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Episode 1: Beginning (Paradise)

 

Review by Peter Laliberte

April 1, 2005

 

Summary

 

Several kids gather around an old radio. On the radio they here a voice ask "Are you there?" All together, the kids answer. Years later, a boat heads towards Tatsumiya Island. On it, 16 year old Soushi Minashiro is returning home. All is peaceful on Tatsumiya Island as Kazuki Makabe says goodbye to his father and smiles at a picture of his mother as he heads off to school. Maya Toomi visits with her sick friend Shouko Hazama. Maya asks if she's well enough to go to school but Shouko says no. Maya comments that Shouko looks much better today. Sakura Kaname salutes her father as she goes off to school and he tells her to have fun. Maya meets up with Kouyou Kasugai, and he asks her how Shouko is feeling, and Maya says it's too early for her to come back to school, but says she'll get better real soon when she sees how down Kouyou gets. Soushi disembarks after receiving a special "book." Soushi meets with his father, Kouzou and says that he gave his report to the CDC, which is why he was late. Kouzou asks if he learned anything, and Soushi nods. Kouzou looks out the window and says the sun set might be a different color. Soushi goes back to school, and everyone is surprised to see him. Maya asks him how Tokyo was, and he says it was an ordinary place. He asks where Kazuki is and Maya says he went out back with Kenji Kondou. Kenji and Kazuki fight behind the school. Kazuki easily dodges Kenji's attacks, but then senses something weird. He says to end it for the day and runs off. The animals on the island get uneasy and violent and a voice is heard saying "Are you there?" Kazuki's father, Fumihiko drops the pot he was working on and runs outside. He wonders if they've been found out. At the school, weird music is played over the PA system, and everyone is confused. All the teachers run out of the school as reports appear on TV screens from 'Alvis'. Sirens are sounded and people are hurried into underground shelters. In the Alvis commander center, a target is tracked on screen. Fumihiko wonders if it's a Sphinx type, and Kouzou asks if Solomon has responded. The Welle shields are activated the camouflage mirror is removed. Maya goes to get Shouko and she sees the sky disappear, revealing another sky with the sun in a different position. U-Grim fighters are launched and Sakura's mother Kiyomi tells her husband Seiichirou to be careful. Maya finds a frightened Shouko and tells her they have to get to a shelter. Maya sees a weird light in the distance. The target penetrates the shields and Kouzou activates the island defenses. Giant metal walls shoot out of the streets and large missile launchers unfold from the shore line. They get a visual of the target, and Soushi identifies it as a Festum.

 

The Festum materializes, and Maya's sister Yumiko comments on how pretty is. Kouzou says that it may be pretty, but it's no friend of mankind. The Festum breaks through the shield and the U-Grims commence their attack, but to no avail. Tentacles shoot out of the Festum's fingers and catch the fighters. They try to escape, but they can't and the Festum kills them. In the shelters, the students are scared because of all the shaking. Kouyou wonders how Shouko is doing. Maya and Shouko head towards a shelter, but it is destroyed by a black orb. Black Orbs appear all over the island, and Maya wonders what is going on. The island defenses attack the Festum, but they are destroyed. Kouzou wonders if they have no choice but to awaken the giant. He orders the launch of the Fafner. On an underground train, the pilot heads to the hanger, but the train is destroyed by a black orb. To buy time, they activate the EPM to hold the Festum in place. Soushi volunteers to pilot the Fafner, but Kouzou refuses, saying Soushi must use the Siegfried system. The EPM weakens as Kazuki is fetched from the shelter. Kazuki asks Soushi where they are going, and he replies 'Paradise'. Kazuki comes face to face with the Fafner. A robot named after the giant who turned into a dragon to guard a cave of treasures. Soushi says the Fafner was made to fight the Festums, because other wise Festum will read their minds. Soushi asks Kazuki to protect the island with it. Kazuki says he can't, but Soushi says he can. Soushi says Kazuki must become one with the Fafner because they have no choice but to rely on the Fafner to protect the island. Soushi says he would go, but since he lost his left eye he can't pilot a Fafner. Kazuki decides to pilot it and Soushi enters the Siegfried system. Youko Hazama looks over Kazuki's data and tells him with his high syncro rate, he doesn't need a suit. Kazuki boards the Fafner and screams in pain as he's connected to it. Kouzou is informed that there is a lock on the weapons system, so he goes to unlock them, leaving Fumihiko in charge. The Festum breaks free and Soushi talks to Kazuki through a mental link. He walks him through the start up procedure and the Fafner is launched.

 

Commentary

 

Well, that was the first episode of Fafner. The first is your standard one. Enemy attacks and a teenaged boy is forced to pilot a giant robot to protect his friends. Kazuki isn't your typical mech pilot though. He rather willingly decides to become a pilot and doesn't whine much about it. Fafner's large cast is mostly introduced here and in time each of them is given the spot light, which is one of the great aspects of this series. Kazuki squares off against the Festum, and we have to wait until the next episode to find out how well he does.

 

Overall Rating

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3 out of 5 stars
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Buy the collection (eps 1-26, movie) on Blu-ray or DVD from Amazon
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