Aquarian Age: Sign for Evolution
In the 21st century, there still exist factions of an ancient race of women who are at war with each other. So, a faction of the men who are known as Mind Breakers and who can control the women decided to join the war and utilised The Power for themselves. Although why they had to wait until the 7th episode to explain such things is beyond me.
To the unsuspecting audience, let me present to all of you FREE of charge... toothpicks! You are all going to need it to prop your eyelids up to sit though this thirteen episode series, which surely moves slower than the average snail.
Frankly, this series is the pits! After five episodes into the series, we can only guess who the good guys are, make wild guesses at who the bad guys are, and wonder about the EVIL plot that they are hatching.
Kamikurata Kyouta really, really wants to be a pop idol. However, he soon (real soon!) discovers that he is a Mind Breaker and that he is given the task of rescuing his childhood friend, Sanae Yokko from being permanently awakened as Medusa. See, Yokko being the leader of the ancient race of Aya-something really has two identities; one is Da Leader who will save the earth and one is Da Medusa who will destroy the world. Cliche! I really didn't want to give the plot away but I thought, "What the heck? Do you really want to sit through this?"
This show certainly has got potential. The premise of the show seems to be about pop idols and the entertainment industry. We usually associate pop idols with female subjects (e.g. Perfect Blue, Full Moon o Sagashite) and I thought they could explore a different side of the coin. But this turns out just a backdrop to an equally silly plot.
The problem with this series is that it is quite blatantly a harem show! Duh! Factions of female warriors? A powerful male who could control them? If that does not set off the alarm bells, let me list other similarities.
Female mass hysteria: Kamikurata Kyouta is a really talented singer. The moment he steps up to the mic and opens his mouth, all the girls mob him and display mass hysteria ala The Gloved One. Even I display hysteria, because I will look for the remote hysterically to hit the mute button before he opens his mouth. Never before has such a singing voice driven me to the point of hysteria!
The females, of which there are a lot and I won't bother to name each and every one of them all belong under the police List A of 'Most Wanted Stalker'. All of them will swoon and fight over Kyouta. Now, I have nothing against idol worshipping but I wish he were at least more interesting. All them clingy females and awkward 'cuteness' of Kyouta fending off the advances but you and I know he really wants it! Please ladies; there are better things to do! If you are truly depressed, let yours truly introduced you to the world of retail therapy, that I swear before the Almighty really works!
Then, of course, there is the obligatory self-proclaimed little sister who swears to protect his Sempai-onii-sama. We typically call such characters comic relief but in this case, relief is only provided when she is not in the picture. Then there are random characters in elaborate costumes that pop up like gophers to say a few cryptic lines but otherwise serve no purpose in the show.
But there is one reason that I absolutely HATE this anime. Remember that it's still war and surely there'd be lots of fighting and stuff? Well, the action sequences are sorely disappointing. I'm not kidding you when I say that it's a light show! Battles are portrayed as pieces of light bending and twisting. And all the while battles take place in this dimension that conveniently have only one color that I think the animators slap on top of the background. I don't believe this series had no budget. They obviously spent quite an effort to add details in the background and scenery.
As for the music ... I don't know but perhaps Kajiura-san should take a break. Don't get me wrong; I'm still a big fan of Kajiura Yuki and I think she composed some of the best vocal tracks I've heard. But perhaps I have had an overdose of her style that I think has varied very little since Noir and .hack//SIGN. The music of Le Petit was so-so; Erementar Gerad totally forgettable; Mai HiME had some unique tracks here and there; Tsubasa Chronicle is not especially outstanding. Again, Sign For Evolution had some good vocal tracks but the repetition is wearing me down.
Finally, the character design sucks. Yokko can be described in one word: inconsistent! What's with the Chun-Li lookalike hair-do? And she looks terrible at certain angles. Plus, this anime has got positively the most atrocious ending ever. I'm quite sure the creators didn't know what to do with it anymore towards the end so they add some talky bits and more light shows and end it in a fizzle.
While I truly wish I had something nice to say about Sign For Evolution, I don't. Sign For Evolution should never have evolved from the drawing board, because no one should to have to see the sad end product. — Diane Tiu
Recommended Audience: There is a lot of supernatural violence but it tends to brief and relatively bloodless. There are a few characters with lycanthropic powers and their transformations might frighten some smaller children, but for the most part this is alright for most audiences. A bit of fan service here and there but nothing particularly severe. Overall, this is safe for older children and above.
Version(s) Viewed: R2 DVD
Review Status: Full (13/13)
Aquarian Age: Sign for Evolution © 2002 Madhouse / TV Tokyo / Victor Entertainment
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