Fafner in the Azure

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Fafner in the Azure
Fafner DVD1.jpg
Japanese DVD cover art of the first volume
(Sōkyū no Fafner)
Anime television series
Dead Aggressor
Directed byNobuyoshi Habara
Produced byGou Nakanishi
Takashi Noto
Takatoshi Chino
Written byYasuo Yamabe (Eps 1-15)
Tow Ubukata (Eps 16-26)
Music byTsuneyoshi Saito
Licensed by
Original networkTV Tokyo
English network
Original run July 4, 2004 December 26, 2004
Episodes26 (List of episodes)
Light novel
Written byTow Ubukata
Illustrated byHisashi Hirai
Published byMediaworks
ImprintDengeki Bunko
PublishedJanuary 10, 2005
Illustrated byMikami Akitsu
Published byMediaworks
English publisherDigital Manga Publishing
MagazineDengeki Daioh
Original runApril 27, 2005January 27, 2006
Original video animation
Right of Left
Directed byNobuyoshi Habara
Written byTow Ubukata
Music byTsuneyoshi Saito
ReleasedDecember 29, 2005
Runtime51 minutes
Anime film
Heaven and Earth
Directed byTakashi Noto (Chief)
Toshimasa Suzuki
Produced byGou Nakanashi
Written byTow Ubukata
Music byTsuneyoshi Saito
Licensed by
ReleasedDecember 25, 2010
Runtime88 minutes
Illustrated byTomomi Matsushita
Published byKodansha
MagazineMonthly Shōnen Sirius (2014-2018)
Palcy (2018-2021)
Original runSeptember 26, 2014August 25, 2021
Anime television series
Directed byTakashi Noto (Chief)
Nobuyoshi Habara
Produced byGou Nakanishi
Kotaro Sudo
Ryu Hashimoto
Written byTow Ubukata
Music byTsuneyoshi Saito
StudioXebec Zwei
Licensed by
Original networkMBS, TBS, CBC, BS-TBS
English network
Original run January 8, 2015 December 26, 2015
Episodes26 (List of episodes)
Anime film series
The Beyond
Directed byTakashi Noto
Written byTow Ubukata
Music byTsuneyoshi Saito
Released May 17, 2019 November 5, 2021
Films4 (12 episodes)
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and manga portal

Fafner in the Azure (Japanese: 蒼穹のファフナー, Hepburn: Sōkyū no Fafunā) is a Japanese mecha anime franchise created by Xebec in collaboration with Starchild Records. The story focuses on a group of children who pilot the titular Fafners in an escalating war against giant aliens called Festum. The first series, subtitled Dead Aggressor, is directed by Nobuyoshi Habara and written by Yasuo Yamabe and Tow Ubukata with character designs from Hisashi Hirai and mecha designs by Naohiro Washio. It aired in TV Tokyo from July 4, 2004, to December 26, 2004, for 26 episodes. A television special subtitled RIGHT OF LEFT aired on December 29, 2005, a feature film subtitled HEAVEN AND EARTH had a theatrical release in Japan on December 25, 2010, and a sequel subtitled EXODUS, which aired in MBS and several stations on January 8, 2015. Another sequel subtitled THE BEYOND was released from 2019 to 2021. The series heavily borrows elements from Norse Mythology, referencing some of the terminology used.


Fafner in the Azure (2004)[edit]

At the beginning of the Fafner: Dead Aggressor story arc, much of the world has been destroyed by the Festum and the remote Japanese island of Tatsumiyajima (竜宮島, lit. Dragon Palace Island) has only remained unscathed by virtue of an advanced cloaking shield. The island's young people continue with their daily lives unaware of these events, but after many years of peace, a lone Festum discovers Tatsumiya and attacks. The adults activate Tatsumiya's hidden defense systems and attempt to repel the attacker but to no avail. Many of them are killed by the Festum in a process of assimilation. In desperation, they order the deployment of a mecha called the Fafner Mark Elf, but its pilot is killed en route to the hangar. Left with no further options, they send a young boy named Kazuki Makabe as the replacement pilot assisted by Sōshi Minashiro from within the Siegfried System.

The Festum is destroyed, but with Tatsumiya Island's whereabouts exposed, the adults choose to relocate the island. Production is accelerated on additional Fafner units and more children are recruited to pilot them. It is also revealed that the cloaking was not meant to conceal Tatsumiya Island from only the Festum, but from the rest of humanity who would seek to use its technology in the greater war against them.

Fafner in the Azure: Right of Left (2005)[edit]

A prequel to the first series. Yumi Ikoma and Ryou Masaoka are children who have been selected to take part in a top secret mission, to be the pilots of the first Fafner combat units; the last chance of survival for the human race. The enemy is ruthless, remorseless and is able to read the minds of humans. Therefore, the details of this mission are kept a secret even from the personnel involved. The young pilots must use all their courage and faith in order to survive and complete their mission or the fate of mankind would be compromised.

Fafner in the Azure: Heaven and Earth (2010)[edit]

The year is 2148. Two years after the end of the original Fafner in the Azure TV series, Tatsumiya Island and its surviving residents have returned to some semblance of recovery. However, things have become desperate for our hero, Kazuki; nearly blind now, and partially crippled from his battles with the Festum two years earlier, he clings to the promise his fallen friend Sōshi made to him to return to the island and set things right again. Kazuki's hopes flare when a lifeform is detected within an unmanned submarine that comes floating into Tatsumiya Bay one night, but the person aboard isn't Sōshi; it is a mysterious "boy" named Misao Kurusu who may not be entirely human, and who claims to have been sent by Sōshi. With Misao's arrival, hostilities break out anew between the Human Army and the Festum, and the Fafner pilots are thrown into the most desperate battle of their lives - this time, with the fate of TWO races riding on their shoulders.

Fafner in the Azure: Exodus (2015)[edit]

2150 A.D. The fight against the Festum, a silicon-based alien life form that destroyed much of the world, enters a new phase. The first Azure Operation crushed the Arctic Mir, scattering its pieces around the world. Soon those fragments began to act of their own volition. While the majority of the Mir wage war, embracing a hatred for mankind, some of the Festum chose to co-exist with humanity. There were humans who also thought it was possible. Mankind and the Festum, co-existing. The concept questioned the very reason for the war, giving birth to even more hatred. This is no longer simply a fight between humans and the Festum.

Under such circumstances, Tatsumiya Island disappeared from the front lines, going silent. Through the encounter with Misao Kurusu two years ago, the island had the means to converse with the Mir. It gave the island a unique capability. The children of ALVIS, prepared for battle, sought a way to better understand the enemy.

And now, a new chapter is about to begin on the island. A girl who understands the Festum language. A girl the Festum protected. When the two meet, they will open the door to a new world...



The series features two pieces of theme music and one insert theme. angela performed the opening theme entitled "Shangri-La", the insert theme "Proof" in episode 15, and the ending theme "Separation". Sōkyū no Fafner: RIGHT OF LEFT, a 50-minute prequel special to the television series, aired on December 29, 2005. The ending theme "Peace of Mind" for the special was also performed by angela. The TV series was originally licensed by Geneon under the shortened title, Fafner, but has since been out of print.[2]

A film, titled Fafner in the Azure: Dead Aggressor: Heaven and Earth premiered in Japan on December 25, 2010. Once again, angela performed all theme songs (image, opening and insert) for the film. "FORTUNES" and "Rikai to Hakai e no Prelude (Prelude to Comprehension and Destruction)" are used as the image theme songs for the movie. "Sōkyū (Azure)" is used as ending theme and "Sayonara no Toki Kurai Hohoen de (At Least, Smile When We Are Saying Goodbye)" is used as insert theme for the movie.

A twitvideo post from lead vocalist Atsuko announced that a sequel to the Fafner in the Azure series has been green-lit for production. The announcement was originally made at the live streaming event, Soukyuu Sakusen, which was for the film. The sequel, titled, Fafner in the Azure: Dead Aggressor -EXODUS-, was released in 2015.[3][4] It takes place two and a half years after Heaven and Earth.

A sequel, titled Fafner in the Azure: The Beyond, was announced at the Sōkyū no Fafner Soshi Minashiro Birthday Festival in Yokohama on December 29, 2016.[5] A teaser trailer of the sequel was officially streamed on January 6, 2017.[6] A teaser trailer of the sequel was officially streamed on January 6, 2017.[7] Staff from the previous series worked on the production. The series was later confirmed to be a 12-episode anime series, with the first three episodes premiering in theaters on May 17, 2019.[8][9] Episodes four to six premiered on November 8, 2019.[10] Episodes seven to nine premiered on November 13, 2020.[11] Episodes ten to twelve premiered on November 5, 2021.[12]

At New York Anime Festival/New York Comic Con 2011, Funimation Entertainment had announced that both the original TV series and film were licensed, and they were released on DVD and Blu-ray in 2012.[13] The series made its North American television debut on the Funimation Channel on October 29, 2012.[14]

Light novel[edit]

A novelization of the series was written by Tow Ubukata, and featured illustrations by Hisashi Hirai. It was published in English by Digital Manga Publishing.


Two manga adaptations of the Fafner in the Azure story have been released and they both share the same title as the TV series.

The first one is illustrated by Mikami Akitsu. It ran in Dengeki Daioh magazine from July 4, 2004 to December 26, 2004 and was collected into two tankōbon volumes by MediaWorks. Digital Manga Publishing licensed this manga for release in North America and published the volumes on July 7, 2010, and April 30, 2011.

The second one is illustrated by Tomomi Matsushita. It was serialized in Kodansha's Monthly Shōnen Sirius magazine from September 26, 2014 to February 26, 2018, and transferred to Kodansha and pixiv's Palcy manga app in 2018. It was collected into nine tankōbon volumes.[15]

Music and Drama CD[edit]

Numerous soundtracks, drama CDs and character CDs have been released for the series.

Fafner features music composed by Tsuneyoshi Saito and performed by the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra.

Japanese band angela consistently write and perform all of Fafner's opening, insert and ending theme songs that achieve strong sales and popularity. They also released a Fafner tribute album titled "Yakusoku" (約束, lit. "Promise") on December 25, 2008, celebrating the series' fifth anniversary.

Type Date Title Artist Description
Single May 26, 2004 fly me to the sky angela
  • Fafner image song "fly me to the sky"
  • Fafner insert song "Proof"
Single August 4, 2004 Shangri-La angela
  • Opening theme "Shangri-La"
  • Ending theme "Separation"
Album October 27, 2004 Fafner in the Azure Original Soundtrack I: NO WHERE
  • Background music
  • Bonus drama CD "No Where"
Album February 23, 2005 Fafner in the Azure Original Soundtrack II: NOW HERE
  • Background music
  • Bonus drama CD "Now Here"
Single December 22, 2004 Fafner in the Azure Character's Album: Flügel Makoto Ishii Kazuki's character song
Single December 22, 2004 Fafner in the Azure Character's Album: terra Kōhei Kiyasu Sōshi's character song
Single December 22, 2004 Fafner in the Azure Character's Album: azul Marika Matsumoto Maya's character song
Drama CD October 26, 2005 Fafner in the Azure Drama CD vol.1: STAND BY ME The story takes place between episodes 2 and 3 of the original TV series.
Drama CD January 12, 2006 Fafner in the Azure Drama CD vol.2: GONE/ARRIVE The story takes place between episodes 23 and 24 of the original TV series.
Single March 8, 2005 DEAD SET angela Right of Left's image songs:
  • Hana no You ni (花のように, lit. "Like A Flower")
SIngle December 21, 2005 Peace of mind angela
  • Right of Left's theme song "Peace of mind"
  • Right of Left's insert song "Hatenaki Monologue"
Album March 8, 2006 Fafner in the Azure: RIGHT OF LEFT Original Soundtrack Tsuneyoshi Saito Background music
Single December 25, 2008 約束 (lit. "Promise") angela Fafner's image songs, celebrating the series' fifth anniversary:
  • Yakusoku (約束, lit. "Promise")
  • innocence
Album August 25, 2010 Fafner in the Azure: HEAVEN AND EARTH Image Mini Album angela
  • Character image songs, including "FORTUNES" (Kazuki's POV) and "Rikai to Hakai no Prelude" (Misao's POV).
  • Bonus DVD with cast interviews, promo material, series digest
Single December 22, 2010 蒼穹 (lit. "Azure") angela
  • Heaven and Earth's theme song "Soukyuu" (also Sōshi's POV)
  • Heaven and Earth's insert song "Sayonara no Toki Kurai Hohoende"
Album February 23, 2011 Fafner in the Azure: HEAVEN AND EARTH Original Soundtrack Tsuneyoshi Saito Background music
Album February 11, 2015 Fafner in the Azure COMPLETE BEST ALBUM Various Artists Compilation album featuring all character's image songs and all Fafner related songs released by angela previous to EXODUS.
Single February 11, 2015 イグジスト (lit. "Exist") angela
  • Exodus' 1st opening "Exist"
  • Exodus' 1st ending "An'ya Kōro" (暗夜航路, lit. "Dark Night Route")
Single November 11, 2015 DEAD OR ALIVE angela
  • Exodus' 2nd opening "DEAD OR ALIVE"
  • Exodus' 2nd ending "Horizon"
Album February 25, 2015 Fafner in the Azure: EXODUS Original Soundtrack vol.1
  • Background music
  • Bonus content: "Makoto Ishii's Travelogue: Secrets of Warsaw part.1"
Album March 25, 2015 Fafner in the Azure: EXODUS Original Soundtrack vol.2
  • Background music
  • Bonus content: "Makoto Ishii's Travelogue: Secrets of Warsaw part.2"
Single May 22, 2015 Fafner in the Azure: EXODUS Character Song: Kazuki Makabe Makoto Ishii Kazuki's character songs:
Single May 22, 2015 Fafner in the Azure: EXODUS Character Song: Sōshi Minashiro Kōhei Kiyasu Sōshi's character songs:
  • Licht
  • philosophia
Single May 22, 2015 Fafner in the Azure: EXODUS Character Song: Maya Tōmi Marika Matsumoto Maya's character songs:
  • Angel arrow
  • Orange no Kaze (オレンジの風, lit. "Orange Wind")

Video games[edit]

Fafner in the Azure was adapted into a video game released for the PlayStation Portable in early 2005, being one of the first releases for the platform. It follows the storyline of the first season almost directly with two bonus missions and also features new weapons such as the dimension gun.

In 2009, the series made its debut into the long-running Super Robot Wars series as a part of Super Robot Wars K for the Nintendo DS. It returned in 2013 in Super Robot Wars UX for the Nintendo 3DS, which also marks the debut of the series' movie sequel, Heaven and Earth.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ During production of The Beyond, Xebec was sold to Sunrise, and the Xebec Zwei studio was transferred over to Prodution I.G and rebranded as I.G Zwei. I.G Zwei is officially credited as Animation Work Studio (アニメーション制作スタジオ) from episode 4 (film 2) onwards.
  2. ^ Production I.G is credited as Animation Production (アニメーション制作) from episode 4 (film 2) onwards.


  1. ^ "Fafner in the Azure: THE BEYOND Heads to Theaters in Japan in 2019". Crunchyroll.
  2. ^ "Geneon Acquisition Fafner" (Press release). Geneon. March 8, 2005. Retrieved October 14, 2011.
  3. ^ "Fafner Exodus Sequel's Teaser Video Reveals Fall 2014 Debut". Anime News Network. December 28, 2014. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  4. ^ http://www.xebec-inc.co.jp/xebeczwei/sf_kairan201301.html
  5. ^ "New 'Sōkyū no Fafner The Beyond' Work Announced". Anime News Network. December 29, 2016. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  6. ^ "Sōkyū no Fafner The Beyond Anime Project's 1st Teaser Video Streamed". Anime News Network. January 6, 2017. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  7. ^ "Sōkyū no Fafner the Beyond Anime Project's 1st Teaser Video Streamed".
  8. ^ "Fafner The Beyond Anime's Teaser Reveals angela's Return, 12-Episode Theatrical Run". Anime News Network. August 19, 2018. Retrieved August 19, 2018.
  9. ^ "Fafner The Beyond Anime Previews 1st 3 Episodes in Promo Videos". Anime News Network. January 7, 2019. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  10. ^ "Fafner the Beyond Anime's Episodes 4-6 Debut in Theaters in November". Anime News Network. July 14, 2019. Retrieved July 14, 2019.
  11. ^ "Fafner the Beyond Anime's Episodes 7-9 Open in Japan on November 13". Anime News Network. July 4, 2020. Retrieved July 4, 2020.
  12. ^ "Final 3 Fafner the Beyond Episodes' Teaser Unveils November 5 Debut". Anime News Network. July 4, 2021. Retrieved July 4, 2021.
  13. ^ "Funimation Adds Fafner Series, Film, Oblivion Island". Anime News Network. Retrieved October 14, 2011.
  14. ^ "Funimation Week 45 of 2012". Archived from the original on January 23, 2013.
  15. ^ "Fafner: Dead Aggressor Manga Ends After 7 Years". Anime News Network. August 25, 2021. Retrieved August 25, 2021.

External links[edit]