Fafner in the Azure

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Fafner in the Azure
Fafner DVD1.jpg
Japanese DVD cover art of the first volume
蒼穹のファフナー
(Sōkyū no Fafner)
Genre Drama, Mecha, Sci-Fi
Anime television series
Fafner in the Azure: Dead Aggressor
Directed by Nobuyoshi Habara
Produced by Gou Nakanishi
Takashi Noto
Takatoshi Chino
Written by Yasuo Yamabe (Series Composition)
Kazuki Yamanobe (Script, episodes 1-15)
Tow Ubukata (Script, episodes 12-25)
Music by Tsuneyoshi Saito
Studio Xebec
Licensed by
Network TV Tokyo
English network
Original run July 4, 2004December 26, 2004
Episodes 26 (List of episodes)
Light novel
Written by Tow Ubukata
Illustrated by Hisashi Hirai
Demographic Male
Imprint Dengeki Bunko
Published January 10, 2005
Original video animation
Fafner in the Azure: Right of Left
Directed by Nobuyoshi Habara
Written by Tow Ubukata
Music by Tsuneyoshi Saito
Studio Xebec
Released December 29, 2005
Runtime 51 Minutes
Manga
Illustrated by Mikami Akitsu
Published by Mediaworks
English publisher Digital Manga Publishing
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Dengeki Daioh
Original run April 27, 2005January 27, 2006
Volumes 2
Anime film
Fafner in the Azure: Heaven and Earth
Directed by Toshimasa Suzuki
Produced by Gou Nakanashi
Written by Tow Ubukata
Music by Tsuneyoshi Saito
Studio Xebec
Licensed by
Released December 25, 2010
Runtime 88 Minutes
Anime television series
Fafner in the Azure: Exodus
Directed by Takashi Noto
Nobuyoshi Habara
Produced by Gou Nakanishi
Written by Tow Ubukata
Music by Tsuneyoshi Saito
Studio Xebec, XEBECzwei
Network MBS, TBS, CBC, BS-TBS
English network
Original run January 8, 2015December 26, 2015
Episodes 26 (List of episodes)
Manga
Written by Xebec
Illustrated by Tomomi Matsushita
Published by Kodansha
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Monthly Shōnen Sirius
Original run Fall 2014 – present
Volumes 3

Fafner in the Azure (Japanese: 蒼穹のファフナー Hepburn: Sōkyū no Fafunā?) is a 2004 Japanese 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.[citation needed]

Plot[edit]

Fafner in the Azure (2004)[edit]

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 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 lifeform that destroyed much of the world, enters a new phase. The first Azure Operation crushed the Artic Mir, scattering its pieces around the world. Soon those fragments began to act of their own volution. 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 a 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...

Media[edit]

Anime[edit]

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.[1] The series is set make its North American television debut on the Funimation Channel on October 29, 2012.[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 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.

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.

At New York Anime Festival/New York Comic Con 2011, Funimation Entertainment had announced that both the TV series and film were both licensed and will be released on DVD and Blu-ray in 2012.[5]

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.

Manga[edit]

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's currently being serialized in Kodansha’s Monthly Shōnen Sirius magazine. As of November 2015, it has been collected into three tankōbon volumes.

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:
  • DEAD SET
  • 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:
  • FIGHTING
  • CHAIN OF LIFE
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. It follows the storyline of the first season almost directly 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 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]

References[edit]

External links[edit]