend, as companies beyond Funimation have since begun to use this approach.
World of Narue (CPM), Avenger (Bandai), and Galaxy Angel A (Bandai) were also initially released as 13-ep dual-language sets, but the trend never caught on back then.
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mufurc



Joined: 09 Jun 2003
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 2:47 am Reply with quote
Theron wrote:
the series never does find an acceptable balance between high-spirited fun, self-parody, and seriousness;

I'm really surprised to see so many people not getting this show at all. Aquarion is not trying to do self-parody, at least not so openly. It takes all the clichés of its genre and wallows in them, takes them to the extreme - keeping a straight face all along. That's why it's so outrageously funny (to me, anyway), because it's basically a good old-fashioned super robot show with all the conventions and clichés cranked up to the max, that pretends to take itself utterly seriously but makes it obvious that the audience shouldn't, not for a moment. It's deliberately cheesy, and the story matters only insofar as it provides opportunity for even more cheese.

(Also, Aquarion came before Gurren Lagann.)
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LordPrometheus



Joined: 02 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 7:28 am Reply with quote
mufurc wrote:
Theron wrote:
the series never does find an acceptable balance between high-spirited fun, self-parody, and seriousness;

I'm really surprised to see so many people not getting this show at all. Aquarion is not trying to do self-parody, at least not so openly. It takes all the clichés of its genre and wallows in them, takes them to the extreme - keeping a straight face all along. That's why it's so outrageously funny (to me, anyway), because it's basically a good old-fashioned super robot show with all the conventions and clichés cranked up to the max, that pretends to take itself utterly seriously but makes it obvious that the audience shouldn't, not for a moment. It's deliberately cheesy, and the story matters only insofar as it provides opportunity for even more cheese.

(Also, Aquarion came before Gurren Lagann.)


I would agree. It takes all the elements that made Voltron, Robotech, Escaflowne, and Evangelion fun and exciting and mashes them all together. I think it works. I've enjoyed the show quite a bit. Smile
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Key
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 9:15 am Reply with quote
mufurc wrote:
I'm really surprised to see so many people not getting this show at all. Aquarion is not trying to do self-parody, at least not so openly. It takes all the clichés of its genre and wallows in them, takes them to the extreme - keeping a straight face all along. That's why it's so outrageously funny (to me, anyway), because it's basically a good old-fashioned super robot show with all the conventions and clichés cranked up to the max, that pretends to take itself utterly seriously but makes it obvious that the audience shouldn't, not for a moment. It's deliberately cheesy, and the story matters only insofar as it provides opportunity for even more cheese.


For the most part I agree with you, and I might have found that more acceptable had they held out like that until the end. . . BUT then you have content like the end of episode 20, which was most decidedly not cheesy and not fun-loving; that was a damn dark turn the show took, any way you look at it. Not until the last episode or so, when the sheer ridiculousness really kicks back in, does the series resume its earlier tone.

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(Also, Aquarion came before Gurren Lagann.)


Yes, I know that, but it doesn't make the comparison any less valid. Aquarion may have better music and visuals, but I consider GL the superior show in every other way.
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Westlo



Joined: 03 Oct 2002
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 5:45 pm Reply with quote
How are the visuals in Aquarion in any way whatsoever better than Laganns? I really don't get how you love Aquarion's visuals but find fault with Frontiers.. even before episodes like 6 and 8... Kawamori himself said that Aquarion in a way was an animation test run for Frontier... working off the stuff they developed in Macross Zero and seeing if it was viable for a tv series.
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maaya



Joined: 14 Oct 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2008 11:57 pm Reply with quote
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that pretends to take itself utterly seriously but makes it obvious that the audience shouldn't, not for a moment.


Well that would make it a parody. But how do you know about the deliberateness of its ridiculousness? Maybe it's you and not the others that "don't get the show" and it is actually un-deliberately funny.
Personally I laughed really hard when they started moaning while doing their gattai or when they over-enthusiastically screamed the names of their ridiculous attacks or again when the commander came up with his oh-so-deep messages about the world and the antagonist trying to hit on the main character Very Happy
But I honestly don't believe that the creators intended such a reaction - eventhough I really don't know what reaction they expected when thinking of this "hentai gattai". Maybe the viewer is supposed to think "wow, that's cool. I also want an orgasmecha" and then they'll go out to buy model kits etc Wink

But I never even once saw this series listed as a parody on mecha-series. It still has too many scenes where it takes itself completely serious. Eventhough it would have been a great parody. And what's more, they even did a comedy-version ... you don't do a comedy version of a series that is already a pure comedy, do you?
And I also don't think you'd get Yoko Kanno to do an awesome, serious soundtrack for a series that isn't supposed to be taken serious at all oO;
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mufurc



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 3:37 am Reply with quote
maaya wrote:
But how do you know about the deliberateness of its ridiculousness? Maybe it's you and not the others that "don't get the show" and it is actually un-deliberately funny.

I don't know how much you've seen from the show, but there are many, many things that most probably weren't intended to be taken seriously. (Such as the heart-shaped love beam called Infinite Light of Bursting Love that makes the vectors on the "registration screen" form a large, pink heart complete with small, fluttering red hearts... yeah.)

The thing with Aquarion is, the audience needs to have at least a passing familiarity with the genre and its conventions to appreciate what it does. Aquarion is basically a pre-Evangelion super robot show (on drugs) that's perfectly aware that those incredibly cheesy tropes and conventions of the genre that used to be played very seriously and earnestly back then (shouting the attacks, the cheesy messages, the transformation sequences, playing the theme music during fights, the overblown passion, etc.) are utterly clichéd and ridiculous today. What Aquarion does is taking these tropes, cranking them up to the max for maximum effect, but instead of pointing and laughing, it plays them with the same earnestness as its predecessors did. (This is why the really serious parts didn't feel out of place, at least for me.) So it pretends to take itself seriously, but it knows fully well how cheesy and silly it is by doing so.

I would describe Aquarion as not a parody but rather a sort of homage that yes, pokes fun at its own genre, but in a loving, nostalgic way. It revels in the cheese, but acknowledges that old-school mecha is awesome for the very same things that make it silly and cheesy by today's standards. (Just ask any fan of Getter Robo, Mazinger Z, etc.)
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