Jmovie Review: Aquarian Age

Juvenile Orion Live Action Movieアクエリアンエイジ劇場版

English title: Aquarian Age: The Movie
Japanese Release: 2008
US Release: April 2011 by Eastern Star
Cast: Sakurada Dori, Tochihara Rakuto, Uehara Takuya, Kimura Keita, Fuji Toshikiyo, Nagasawa Nao, Ayano Go, Horiuchi Masami
Based on the manga series Aquarian Age: Juvenile Orion by Sakurako Gokurakuin
Theme song: “Mirror Ball” by Alice Nine
Synopsis: Kaname Kusakabe thought he was just another teenage boy, but it turns out he’s something other than human and about to be caught up in a war he knew nothing of that will put him at odds with his best friend Itsuki who is also more than he seems.

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I was excited when I found out about this movie last year. Since I loved the manga Juvenile Orion, I really looked forward to seeing the movie version. While not bad, I was sadly disappointed. The biggest disappointments being that Kirihara Mana does not exist and the plot did not follow the manga at all.

Sakurada DoriWell, I don’t think there is too much of a plot, but here goes. There is an attack in a club. The psychic factions believe the Darklores are behind it as “revenge” and plan on hunting down and killing all the darklores they possibly can. Enter 4 teenagers and a priest into the mix.

Kusakabe Kaname has no idea that he is, in fact, a darklore. After he passes out and is taken to a hospital, he is approached by a young woman named Maya who hopes to have Kusakabe agree to undergo research as his genetic code is unique. Kusakabe’s friend Itsuki Naoya warns him away from getting involved in anything. As it turns out, Naoya is a psychic and part of an organization who hunts and kills the darklores. Somehow all these people come together. Why, I don’t know.

Tochihara RakutoThe movie basically revolves around Kusakabe learning the truth about his heritage from Maya and the doctor. Now, that doctor is weird. No one knows about these psychic factions, except for the factions of course, so how can this researcher know so much about them? Moreover, how can he find willing specimens to help him further his study into these ancient cultures? They never really explain this. Sure, the doctor can become curious after finding unusual DNA, but to know down to a T what the DNA of a Darklore or an Eraser is, seems odd and is never explained outright.

A big deviation from the manga is E.G.O. (Itsuki’s faction) seems to be made up completely of males. E.G.O. is a female dominated faction. Itsuki’s mom is quite a strong female character who constantly pushes and chides Itsuki. It was weird to see her missing and to have 3 males take her place.Kimura Keita

Another problem comes with Amou Tsukasa and Nakaura Tomonori. Their relationship is not really explained at all. Nakaura confesses that he found Tsukasa and took him in because he was injured. Did these injuries occur before Amou is attacked at the beginning of the movie? Or is Nakaura talking about the injuries Amou gets from the beginning? When Amou stumbles into the church where Nakaura is praying, Nakaura turns and says that he was worried about Tsukasa, implying they have known each other already.

In the movie, Amou still has amnesia, but he does not go to school with Itsuki, Shiba, and Kusakabe like in the manga. Also, Nakaura doesn’t teach at the school the boys attend. There is no connection beyond the attack and the mysterious doctor. And boy does that doctor get more mysterious as the movie progresses.

Shiba Isshin is Kusakabe’s senpai and part of the basketball club. So that stays pretty true to the manga. Him not liking Itsuki bugging Kusakabe is pretty accurate as well. And like the manga, Shiba gets little time devoted to him, however, his character in the manga has more depth than his character in this movie. We don’t see him get much screen time and what little he does, doesn’t really forward any character development.

Uehara TakuyaWhat little we do find out is that he is part of a faction of psychics. Whether or not he himself has any powers remains to be seen. For whatever reason, his father and him have severed all ties with his sister and mother. I don’t know why, this is never explained. What is obvious is that Shiba cares a lot about his older sister and does not like his father’s attitude to severing their relationship. I do like how Shiba runs to the research lab where Maya works (for that mysterious doctor) and tries to find her after she goes missing.

The movie itself isn’t wholly bad. It is more explanation, followed by some random moments pieced together. I like how Kusakabe’s and Itsuki’s friendship is deepened and developed, but I swear some of the dialogue gets sticky as they start talking, but the audience is unaware of just what situations they are talking about.Fuji Toshikiyo With all that has been going on and all the stuff getting explained,why couldn’t they explain some other situations better or at least show flashback scenes or have some other references to what these boys are talking about?

The end of the move becomes problematic as it is not an end. It is a beginning. Why? Shiba, Amou, Kusakabe, Nakaura, and Itsuki all come together at the research lab. Itsuki and Kusakabe because they had premonitions, Nakaura to find the missing Amou, Amou to find out what is wrong with him, and Shiba to find his sister. Once there, they run into an assistant who turns out to be a darklore, like Kusakabe. This person is also behind the attack on Amou at the beginning of the movie. And then it just ends. Kind of like how Mortal Kombat ends with the gang getting ready to take on the emperor, Aquarian Age ends with these five people facing off against the darklore.

Why the darklore is there, what he has against Amou, why he attacked Shiba’s sister, and just what is his relationship with the doctor is unknown. It doesn’t get clarified and leaves the viewer hanging, wanting to know exactly what is going on.

I dislike the fact that there are more questions and no answers. I especially want to know if the doctor is a darklore like his assistant. Near the end of the movie when Amou goes back to the hospital of his own volition, the doctor says he can’t believe his luck at getting his “enemy” here, and such a good specimen at that. Apparently Amou has powers they did not imagine. However, no powers are ever really displayed in this movie beyond the assistant darklore’s and Itsuki’s premonitions, so we are left to guess just what kind of powers these psychics have, which in and of itself is annoying.

There is no second movie to my knowledge and with all the open-endedness and unexplained questions in this one, a sequel might help.

16 comments

  • Just when it got good. Sigh… Aquarian Age, no sequel?! How to deal with it’s ending? =o{

    • I know! It took forever for the movie to go anywhere and then when it finally does … BAM! It’s over with no resolution whatsoever. At least the manga had a resolution while still leaving it open-ended.

  • I watched this last night and I Can’t believe the end, I was so excited to finally watch it, it left me disapointed. A question who plays the blond darklore?

    • I know, I was so excited when I saw that they were making one of my favorite manga series into a movie and I waited a long time before I could finally watch it with English subs, only to be horribly let down… the blond darklore at the club? I believe (and I could be mistaken) that the blond darklore was played by the lead singer from visual kei band SuG.

  • Awwww thank you so much, I shall have a look a sug, I have heard of them before. I really hope they make a sequel to explain and finish it off

    • You’re welcome. I am hoping for a sequel, too, but so far no mentions … we will probably be stuck with this horrible ending now and no further exploration and since the movie deviates from the manga, you don’t even have the satisfaction of knowing on some level how things will end.

    • His name is Takaru if that helps any

  • Me again, does anyone know anything about Kimura Keita, I’ve been trying to find him online to see what other films he’s been in but I can’t find anything

    • IMDB
      Takes you to his IMDB profile, which, since he’s an Asian actor, is quite slim. He really only acts in movies unlike a lot of his cohorts who do movies and dramas. And this list shows only 5, the most recent released in ’09. Hope that helps

  • I was so excited when i heard about this movie, but it was really disappointing. it was slow moving and then as soon as it became interesting it ended. it also was quite different from the manga. another thing that irked me was takeru….he showed up for like 30sec of the entire movie, i mean at the end when the guy grew wings he could have at least turned into takeru, you know….since they were evidently portraying the same character…i think

    • I know what you mean. After a long, somewhat boring beginning, things heat up and we get an unresolved ending. I agree that there could have been a little more Takeru. As for him and the darklore at the end being the same, I am not sure if they are supposed to be or not, but it would have been cool if he transformed into Takeru.

      I was disappointed that the plot did deviate so far from the manga. It didn’t even follow the anime (which is nothing like the manga either).

  • hi how are you guys? guys where can i find it? where i can watch it the movie?

  • okey, thank you

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