With the licensing of Simoun, I figured it was time to actually burn through the rest of the series at once, as the fansubs stayed on my computer unwatched for at least a year (backlogs tend to do that, don’t you know). I don’t know why I postponed watching it for that long (and I was stuck on episode 2 for a while too). It would be nice to say that I was waiting for a time when I had nothing to do which would make the watch easier, but my laziness/forgetfulness/amazed-by-other-shows-I-had-ness would probably be the correct reasoning here. When I finally watched it a couple of weeks ago, I marathoned it, and I feel that I lost something special from it as a result. I still enjoyed it though, and I’d like to think that the longing to know more about the world after watching it is a bonus.
I was interested from the premise noted in episode 1: What was it about those aircraft that produced interesting shapes in the air (my favorite was the Ri Mājon of the Raging Sea, BTW) that warranted it’s desire from everyone? While they sorta explain why their illusion of invincibility, them being very powerful, Tempus Spatium priestesses, etc.), there’s still a large air of mystery surrounding them by the end of the series. I never really got to know what made them tick (other than ye old starting mechanism, and what Dominūra saw when she looked into a deconstructed Simoun), but after a while (episode 8 or so) it never was that importatnt of a factor, though it still nags me a little bit as I’m writing this. 😛
I stayed for the characters (of course), and I liked the interactions between them, their motivations, their relationships, and so on. Other than Neviril, who I never really understood in terms of her goals and thought/action processes, and those sisters, who didn’t really provide anything more interesting than putting themselves to the test, I enjoyed learning about the Sybillae and co. And while I never focused on how important the Spring really was going to be (even though it was a main point, if not the main one), it was nice seeing (or not seeing) how choices were made, and how things ended up (though what I wouldn’t give to see how the Good Girl’s future would have been).
The whole story left me wondering about many things besides the Simoun that lacked explanation, or things that I didn’t pay attention to (or care to think about) through my watch. Like the idea of gender: what does it signify more than typical roles (jobs and the like that males and females can/should do) and an extra letter, or is most of it’s significance stemming from what occurs while deliberating on what one decides to become? What about the concept of “Aaeru”? Why? And what about Aaeru’s heterochromia back in like episode four (a gaff)? Besides that, will Floe(f) ever find the one?
Looking at forum threads that went along as the show did, I missed out on speculating with everyone else, and I wish I hadn’t with a show this intriguing. It’s what also makes me think that looking at episodes one at a time would have been much more edifying to me than watching it as large chunks. Impact is lost to be sure, but maybe I would also enjoy it even more than now. A rewatch can always change probably only a little of that (your first time is always special, and all that), and I’m probably going to support the industry here and buy the DVDs so I can do that. I do wonder how it will be marketed here in the US though from sites that I’ve looked at. I would hope that people new to the show don’t look at it with the wrong-tinted glasses, since they wouldn’t know what they’d be missing.