Reviews of Fafner (2004) and related work

Fafner (2004Moving picture, 10 hours)

Kids defend a mobile island in a cloaking field, somewhere on the risen seas of a post-apocalyptic Earth beset by shining golden aliens of philosophical disposition.

Angst and mecha action. An unimaginative latecomer NGE clone. Empty and unoriginal, featuring a beach episode, a matsuri episode and an episode where the guys get to hear “Don’t touch me there!”-type lines from the other side of the sentou wall; similarly covering most other clichés.

Fafner, named after the dragon in Völsunga Saga (ca. 1250–1300) etc., is angst-ridden to the point of masochism, hence easy to mock, but death is fairly frequent. One character is a delusional mecha nerd who pilots mecha, which helps viewing in a group. Alas, the mecha are ugly and the design work is generally poor, including a horrible GUI and a Tokyo-3 clone laughably designed to look like a placid fishing village. Some of the character and creature design are notably better.

animation fiction Japanese production mecha moving picture series

“Right of Left” (2005Moving picture, 51 minutes)

Better visuals, no “soko ni imasu ka”, and some much-needed exposition which could have been clarified in the series. Unfortunately devoid of the amusingly miserable statues from the original show’s end credits sequence.

animation fiction Japanese production moving picture prequel