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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 Aquarion is a complex anime series that includes enough violence and sexual allusions to be inappropriate for younger kids. The villains are a team of skeletal flying beings who drain humans' life energy by lulling them into submission and sending them to an extraction center, where they become haunting and ghost-like as the energy transfer takes place. Battle scenes show ships shot down and robots trampling buildings and people, but visible injuries aren't evident. You'll also hear some language in heated moments, including "dammit" and "hell." Although the characters don't engage in sex themselves, there are unmistakable allusions to it in how the three main characters "merge" their life elements (their shadowy nude forms overlay each other as their respective ships join, and they gasp and breathe heavily in delight).
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What's the story?
AQUARION's story is set in the future, 11 years after a catastrophic event that left Earth vulnerable to the menacing Shadow Angels that now terrorize its population. In an effort to defeat them, a military task force sets out to find three special humans to merge their elements of heart, body, and spirit with the mechanical angel known as Aquarion. Royal siblings Silvia and Sirius are destined for the job, but the missing link remains elusive until they find Apollo (voiced by Christopher Bevins), an unkempt street kid who just happens to be the reincarnate Apollonius, the legendary Shadow Angel who defeated his kind 12,000 years ago. His presence awakens in Silvia memories of her past life as Seliane, his human girlfriend. But things get complicated with the arrival of the spirit of Tuoma, who still resents Apollonius for choosing the human race over their own kind many millennia ago.
Is it any good?
The anime genre is notoriously complicated in its storylines, but Aquarion makes a play for top honors in that category with character relationships and drama that's a challenge to follow at times. What with the whole dual-personality arc in Apollo and Silvia, the bad blood between Apollonius and Tuoma, and the mysteries in Sirius's past, there's a lot to delve into in each episode, and that's before several battle scenes dominate the screen.
But it's clear from the strong language and persistent sexual hints that this anime series is meant for an older set rather than kids, so its character complexities might not be a hindrance to viewers' enjoyment. They stand a better chance of picking up on allusions to mythology and contemplating the idea of destiny that exist in the story as well.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the idea of an afterlife. This series raises the idea of reincarnation. What (if anything) do you believe exists after death? How do different societies and faiths view the afterlife?
Why does this show include content that's sexy and otherwise mature? Does it bolster the story line? How well do TV ratings prepare viewers for the kind of content they will see in a show or movie? Why do some push the envelope?
How do you account for the popularity of the anime genre? Is it one of your favorites? Are there any messages to be gleaned from this show?
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