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Old 2012-04-19, 17:38   Link #3241
Triple_R
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One of the older implied rules of fiction is that unnamed character deaths, massive property damage, and the like, are only as important as the writers make them out to be.

This is why I never really got into the whole discussion of "Wow, how is everybody going to handle Mikono's decision to defend Kagura?!"

My reason for that is, simply put, the anime hasn't treated the general death and destruction caused by Kagura as something that makes him a horrible fiend that everybody should despise and want to bring to justice. You haven't seen, say, the civilian population of Neo-Kowloon loudly protest these atrocities, and openly argue for Neo-Deava to get more on the ball in dealing with the causes of those atrocities. You haven't really seen major characters calling for Kagura to be wiped out at his next appearance. So I honestly never really expected Mikono to be taken to task for defending Kagura the way she did (it would have been nice if she had been, but I wasn't expecting it).


Ultimately, Aquarion EVOL is primarily concerned with three things:

1) Being a colorful mecha action show.

2) Having lots of anime-style romances and romance drama.

3) Being a fun-filled show in general.


That's my impression, anyway. EVOL is a fun show to watch and talk about, but it doesn't really take its internal politics and overarching war narrative that seriously. We shouldn't confuse it with a Gundam show, or even a Macross really.


That's not to say that this means that EVOL can't be criticized for playing really fast and loose with what's believable, but just that we probably shouldn't expect it to make as much sense as the better Gundam shows do.


So I don't hold Mikono's handling of the Kagura situation that much against her, for the simple reason that this is a case where the writers simply don't care about Kagura's wrong-doing beyond it helping to make him a bit more menacing and dramatic of an antagonist, perhaps.


Kuro is right that there's loads of contrivances in this show, which includes the avoiding of more believable chains of character interaction because they would force Okada into a sticky situation that could undermine the broader plot, tonal, and character development goals of the anime. I will admit that Okada really is pushing things in some ways, though.

It does strike me as a bit silly that Amata and Mikono already have this sort of mutual understanding of being boyfriend/girlfriend with each other (how else do you explain how each reacted to Zessica's confession to Amata?) even when there's been no spoken clear understanding between the two. Romance by sheer osmosis and virtual mind-reading is a weakness I see a lot in anime, and sadly, there is some of that in Aquarion EVOL to.


tl;dr The viewer isn't expected to take this show all that seriously. This isn't a Char Aznable-starring Gundam here.
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Old 2012-04-20, 08:22   Link #3242
Zuul
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Should I expose my unpopular theory of this relationship having been purposelly and gradually made into more and more of a trainweck as a way to prepare a little bait and switch.

It's that or just plain bad writting and the writters trying to keep them apart for ''suspense'' using some very contrived ways to do so. They should have kept the Berlin instead. I really don't buy the team Rocket Kagura threat and his occasional attack, it only works if Mikono is really attracted to him more than to Amata (bait and switch).
It could be due to the fact the relationship started too strongly. I really was under the impression they were already in love and dating after episode 01/02 but apparently not. It was a bit of a disapointment for me at that moment.

Their apparently drifting apart more and more as the story progresses without any real oposition really makes it look as if they aren't that much into each other. Well, at least the Mikono's part.

So there is a problem here. The question is, it is intentionnal or not.

/unpopular opinion.
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Old 2012-04-20, 09:15   Link #3243
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This is what I think Okada/Kawamori are aiming for:

The first two episodes makes it clear that Amata and Mikono like one another, and are romantically interested in one another.

But then, time and time again, their attempts to move forward with a romance is interrupted by Kagura launching an attack to try and steal Mikono away, Zessica teasing Amata, or something else.

I think that the plan is for viewers to go...

Viewer X: Poor Amata and Mikono! Every time they try to forward their romance, something has to come and get in the way!

Viewer Y: Agreed. Why, it's like fate itself is against Amata/Mikono!

Viewer X: That seems to fit with all of this imagery surrounding Kagura and Mikono...

Viewer Y: But look! Amata now realizes it, and he's going to fight fate! Go Amata go!


That might be a tad simplistic, but I think this is the general idea behind the writing here.
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Old 2012-04-20, 09:35   Link #3244
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As I said the way they introduced that fate thing is extremelly clumsy or fishy :

Show the viewers touching flashbacks. Wow the hero is going to shit all over it, let's all root for him.

They shouldn't have adressed that fate thingy at all, let alone show us heart-warming memories of what the hero is supposed to go against.

Either troll or bad writting.
It could also be a way to start adressing the mommy issue, because I think the butthurt against fate was here before and comes from his being abandoned.

They should leave that fate thing alone when it comes to put AmataxMikono in a good light. Seriously.

Last edited by Zuul; 2012-04-20 at 09:45.
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Old 2012-04-20, 09:42   Link #3245
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Ultimately, Aquarion EVOL is primarily concerned with three things:

1) Being a colorful mecha action show.

2) Having lots of anime-style romances and romance drama.

3) Being a fun-filled show in general.
Yep, that's pretty much all there is to it, though looking at the whole picture it could have been much more, yet the creators refrain themselves to make it evolve beyond "girls+boys=lulz". Given its pedigree I can only assume it is the writers' slump period, forsaking good writing and focusing on moe-designed characters to please/troll the audience, a shame given the fact the previous serie avoid this issue.

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It's that or just plain bad writting
Don't go looking, it's just plain bad writing. Long story short, don't put too much hope into this show unless you can bear with the "obvious is obvious yet mindfucking" ongoing tone.
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Old 2012-04-20, 10:01   Link #3246
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
This is what I think Okada/Kawamori are aiming for:

The first two episodes makes it clear that Amata and Mikono like one another, and are romantically interested in one another.

But then, time and time again, their attempts to move forward with a romance is interrupted by Kagura launching an attack to try and steal Mikono away, Zessica teasing Amata, or something else.

That might be a tad simplistic, but I think this is the general idea behind the writing here.
I'd be able to agree with you more if Kagura and, by extension, Mykage were genuinely presented as threats. Mykage is threatening but without knowing what he's actually planning (for all we know he may want to save both worlds and that Fudo's been lying) he's a sort opaque fluid that just sloshes around and move the plot when necessary and hasn't shown himself to actually be against Mikono/Amata, and we know he's pulling Kagura's chain. Kagura, on the other hand, is currently in the MoTW non-threat zone as every time he appears, he losses. I'm not sure how the audience is supposed to perceive him as a threat to Mikono/Amata when Kagura cannot win and, in the only moment he's ever had his hands on Mikono, the writers invert everything we actually know about his character and, to a degree, make him somewhat sympathetic a character. Fudo is a larger threat to Amata/Mikono right now than Kagura is.

What makes matters worse for the whole progression of the romance is that you have in-universe character remarking on how sssslllloooowwwww it is progressing, queue Andy and his advice to Amata to get his head in the game and confess, or, again from Andy, that Amata's lack of action will cause him to lose. Its lampshading a fact that should be apparent to the audience: in 16 episodes of striving to make a relationship, constantly overcoming the external threats (Kagura, Mykage), our two leads cannot jump the hurdle. You cannot even use Zessica as a point in this because after Episode 8, she stopped and gave them their distance (and before that, her actions were regularly a catalyst for stronger bonding between Amata and Mikono), and even in that span, with one of the supposed blocks wholesale having removed itself for the better of the couple and the guy she (Zessica) cared for, you had a failed confession (dragging their feet) and a movie date. That's it. For characters that were, initially, supposedly very strongly into each other, and with no external threat in the way, nothing happened...

You could, honestly, just as easily flip the entire *fight for the girl* theme and aim it at Kagura. Why? Because he has never won, ever. He's this loser, chasing the girl, through torture, defeat, and pain... and he's your damn villain? That's not usually how a villain is supposed to be framed. He's supposed to regularly win and beat the hero, eventually steal the girl, laugh menacingly, and, after a long rescue arc, get beaten and the hero and girl reunited!

And what about Zessica? Your cockblock on the other side is built a sympathetic girl in love who can empathize with our hero and worry about his problems... what? No one else in this show even seems to give a damn about Amata's problems aside from Fudo.

Now, I must go teach some physics to some people who couldn't careless about what it is I am going to teach. I'll be gone for several hours.
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Old 2012-04-20, 10:27   Link #3247
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You know, just because Kagura hasn't achieved his main objective, doesn't mean he didn't do any damage along the way, and considering his 'longevity' and h4xx power-upgrades, he would continue to be a threat for a long time until he's put down.

Sure he hasn't won an encounter, but you make it sound like all those victories against him came cheap and easy.
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Old 2012-04-20, 11:03   Link #3248
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You know, just because Kagura hasn't achieved his main objective, doesn't mean he didn't do any damage along the way, and considering his 'longevity' and h4xx power-upgrades, he would continue to be a threat for a long time until he's put down.

Sure he hasn't won an encounter, but you make it sound like all those victories against him came cheap and easy.
Ask yourself why is he even a threat? Because Fudo let's him be, because Mikono let's him be, and because the relationship is stagnant. If Mikono and Amata opened their mouths, Kagura's threat to their romance would be a non issue. Again, you could just as easily frame the fighting for the girl thing for Kagura because, unlike our leads, he can express himself and his feelings, albeit strangely.

Aside from said romance threat which is perpetuated by tongues in vices, Kagura has been a joke threat used as exposition bait for the main casts powers and power ups. And the romance threat is really verging on piss poor justification.
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Old 2012-04-20, 11:15   Link #3249
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I'll just chime in with this tidbit: part of what first sold me on this show was Cayenne's vision of the black wedding in the first episode. It took what otherwise seemed like a vanilla young-male adventure fantasy -- user your power, save the girl, become awesome! -- and sent it in an interesting direction.

I bring this up because it's really that vision that makes Kagura a "threat" in this story: we may not know how, when, or why it's going to happen, but it's seemingly going to happen eventually, and is a looming threat. Without that set-up -- but all else remaining the same -- Kagura would be nowhere near as much of a romantic threat.
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Old 2012-04-20, 11:25   Link #3250
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Originally Posted by Vena View Post
Ask yourself why is he even a threat? Because Fudo let's him be, because Mikono let's him be, and because the relationship is stagnant. If Mikono and Amata opened their mouths, Kagura's threat to their romance would be a non issue. Again, you could just as easily frame the fighting for the girl thing for Kagura because, unlike our leads, he can express himself and his feelings, albeit strangely.

Aside from said romance threat which is perpetuated by tongues in vices, Kagura has been a joke threat used as exposition bait for the main casts powers and power ups. And the romance threat is really verging on piss poor justification.
If you really stop to think about it, Kagura as a threat to due to bad writing and a loss of common sense among the main characters. I know Kagura is supposed to built up as some kind of villainous love rival, but really he isn't.

It really seems at things as though Mikono and Amata are only being held back so that Kagura can keep being a threat. Because the minute one of them confesses to the other then that's it for Kagura's usefulness in this story. He is no longer a threat and can no longer be taken seriously.

Heck they don't even need to confess to destroy his threat level, it can take something as simple as someone just being blunt with Mikono to destroy it.

And without the love triangle aspect for Kagura he's just Mykage's pawn, there isn't that much to his character.
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Old 2012-04-20, 11:31   Link #3251
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Kagura is an underdog of love. TT

Sort of like Zessica.

They are no threat.

The only threat here is Amata's lack of action and the fact Mikono doesn't seem that much into him. Have we seen her worry about Amata even once (it's even lampshaded by the fact the unlucky rival do worry about him a lot), she's only seen wondering about Kagura.

There is something fishy here.

Anyway, they have overcome my patience. Go Kagura get your wench.


Bait and switch : the only way to redeem that trainwreck.
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Old 2012-04-20, 12:16   Link #3252
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Oh, we're at the trainwreck stage already?
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Old 2012-04-20, 12:18   Link #3253
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If you really stop to think about it, Kagura as a threat to due to bad writing and a loss of common sense among the main characters. I know Kagura is supposed to built up as some kind of villainous love rival, but really he isn't.

It really seems at things as though Mikono and Amata are only being held back so that Kagura can keep being a threat. Because the minute one of them confesses to the other then that's it for Kagura's usefulness in this story. He is no longer a threat and can no longer be taken seriously.

Heck they don't even need to confess to destroy his threat level, it can take something as simple as someone just being blunt with Mikono to destroy it.

And without the love triangle aspect for Kagura he's just Mykage's pawn, there isn't that much to his character.
And that really is the problem, if Amata is supposed to be overcoming all odds to win his girl and Kagura is supposed to be said odds, he's framed very weakly for it. So either we're supposed to draw from this that Kagura is actually where we think Amata is, or Kagura is a piss-poor excuse for dragging out a romance plot. (What I find worse is that they are dragging it on largely because of Mikono's swaying character and some absurd logic that no one is calling her out on.) They could make Kagura win a battle for once, take Mikono, and let them interact such that we can get some insight into their relationship but they just keep dragging that out too...

There's also the fact that, the way this has been portrayed, I cannot help but feel that the writers have shoved themselves into a corner. They present to you the Sousei love of Apollo and Sylvia, which ends bittersweetly, and juxtapose it over Amata fighting what, to the viewer as of so far, appears to Kagura(Apollo) and Mikono(Sylvia). This paints Amata rather poorly. Conversely, if Amata turns out to be the true reincarnation with Mikono, then he's not fighting fate at all and the whole narrative losses much of its punch.

The last part of this whole fighting destiny thing... is that Amata said to Mikono that he thought their meeting was destiny. Wide swings in coming! And why I stopped bothering with speculating...

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Oh, we're at the trainwreck stage already?
Not at all, the narrative itself is actually fun and engaging. Its just that the romance aspects are really pushing their luck on being believable as the show continues to string along these two main romantic leads that cannot articulate a sentence to each other about some dude.
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Old 2012-04-20, 12:44   Link #3254
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Oh, we're at the trainwreck stage already?
The AmataxMikono thing certainly is.

That's why I'm rooting against it so much.

The rest of the show is still enjoyable. I really liked most of last episode, except Amata moping on Mikono and fate.
I would like him to get some silly moments with Andy that don't concern is failed love life to lighten the mood a bit next episode.
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Old 2012-04-20, 13:34   Link #3255
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Oh, we're at the trainwreck stage already?
The narrative itself is really fun, Mykage makes for a great villain, however, its the Kagura, Mikono, Amata, Zessica love quad that is the trainwreck.

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And that really is the problem, if Amata is supposed to be overcoming all odds to win his girl and Kagura is supposed to be said odds, he's framed very weakly for it. So either we're supposed to draw from this that Kagura is actually where we think Amata is, or Kagura is a piss-poor excuse for dragging out a romance plot. (What I find worse is that they are dragging it on largely because of Mikono's swaying character and some absurd logic that no one is calling her out on.) They could make Kagura win a battle for once, take Mikono, and let them interact such that we can get some insight into their relationship but they just keep dragging that out too...
If anything the person who comes across as the third wheel is actually Kagura, he comes as the girlfriend stealer. Heck its not just Kagura its also Zessica, when you stop to think about it, if those two characters lose their space in the love quad then that's it for their importance to this story, they will become side characters in the viewers eyes and its much too late to change the circumstances of said love quad.

There is also the problem that if they do make Mikono do that it makes her look wishy washy, and gives the Stockholm syndrome vibe, which I don't think is what they're going for.



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There's also the fact that, the way this has been portrayed, I cannot help but feel that the writers have shoved themselves into a corner. They present to you the Sousei love of Apollo and Sylvia, which ends bittersweetly, and juxtapose it over Amata fighting what, to the viewer as of so far, appears to Kagura(Apollo) and Mikono(Sylvia). This paints Amata rather poorly. Conversely, if Amata turns out to be the true reincarnation with Mikono, then he's not fighting fate at all and the whole narrative losses much of its punch.

The last part of this whole fighting destiny thing... is that Amata said to Mikono that he thought their meeting was destiny. Wide swings in coming! And why I stopped bothering with speculating...
The funny thing is the writers could have done a lot, they could have changed the dynamics to spice things up, but now its much too late to even try. Bottom line is Amata is also our main character so you can't make him appear in a negative light like that, and also if Mikono chooses Kagura over Amata, it makes her look bad as well, considering Kagura's current status.

They could have ended this trainwreck episodes ago and move onto something more interesting, heck in Aquarion proper, Apollo and Silvia basically settled on each other from episode 14. The idea of having for entire series itself was pretty bad, considering the set up.
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Old 2012-04-20, 14:42   Link #3256
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If anything the person who comes across as the third wheel is actually Kagura, he comes as the girlfriend stealer. Heck its not just Kagura its also Zessica, when you stop to think about it, if those two characters lose their space in the love quad then that's it for their importance to this story, they will become side characters in the viewers eyes and its much too late to change the circumstances of said love quad.

There is also the problem that if they do make Mikono do that it makes her look wishy washy, and gives the Stockholm syndrome vibe, which I don't think is what they're going for.
Zessica removed herself from the triangle when she developed feelings for Amata, which is actually quite unusual for this sort of scenario. Kagura has always been hanging around as that guy. The difference between the two, though, comes down to what they represent and how they are seen:
Kagura represents the lovers of the past and his bond to Mikono is built on this, and hers to him. They represent this past bond that, while strained, cannot seem to be broken. He's not so much trying to steal anyone, nor is Mikono trying to be wishy-washy, but they are both effectively souls seeking each other (or as it appears thus far).
Zessica has been used not to build so much on the romance (until this episode) but to develop the fact that Amata still has issues and that, even in being the third wheel to which she effectively relegated herself for several episodes, she worried about him.

The question then becomes how are we, the viewer, supposed to see this? If we see this from the point of view of the relationship of Amata/Mikono this seems to be rather useless drivel that has only been causing the main couple to drag their feet needlessly and drawing out a quadrangle mess. If, on the other hand, the story develops unexpectedly in some other direction, Zuul may be right that this writing isn't so much awful as it is a bit messy because its trying really hard to hide its purpose.

This, like many other still hanging threads, I believe will be better addressed as we progress further into the show.

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The funny thing is the writers could have done a lot, they could have changed the dynamics to spice things up, but now its much too late to even try. Bottom line is Amata is also our main character so you can't make him appear in a negative light like that, and also if Mikono chooses Kagura over Amata, it makes her look bad as well, considering Kagura's current status.
They could have, they have and they haven't. All of our characters have actually grown over the course of the series, its that the relationship between Amata and Mikono, starting off like a blazing stallion in the first few episodes, hasn't kept up. Kagura has been given a (subjectively) sympathetic side when he's with Mikono; Shrade, Jin, Yunoha, Mix, Andy, Zessica, Amata, Mikono, all have grown (Cayenne hadn't changed). But, while other characters have formed and adapted their relationships to the trials and tribulations presented to them... some haven't.

Its what I keep referring to as tongue in a vice for the main pair. Its been like that since episode 5, Andy has called Amata out on it, and, when you start lampshading a fact like that, you have to realize that the writers are quite aware of it... and are doing it on purpose. What is their purpose in dragging this out so long? Who knows, we still have ten episodes.
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Old 2012-04-20, 15:46   Link #3257
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Zessica removed herself from the triangle when she developed feelings for Amata, which is actually quite unusual for this sort of scenario. Kagura has always been hanging around as that guy. The difference between the two, though, comes down to what they represent and how they are seen:
Kagura represents the lovers of the past and his bond to Mikono is built on this, and hers to him. They represent this past bond that, while strained, cannot seem to be broken. He's not so much trying to steal anyone, nor is Mikono trying to be wishy-washy, but they are both effectively souls seeking each other (or as it appears thus far).
Zessica has been used not to build so much on the romance (until this episode) but to develop the fact that Amata still has issues and that, even in being the third wheel to which she effectively relegated herself for several episodes, she worried about him.
Actually, I think Zessica having feelings for Amata puts her in the love triangle, its a real question of whether or not she acts on it, and how Mikono repsonds to that.
Quote:
The question then becomes how are we, the viewer, supposed to see this? If we see this from the point of view of the relationship of Amata/Mikono this seems to be rather useless drivel that has only been causing the main couple to drag their feet needlessly and drawing out a quadrangle mess. If, on the other hand, the story develops unexpectedly in some other direction, Zuul may be right that this writing isn't so much awful as it is a bit messy because its trying really hard to hide its purpose.

This, like many other still hanging threads, I believe will be better addressed as we progress further into the show.
I'm not talking about that, I'm talking about the fact that it has simply gone on for way too long, this should already have a resolution and they should be moving on to other things.

Quote:
They could have, they have and they haven't. All of our characters have actually grown over the course of the series, its that the relationship between Amata and Mikono, starting off like a blazing stallion in the first few episodes, hasn't kept up. Kagura has been given a (subjectively) sympathetic side when he's with Mikono; Shrade, Jin, Yunoha, Mix, Andy, Zessica, Amata, Mikono, all have grown (Cayenne hadn't changed). But, while other characters have formed and adapted their relationships to the trials and tribulations presented to them... some haven't.

Its what I keep referring to as tongue in a vice for the main pair. Its been like that since episode 5, Andy has called Amata out on it, and, when you start lampshading a fact like that, you have to realize that the writers are quite aware of it... and are doing it on purpose. What is their purpose in dragging this out so long? Who knows, we still have ten episodes.
But is 10 episodes enough for it to complete a resolution to all of the subplots, answer all the questions, and finish development on all of the characters.

I'm saying this in general to the entire Amatax Mikono, Kagurax Mikono, AmataXZessica business it should have been resolved already and we should be moving on to other subplots. At this point in time this needs those 10 episodes because none of them have any development.
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Old 2012-04-20, 16:04   Link #3258
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The last part of this whole fighting destiny thing... is that Amata said to Mikono that he thought their meeting was destiny. Wide swings in coming! And why I stopped bothering with speculating...
wasn't it just in episode 5 when he told mikono that he felt like they had watched the setting sun etc together before?
(i don't know when that happened in the past of apollo/silvia cause that never happened in sousei. unless they are talking about the one particular scene where apollo gives silvia the statue and she punches him. that was the only time there was a crimson setting sun backgraound.)

at that time i thought it was just him watching the movie too many times but after the vision that mikono/zessica/kagura have seen i wouldn't be surprised if in the end he really is just part of kagura or the same guy who actually hugs mikono.

they will just say zessica twisted it to suite her liking cause she started to like amata and she remembered cayenne's vision and substituted amata with kagura.

then this whole fighting destiny shit will prove to be a troll and pairing fans would still accept it cause well their pair got together.
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Old 2012-04-20, 16:08   Link #3259
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Actually, I think Zessica having feelings for Amata puts her in the love triangle, its a real question of whether or not she acts on it, and how Mikono repsonds to that.

I'm not talking about that, I'm talking about the fact that it has simply gone on for way too long, this should already have a resolution and they should be moving on to other things.
I don't argue that she isn't or is in the triangle (obviously is, even if she is a third wheel), what I'm saying is that she removed herself from acting on anything for the length of time that was Episode 9 until Episode 14. That is, for six total episodes she did not try to get in the way of the relationship (conversely, Kagura was caged and out of the picture until Episode 13 but still getting in the way with being that guy that no one talks about).

That means, at the end of Episode 6 (Kagura is removed) and then Episode 8's end (Zessica removes herself), since that time (which as I said was six total episodes of being together without outside interference), Mikono and Amata were able to accomplish bugger all. (It is ridiculous how drawn out this is for a main pairing (assuming this to be the case). When asked by Sazanka about it, Mikono denies it shyly. When confronted on the non-happenings by Andy, Amata acts and... fails because of KAGURA manifesting in a reflection. This, again, returns to the over arching problem I have with this couple in that Amata has to do damn well near everything, irregardless of how receptive Mikono might be to his advances. It takes two to tango, and no matter how hard one person tries, dancing with a receptive mass of balistics jello is not going to be a very rewarding experience.) If you ask me, they've put the secondaries (Zessica and Kagura) through more shit to prove their love for their respective target than the main leads because neither of them (the secondaries) has had their romantic interest handed to them on a silver platter since the first episode. Which, in the end, is probably the problem in all of this. Starting off so strong out of the gates with Amata and Mikono, you then have some modicum of development, and then hit a long ass rut of non-happenings. If you're going to start out as a blazing race horse then you need to introduce some genuine obstacles (Okada's Hanasaku had distance as a genuine obstruction, priorities and family, and later library-glasses girl, True Tears had a hateful mother spreading lies and a brother out to make his sister win at all costs and by any means possible. What does Aquarion have? Kagura who was removed for seven episodes? Zessica who removed herself for six episodes? There's just no believable obstacle for such a drawn out romance, unless, again, its not meant to be the believable romance.)

(So, directed at the second quoted paragraph and effectively everything else in what you said) I agree and, considering the fact the show lampshades it, I'm pretty sure we're all supposed to agree that this is taking far too long.

That, or someone in the writing staff has honestly lost their mind.
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Old 2012-04-20, 17:48   Link #3260
Chaos2Frozen
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Join Date: Nov 2006
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Age: 25
Romantic threat is one thing Vena, but I was also referring to him as a physical threat.
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