Anime Quick Information
|Average Rating: 2.00|
Martin scored this with 7/10. Disagree?
Kyouta is a pretty normal high school student. Apart from being a bit of a dreamer and not concentrating on his studies enough, he is in a band with two of his friends, Shingo and Junichi, helps his parents run a convenience store and is generally unsure about what the future holds. However, his band is discovered by a talent scout and they might soon realise their dream of making it professionally. It is at this point when Kyouta begins to see strange visions of magical girls in the heat of battle right in front of him, which he can’t pass off as mere hallucinations. Before long Kyouta and his would-be girlfriend Yoriko are drawn into a conflict between five supernatural factions, the outcome of which could even affect the human world.
I’ve found myself saying this about one or two new releases recently, but Aquarian Age really is a slow starter from a storyline point of view. Fortunately the long periods of time in which very progress appears to be made are spent on character development, which leaves the viewer with a clear picture of the cast, who are quite frankly outstanding. Kyouta comes across as being genuinely likeable, although a bit too average to be hero material (as anime heroes often are!). His family and friends are also thoughtfully designed and there are already hints of a very close a relationship with Yoriko that will no doubt lead to some touching drama later on. At this stage the series is very character-driven and it is an interesting experience to get to know them all: Shingo and Junichi are the typical aspiring rock stars offering some comic relief and there is definitely something strange about the Cosmopop record company.
Unfortunately there is no concealing the fact that in the five episodes on this disc it is quite a while before anything significant takes place, and very little is explained. There are numerous interesting characters introduced and small nuggets of information dropped in but the viewer is left as much in the dark about it all as Kyouta is. Yoriko has some idea as to what is going on and seems to be linked to it all in some way, but the inlay booklet that accompanies the DVD explains more about the five factions and their centuries-old rivalries than the episodes themselves. The way in which this battle is being waged just out of reach of human perception is portrayed very well though: the relationships and arguments between certain supporting characters in the normal world that Kyouta and his friends inhabit run parallel to the strange magical battles that are being waged, which shows the spilling over of the supernatural events into the world we know to great effect.
The soundtrack is of a fairly high standard with suitably ethereal melodies for the magical combat scenes and some rock style songs that are performed Kyouta’s band. The extra features include the standard opening closing themes and trailers, plus a short ‘Behind the Anime’ feature that consists of interviews with the English language VAs during the auditioning phase of production. As well as being a handy reference source in understanding the Aquarian Age universe the inlay booklet includes written interviews with the original Japanese cast and production crew.
After the first five episodes I can honestly say that I don’t know what to make of Aquarian Age. There is an interesting and engaging cast who are worth watching in their own right but the storyline takes its time in picking up pace. As a character drama it works well: there is an engaging cast who are introduced effectively and there are plenty of hidden agendas to keep you guessing. However the next few episodes will really have to work hard to get the action side of the story moving. Overall I am cautiously optimistic for the series and will be intrigued to see how it turns out.
|Score:||7 out of 10|
|Date Published:||Tue, 26 Jul 2005|
1. Comment by IanC
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