A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that A.I.C.O. Incarnation is an action-packed anime series. Its complicated plot involves the death of main character Aiko's family by a biological disaster that she may have caused. There are brief moments of nudity and much shooting of laser guns as characters battle a huge creeping bio-mass that the disaster created. Unfortunately, Aiko isn't a great role model and spends much of the series waiting for rescue. Teen anime fans who appreciate interesting sci-fi concepts and fast plotting, with less focus on character development, may be interested in this series.
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What's the story?
In A.I.C.O. INCARNATION, after a biological accident known as The Burst, the Japanese countryside is contaminated by a creeping mass of destructive matter. A series of dams has been built to keep the matter contained. Aiko, a teenage girl confined to a wheelchair after a car accident learns from a mysterious new student, Kanzaki, that she is not what she appears to be. Kanzaki informs her that after the car accident, her body was in such bad shape that her father, a leader in the development of Artificial and Intelligent Cellular Organisms (A.I.C.O.), conducted an experiment. He created an entirely artificial version of Aiko, transferred her brain into the artificial body, and then put the artificial brain into her damaged body. Was it this transfer that inadvertently caused The Burst, and the creeping matter? It's actually a giant uncontrollable mass of A.I.C.O. Kanzaki brings Aiko to a group of mercenaries who agree to deliver Aiko to The Burst's ground zero in order to reunite the two Aikos -- a reunion that could potentially end the dangerous expansion of the matter.
Is it any good?
Fast-moving and full of interesting sci-fi concepts, this anime series certainly keeps your attention with intense battle scenes and rapid-fire dialogue, but little attention is put toward characterization. Aiko, in particular, is disappointing -- she barely does anything more than simper and act confused about the situation around her. The English language vocalization of her role doesn't help, either. It's so high-pitched and cartoonish that the character winds up sounding like a cross between Snow White and Glinda the Good Witch. It's really too bad, since Aiko is the central character whose very existence sets the story in motion. But she has no agency of her own and events simply happen to her or around her. She's mostly just along for the ride -- an observer, barely participating in her own story. But there's still a bit of fun to be had following the wild plotlines of A.I.C.O. Incarnation; just don't expect much depth.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about sci-fi concepts in A.I.C.O. Incarnation and how they reflect real-life society. For example, should Aiko's duplicate be considered a person who should be allowed to live, or is it simply an experiment that can be disposed of after the successful mission?
How would you react if you discovered another version of you out there with the same memories, feelings, likes, and dislikes? Would you want to meet that version? How do you think you'd get along?
For kids who love anime
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.