Fafner in the Azure (蒼穹のファフナー)

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Roll up your sleeves when you watch Fafner in the Azure!!!

Fafner in the Azure series have four original anime from 2004 to 2015: TV anime “Fafner in the Azure” (26 episodes), TV special version “Fafner in the Azure RIGHT OF LEFT”, a film version “Fafner in the Azure HEAVEN AND EARTH” and TV anime “Fafner in the Azure EXODUS” (26 episodes). φ(・ェ・o)

The series composition and scenario are written by Tow Ubukata (famous for Mardock Scramble, Ghost in the Shell: ARISE), characters were designed by Hisashi Hirai (famous for Gundam SEED), and the theme song was composed by angela (famous for anime songs such as KNIGHTS OF SIDONIA and K). Especially the theme song, “Shangri-La” was so famous that some of you might have heard it before.

Check out Fafner in the Azure’s deep story full of SF and a style of ensemble casting!!!

What kinds of stories are the Fafner in the Azure series in the first place...? It’s a SF robot anime where they fight with unknown organism “festum”, asking them “Are you there?” in “fafner”, which is a human-shape huge weapon. Festum is a silicon-shape organism, which came from the universe, and it can read human’s mind, assimilate any substances and end up destroying them. The only weapon that can confront against is the Fafner! But the Fafner, which only boys and girls, whose brains are still developing, can ride, has side effect of assimilating phenomenon. Therefore, it gradually ruins their bodies every time they ride.

Not only battle between human and festum but confrontation between human and human can also been seen. People (including the main character,Kazuki Makabe) who live in Tatsumiya Island and Human Army, which aims at annihilating festum are confronting against each other from their different ways of thinking. A main theme of this story is “mutual understanding” and “understanding with each other and importance of having conversations” between human and festum, between human and human, are repeatedly depicted in various ways. The key word is existence, nothing and pain!!! You might not be able to understand this story at all unless you keep watching it. But be careful! This will be on your test! ヽ(・ω・)ノ!!!

One day, Tatsumiya Island, which is located in the edge of Japan, is attacked by the mysterious enemy, festum all the sudden. A peaceful island turns into dismantle a fortress, Alvis. This story begins when Kazuki was asked to fight with the enemy by his childhood friend, Soshi Minashiro, who was alienated with Kazuki for a long time. There might be so many technical words that you might have a hard time understanding the story... but try to watch it until episode 12th!!! Even though you might think it hard to understand the story with a lack of explanation since it’s based on the main character, Kazuki, who doesn’t know anything about the situation. But as the story goes by, he will know that Japan is already destroyed, about the world affairs, the purpose of Tatsumiya Island and festum, and even how characters feel, you will be able to enjoy the story and understand the theme of Fafner in the Azure.

After “Fafner in the Azure” was finished on air, they made its sequel, responding cheers from the fans. “Fafner in the Azure RIGHT OF LEFT” is a story equivalent to a prequel of the first story. Characters which appeared in the previous story are not shown in this story but instead, it’s based on the relationship between one boy and one girl, Ryo Masaoka and Yumi Ikoma, who are one year older than the previous characters. It’s about battle of people who join the undercover operation, Plan L, to save Tatsumiya Island. We cannot watch this story without crying. Make sure you have your handkerchief・゜・(ノД`)・゜・ It also has an extra episode for 55 minutes full of essence of Fafner in the Azure. It might be a good idea to watch it firstヽ(・∀・)ノ!

Five years later, the film “Fafner in the Azure HEAVEN AND EARTH” was released, which was about the world two years later than the last episode of the first story. In this story, the communication between human and festum can be depicted and it even shows possibility to live together. Furthermore, five years later, TV anime Fafner in the Azure EXODUS” started, showing the world two years later than the film!!! In EXODUS, the stage expanded to the world and battle by people looking for hope, are cruelly depicted..... The most cruel depiction among all the stories in series... ゚(゚´Д`゚)゚。

I think the attraction of this story is a human drama in which people can feel their lives. Even though there are so many characters, there are no outstanding people. But each person is responsible for his/her role and influenced with each other. It’s one of this story’s attractions to show us Fafner (including Kazuki) pilots’ struggles and relationships, and even concerns by their parents as well. (๑•̀⊿•́)و✧ Even though it might be miserable to face their friends’ death, they are not dead but are alive. Those who survived will never forget about what they have left for them. There is characteristics as to how to depict the dead.

Lastly, I’ll show you my favorite character, Soshi Minashiro(ღ✪v✪)!! He is the best friend and a childhood friend of the main character, Kazuki. Soshi got injured by being attacked to his left eye by Kazuki. when they were small. With that incident, they will become alienated. Due to his left eye’s injury, Soshi cannot ride Fafner. So he sends pilots to battle, operating the Siegfried System as a leader. He always behaves calm and if it’s necessary, he sometimes gives them hardheaded judgement.

Even though he is misunderstood that he is a cool person, he is actually a clumsy and kind person!!! Since his father is chief of Alvis, he has learned Alvis, Fafner and the world affairs by him unlike other children. That’s why he is especially responsible for saving the island and the pilots. Too much for a 14-year-old boy!!! He’s not good at expressing kindness or care, so that way, he’s so cuteლ(╹◡╹ლ)!!! Also, he is a big brother of his sister, Tsubaki. They both keep going on, accepting their hard destiny for their island. Check out the way of their livings as well... (´;ω;`)

Since the world view and setting are created, we can not only enjoy it as entertainment but we can also watch it, seeking for the content. It’s such a deep story. It’s also enjoyable to know the fans’ various reviews!!! Even if you are not interested in SF or robots, you have to watch it first! You’ll definitely think that it’s hard to watch, but so fun as well!

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