Mon 7 May 2012
Aquarion Evol is a mindless mash of stunningly entertaining characters. However, one memorable cast member that takes it to the next level is Fudou Zen, the high commander of Neo-DEAVA. Fudou is the embodiment of Aquarion Evol as an anime — he’s enigmatic, overly dramatic, and spews the most wonderful monologues of utter bullshit philosophy that could only be topped if Carl Sagan lived to be a senile old man. He is hard evidence that the writers of Aquarion Evol know exactly what they are doing and that the entire anime is one big joke, with mecha. Take the most recent episode, for example. Here’s this huge character conflict and serious drama going on — Mix has been kidnapped, Andy is furious, and every single character has a pensive, depressed look on their face. All of the sudden, we smash cut to Fudou all alone in the wilderness with this great line…
Aquarion Evol would not be the same anime without this master of wordsmanship.
Fudou Zen IS Aquarion Evol. As each episode dispenses of its veneer of tension and spirals into silliness, Fudou is invariably there to provide color commentary. As the characters summon a milk hotspring to fight the enemy in a blizzard, Fudou is talking about why bananas are the king of all fruit (and making banana puns on the side). As the characters strip naked while fighting to dodge missiles, Fudou is commenting on how people are all born naked. He says everything with such pathos and confidence that you just go with the flow. Donuts are the embodiment of the spirit of the universe? Sounds fine to me!
And let us not forget the sheer amount of swagger Fudou carries himself with. No matter what’s going on, he never seems phased or surprised. He’s either shuffling cards or making more metaphors. It’s like he knows exactly what’s going to happen and he’s just so energetic about it. His personality matches the personality of the anime: unabashedly straightforward and sincere, without any pretense of staidness. So while he may be a supporting character, it is with him that the amusement of Aquarion Evol rise and falls, for he is the heart and soul of this anime. As the main cast flounder around and panic as they are met with unexpected challenges, Fudou is the rock that drives the plot forward. Never change, Aquarion.