Aquarion Evol 1-3

A boy meets a girl, falls in love with her, and uses his feelings to awaken a legendary robot in order to fight aliens from another dimension.

It was the music in the previews that convinced me to watch the show, and it does indeed sound wonderful. It’s also the prettiest anime I’ve seen so far this season, with pretty battles and beautifully animated characters. On top of all that, some effort has even been put into making the protagonist something other than an amalgamation of tropes and clichés.

Unfortunately, rather than being like actual people as in Natsumachi, the main characters feel rather off. The protagonist has a suitably angsty backstory, but he seems to have emotions where his brain should be; his desire to see the female lead causes him to help dig a tunnel under a wall and into the girls’ dorm (rather than using his magic power of flight), causing a suitably bad romantic comedy gag fanservice, and subsequently commandeers a mock battle in order to apologize and confess his love for her. The promising character potential that he had shown for the first few minutes of the series seems to have been subdued in favor of him being a clueless mecha pilot who is constantly overpowered by his emotions.

The supporting cast is more generic: the commanders who spout exposition while the robots fight, the overbearing class president, the female lead’s overprotective big brother, the scantily clad tomboy-ish Action Girl. None of them are too terribly interesting, although they’re not so bad as to detract from the core aspect of the show, which is the mecha combat action. Overall, it’s enough of a feast for the senses that I can forgive it some of its flaws, but the characters need some serious development.  And that “union” really could have done with a lot more clothes and a lot less moaning.

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