Fafner in the Azure
|Fafner in the Azure|
Japanese DVD cover art of the first volume
(Sōkyū no Fafner)
|Genre||Drama, Mecha, Romance|
|Anime television series|
|Fafner in the Azure: Dead Aggressor|
|Directed by||Nobuyoshi Habara|
|Produced by||Gou Nakanishi
|Written by||Yasuo Yamabe
|Music by||Tsuneyoshi Saito|
|Original run||4 July 2004 – 26 December 2004|
|Written by||Tow Ubukata|
|Illustrated by||Hisashi Hirai|
|Published||10 January 2005|
|Fafner: Dead Aggresor|
|Written by||Mikami Akitsu|
|English publisher||Digital Manga Publishing|
|Original run||April 27, 2005 – January 27, 2006|
|Fafner in the Azure: Heaven and Earth|
|Directed by||Toshimasa Suzuki|
|Produced by||Gou Nakanashi|
|Written by||Tow Ubukata|
|Music by||Tsuneyoshi Saito|
|Released||25 December 2010|
|Anime television series|
|Fafner in the Azure: -EXODUS-|
|Directed by||Takashi Noto
|Produced by||Gou Nakanishi|
|Written by||Tow Ubukata|
|Music by||Tsuneyoshi Saito|
|Network||MBS, TBS, CBC, BS-TBS|
|Original run||January 8, 2015 – ongoing|
Fafner in the Azure (Japanese: 蒼穹のファフナー Hepburn: Sōkyū no Fafunā?) is a 2004 Mecha Drama Anime series produced by Xebec in collaboration with Starchild Records. It is directed by Nobuyoshi Habara and written by Yasuo Yamabe, Kazuki Yamanobe and Tow Ubukata (Le Chevalier D'Eon, Mardock Scramble) with character designs from Hisashi Hirai (Infinite Ryvius, s-CRY-ed, Gundam SEED, Gundam SEED Destiny, Linebarrels of Iron) and mecha designs by Naohiro Washio. It aired in TV Tokyo from July 4, 2004 to December 26, 2004 for 26 episodes.
The story focuses on a group of children who pilot the titular Fafners in an escalating war against giant aliens called Festum. The anime is subtitled Dead Aggressor. 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. The series heavily borrow elements from Norse Mythology, referencing some of the terminology used.
At the beginning of the story, 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 Tatsumiyajima and attacks. The adults activate Tatsumiyajima'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 Soushi Minashiro from within the Siegfried System.
The Festum is destroyed, but with Tasumiyajima'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 Tatsumiyajima from only the Festum, but from the rest of humanity who would seek to use its technology in the greater war against them.
- Kazuki Makabe (真壁 一騎 Makabe Kazuki?)
- Voiced by: Makoto Ishii (Japanese), Kevin Hatcher (English, TV series), Micah Solusod (English, Heaven and Earth)
At first he appears as an average character and not like a hero.He is kind and sincere as well as an amazing fighter if he is in middle of a battle.Like most of the children on Tatsumiya Island, he had no idea the earth was under invasion and strives throughout the series to understand why the adults hid this from him, and especially, why his estranged childhood friend Soushi is so willing to do whatever it takes to defend this humble island. Naturally, to someone with such a gentle nature, having to fight for his life constantly is a bewildering experience that causes him to question who he is and what he believes in, but he really grows as a person over the course of the story and becomes everything a real and uncliched hero ought to be.
Kazuki is originally the pilot of the Mark Elf (XI), but is given the much more powerful Fafner "Mark Sein" later in the series. His mother, Akane, was assimilated by Festum long ago and he now lives with his father Fumihiko. He enjoys getting to know Soushi outside of battle again, and feels comforted when he's with Maya. Living with only his father, he does all the cooking and shopping and thus is an excellent chef. He also seems to be very bad at card games (he's too honest to be good at bluffing).
- Soushi Minashiro (皆城 総士 Minashiro Sōshi?)
- Voiced by: Kōhei Kiyasu (Japanese), Steve Cannon (English, TV series), Josh Grelle (English, Heaven and Earth)
Minashiro Soushi is basically the only one of the children on Tatsumiya Island who knows the truth—the world has been under invasion by an alien race called the Festum for the past three decades and Japan was destroyed 28 years ago. He is the son of Minashiro Kouzou, the commander of the secret military fortress Alvis, which is hidden in the bowels of the peaceful-seeming Tatsumiya Island. From a very young age, Soushi was bred to become the next commander of Alvis, so he has had a very isolated childhood carrying the heavy secret of the war and being told day in and day out that he must live only to protect the island. Though he was very close friends with Kazuki as children, due to an incident in which Kazuki ended up blinding Soushi's left eye, they have drifted apart, but find themselves once again clinging tight to each other for support when the Festum attack Tatsumiya and it is up to the two of them to defend it.
Because of his incomplete vision, Soushi cannot pilot a Fafner and fight the Festum hand-to-hand. Instead, he acts as the battle commander who connects directly into the minds of all the Fafner pilots through a super computer called the Siegfried System, and directs them in battle. All the pilots, especially Kazuki, hold to him for strength and leadership—a burden that he shoulders with grace and stoicism.
Because of his years of virtual isolation, he is rather awkward socially, (in fact, most people find him quite unapproachable or mistakenly think him hard-hearted). Kazuki alone seems to make efforts to understand and befriend him and the two become very close over the course of the series. Soushi also has a little sister named Tsubaki who is the island's Core and powers all the computer systems on it.He later pilots Mark Nicht,which like Mark sein is a powerful fafner born from power of nothingness of tatsumiyajima island's mir.
- Maya Toomi (遠見 真矢 Tōmi Maya?)
- Voiced by: Marika Matsumoto (Japanese), Jennifer Sekiguchi (English, TV series and Heaven and Earth)
Maya is an amazing mix of compassion, genuine sweetness, and steel. She has a surprising inner strength as we see in how calmly she thinks under pressure, her willingness to defy authority when she feels it is in the wrong, and her selfless courage in defending her loved ones no matter the situation. She is also extremely observant and sees much more deeply into other people's feelings than they are often willing to show. Her sweet nature translates into an impressive battle persona of icy-calmness. She is the best sniper of the Fafner pilots and eventually becomes the pilot of Mark VII.
Maya lives with her mother Chizuru and elder sister Yumiko, who are both doctors. They run a small hospital out of their house. Maya is very close friends with Hazama Shouko and seems to develop a crush on Kazuki over the course of the series.
- Canon Memphis-Hazama (カノン・メンフィス-羽佐間 Kanon Memphis-Hazama?)
- Voiced by: Sanae Kobayashi (Japanese), Megan Hollingshead (English, TV series), Morgan Garrett (English, Heaven and Earth)
Canon enters the series in episode 11 along with Michio. The two are the ace Fafner pilots of the New United Nations' Human Army. She is an excellent and seasoned warrior despite her youth—a result of the war-torn life she has led. She is originally from Dublin, Ireland, which was completely annihilated four years prior to the series. All her family slaughtered, she is taken in by Hino Michio, a Human Army soldier, who teaches her the ways of the soldier. Hardened by a lifetime of fighting, she now simply exists and follows orders, unable to act, decide, desire or do anything of her own will.
When she arrives on Tatsumiya, she is at first offended and then confused by the peaceful world she encounters there. Over time, though, she begins to understand and accept peace and wants desperately to belong there. She becomes friends with Sakura and the other pilots and seems to develop some deeper interest in Kazuki. She is assigned to live with Hazama Youko, whom she slowly opens up to. Canon is a wonderfully constructed character who could have been a cliche but is not. She represents the hope that mankind, despite having lived in a non-stop war for the past 30 years, can remember and return to a life of peace.
Canon pilots the Babylon Fafner (which is not a Nothung model like those on Tatsumiya), and later temporarily pilot the Mark Drei (III).
- Shouko Hazama (羽佐間 翔子 Hazama Shōko?)
- Kouyo Kasugai (春日井 甲洋 Kasugai Kōyo?)
- Sakura Kaname (要 咲良 Kaname Sakura?)
- Kenji Kondou (近藤 剣司 Kondō Kenji?)
- Mamoru Koudate (小楯 衛 Kōdate Mamoru?)
- Hiroto Douma (堂馬広登 Dōma Hiroto?)
- Seri Tatekami (立上 芹 Tatekami Seri?)
- Rina Nishio (西尾 里奈 Nishio Rina?)
- Akira Nishio (西尾 暉 Nishio Akira?)
Voiced by: Yūki Kaji (Japanese), Ben Bryant (English)
- Mimika Mikagami (水鏡 美三香 Mikagami Mimika?)
Voiced by: Yui Ishikawa
- Reo Mikado (御門 零央 Mikado Reo?)
Voiced by: Nobunaga Shimazaki
- Sui Kaburagi (鏑木 彗 Kaburagi Sui?)
Voiced by: Kensho Ono
- Fumihiko Makabe (真壁 史彦 Makabe Fumihiko?)
- Kouzou Minashiro (皆城 公蔵 Minashiro Kōzō?)
- Chizuru Toomi (遠見 千鶴 Tōmi Chizuru?)
- Yumiko Toomi (遠見 弓子 Tōmi Yumiko?)
- Youko Hazama (羽佐間 容子 Hazama Yōko?)
- Kiyomi Kaname (要 澄美 Kaname Kiyomi?)
- Seichirou Kaname (要 誠一郎 Kaname Seichirō?)
- Ayano Kondoo (近藤 彩乃 Kondō Ayano?)
- Chisato Koudate (小楯 千沙都 Kōdate Chisato?)
- Tomatsu Koudate (小楯 保 Kōdate Tomatsu?)
- Yukie Kariya (狩谷 由紀恵 Kariya Yukie?)
- Kyousuke Mizoguchi (溝口 恭介 Mizoguchi Kyōsuke?)
- Ikumi Nishio (西尾 行美 Nishio Ikumi?)
- Jeremy Lee Marcy (ジェレミー・リー・マーシー Jeremi Lii Maashii?)
- Ian Kamp (イアン・カンプ Ian Kamp?)
- Michio Hino (日野 道生 Hino Michio?)
Voiced by: Hideyuki Hori (Japanese), Jack Bauer (English)
- Mitsuhiro Bartland (ミツヒロ・バートランド Mitsuhiro Bartland?)
- Youji Hino (日野 洋治 Hino Yōji?)
- Narain Wiseman-Bose (ナレイン・ワイズマン・ボース Narein Waisuman Bose?)
Voiced by: Ryuzaburo Otomo
- Jonathan Mitsuhiro Bartland (ジョナサン・ミツヒロ・バートランド Jonasan Mitsuhiro Baatorando?)
Voiced by: Nobuhiko Okamoto
- Billy Morgan (ビリー・モーガン Biri Mogan?)
Voiced by: Masakazu Morita
- Aishwarya Fein (アイシュワリア・フェイン Aishuwaria Fein?)
Voiced by: Megumi Han
- Mjölnir (ミョルニア Miyorunia?)
- Idun (イドゥン Idoun?)
- Misao Kurusu (来主 操 Kurusu Misao?)
Voiced by: Ryōhei Kimura (Japanese), Joel McDonald (English)
Characters in Right of Left
- Ryou Masaoka (将陵 僚 Masaoka Ryō?)
Voiced by: Mamoru Miyano
- Yumi Kouma (生駒 祐未 Kōma Yumi?)
Voiced by: Yuko Kaida
- Karin Kuramae (蔵前 果林 Kuramae Karin?)
Voiced by: Akiko Kimura
- Tsubaki Minashiro (皆城 乙姫 Minashiro Tsubaki?)
- Miwa Hino (日野 美羽 Hino Miwa?)
- Emery Almond (エメリー・アーモンド Emery Arumondo?)
Voiced by: Rio Sasaki
- Orihime Minashiro (皆城 織姫 Minashiro Orihime?)
Voiced by: Tamaki Nakanishi
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. The series is set make its North American television debut on the Funimation Channel on October 29, 2012.
A film, titled Fafner in the Azure: Dead Aggressor: Heaven and Earth premiered in Japan on 25 December 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 image theme song 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.
According to a twitvideo post from lead vocalist Atsuko of the Japanese music group angela, 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-; is confirmed to be released on the first quarter of 2015. The anime will take place 2 years after Heaven and Earth.
Fafner in the Azure was adapted into a video game released for the PlayStation Portable in early 2005. It follows almost directly to the storyline with two bonus missions and also features new weapons such as the dimension gun. It offers a unique style of gameplay being a 3-Dimensional, real-time Role-Playing-Game (RPG).
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 returns in 2013 in Super Robot Wars UX for the Nintendo 3DS, which also marks the debut of the series' movie sequel, Heaven and Earth.
- "Fafner Exodus Sequel to Be 26-Episode TV Series". Anime News Network. Retrieved March 23, 2013.
- マウスプロモーション公式サイト：所属タレント [Yoko Soumi Talent Profile]. Mausu Promotion (in Japanese). Retrieved 2015-02-25.
- "Geneon Acquisition Fafner" (Press release). Geneon. 8 March 2005. Retrieved 14 October 2011.
- "Funimation Week 45 of 2012".
- "Funimation Adds Fafner Series, Film, Oblivion Island". Anime News Network. Retrieved 14 October 2011.
- Sōkyū no Fafner: Dead Aggressor Official Japanese website (Japanese)
- Sōkyū no Fafner: Heaven and Earth Official Japanese website (Japanese)
- Sōkyū no Fafner: EXODUS Official Japanese website (Japanese)
- Sōkyū no Fafner: Dead Aggressor (anime) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia