Fafner in the Azure(蒼穹のファフナー,Sōkyū no Fafunā?) is a 26-episode anime series produced by Xebec. 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, and a feature film subtitled HEAVEN AND EARTH had a theatrical release in Japan on December 25, 2010.
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.
Fafner Mark Dreizehn (XIII) - Nothung-model Fafner. Seen in the movie. It is piloted by Canon Hazama (old surname: Memphis).
Fafner Mark Zwölf (XII) - Nothung-model Fafner. Seen in the movie. It is piloted by Seri Tatekami.
Fafner Mark Elf (XI) - Nothung-model Fafner. Kazuki's boarding machine. Capable of atmospheric flight to a certain extent. Its core later implanted into Mark Sein when it was captured by the Neo UN. It doesn't appear in the movie.
Fafner Mark Zehn (X) - Nothung model-Fafner. Seen in the movie. It is piloted by Akira Nishio.
Fafner Mark Neun (IX) - Nothung-model Fafner. Seen in the movie. It is piloted by Rina Nishio.
Fafner Mark Acht (VIII) - Nothung-model Fafner. Relatively basic Fafner used by Kenji Kondō.
Fafner Mark Sieben (VII) - Nothung-model Fafner. Flight-capable Fafner based around the Mark Sechs. It is equipped with Dragon Tooth to fire enemies at distant range. It is piloted by Maya Tōmi.
Fafner Mark Sechs (VI) - Nothung-model Fafner. Flight-capable in atmosphere. Used very briefly by Shōko in Episode 6 when she used it to destroy a Festum by activating self-destruct system. It doesn't appear in the movie.
Fafner Mark Fünf (V) - Nothung-model Fafner. Defense-use Fafner equipped with the Aegis Shield. Used by Mamoru Kodate in the TV-series and later piloted by Hiroto Douma in the movie.
Fafner Mark Vier (IV) - Nothung-model Fafner. Heavy assault unit briefly used by Kōyō Kasugai. Its core later implanted into Mark Nicht. In the movie, it is repiloted by Kōyō Kasugai (in Mir form).
Fafner Mark Drei (III) - Nothung-model Fafner. Specialized Fafner used by Sakura Kaname. Can charge energy into its right hand to use the "Energy Knuckle" attack. Later piloted by Canon Memphis/Hazama and repiloted by Sakura Kaname in the movie.
Fafner Megatherion model - Michio's Fafner, which is very different from the Nothung models made by Tatsumiya. This model is made by the Neo UN. Later destroyed after the battle with Festum.
Fafner Babylon model - Canon's Fafner, which is very different from the Nothung models made by Tatsumiya. This model is made by the Neo UN. Later destroyed after the battle with Festum.
Fafner Gnosis model - The mass-production Fafner models made by the Neo UN. Their reliability is questionable. Their armaments consist of a right-arm Machine gun and a left-arm beam cannon, which, as seen in the anime, are mostly useless against even the most common Sphinx-type Festums. It is briefly used by Kazuki Makabe when he was trying to escape from the Neo UN base after Festum's attack in the TV-series.
Fafner ? model - A second mass-production Fafner of the Neo UN seen during Operation Heaven's Door which is capable of flight. Might be Megatherion units.
Fafner Mark Sein ('Existence') - A Salvator-model Fafner created the Neo UN. Initially supposed to be piloted by Michio Hino, it became Kazuki's second boarding machine, delivered to him by a Festum in Master Form (Festums that take on human appearance) after Mark Elf was captured by the Neo UN and its core implanted into Mark Sein. The Festum in question is called Mjolnir and is the Festum his mother Akane Makabe merged with, thus having her looks. This unit changed form and abilities drastically after 'melting' inside a Festum, which among other things made it pilotable only by Kazuki.
Fafner Mark Nicht ('Nothingness') - A Salvator-model Fafner created by the Neo UN. It is a black version of the Mark Sein's original form using the core of the sunken remnants of the Mark Vier. It was intended to be piloted by Yukie Kariya during Operation Heaven's Door, but it was stolen by the master festum Idun. It shares abilities from both Mark Sein and the festum. Later piloted by Misao Kurusu, as seen in the movie. The form of Mark Nicht appearing in the movie is more organic in appearance than it was originally, similar to Mark Sein's transformation in the series. It also appears more demonic and sinister in appearance.
Fafner Titan Model (TSX) - Seen in Right of Left piloted by Ryō, Yumi, and their classmates, it appears to be a pre-production model Fafner. At least four were produced. The Assimilation Phenomenon also appears to be accelerated when using the Titan models. Armaments seems to consist of Arm Machineguns, a prototype version of the Ruga Lance simply called Naginata, and a multi-tube Missile launcher.
Fafner Mark Zwei (II) - Also seen in Right of Left. It appears to have been built at the same time as the Mark I as their piloting tests were at the same time and they seem to have virtually identical configurations. This was Karin Kuramae's unit which she tried to board in the first episode. Most of it was used to repair/rebuild Mark Elf after Kazuki's first battle. It doesn't appear in the movie.
Fafner Mark Eins (I) - This appears to be the first Nothung Model made by Tatsumiya island. It was supposed to be piloted by Sōshi Minashiro (as seen in Right of Left), but apparently he cannot use it because of his scarred eye. It is a basic unit that became Michio's after the destruction of the Megatherion. It doesn't appear in the movie.
Zero Fafner - The prototype Fafner model, later referred as Aegil-model Fafner in the movie, only mentioned in official background information. After its initial test phase some high-ranking members of Alvis defected to the Neo UN. Zero Fafner is piloted by Rina Nishio and Akira Nishio as seen in the movie.
Mark I-III+XI apparently share the same body design, as do Mk.VI & VII and IV & VIII, respectively, according to the Memorial Book.
Sphinx Type: Most common throughout the series; primarily consists of A Types. B Types rarely appear in the series, but serve as the primary festum in Right of Left. Only one C Type appears early in the series in episodes 5 and 6 and is taken out by a suicide attack from the Mark Sechs. A D Type primarily uses long ranged weaponry and is the first festum to be killed in the first joint operation by Marks Drei, Funf, and Acht.
Grendel Type: Human sized festum that resemble fleas.
Alhenteris Type: Weaker versions of standard sphinx types.
Pleidaes Type: Asexually reproductive festum with highly explosive larvae. Exactly 117 newborns can easily destroy a mountain.
Coagula Type: Festum that only assimilate with no real offensive weapons in the series; later uses bombs in the movie. They can only be killed when their eyes acquire serious damage.
Scarab Type: Festum that only destroy with no assimilation properties.
Master Type: The leaders and the most powerful of the festum, only a select few can differentiate from the hive mind.
Idun: The most powerful Master Type and the main antagonist of the series. His power at both the destructive and assimilation level is greater than any other festum and can turn into a gigantic sphinx type that required the power of Mark Sein to stop. Near the end of the series he assimilates the Mark Nicht's pilot, Yukie Kariya, and hijacks the Mark Nicht.
Mjolnir: A Master Type Festum, like Idun. Mjolnir is the Festum that assimilated Kazuki's mother, Akane Makabe. It collaborated with Yoji Hino and was apparently killed shortly after delivering the Mark Sein to Kazuki; however, Mjolnir reappears on Tatsumiya Island during the series finale.
Aeolus Type: Newly evolved Festum in the Movie: Heaven and Earth. Its body appears in red color. Notable in its ability to mimic and utilize human weapons like the Dragon Tooth sniper rifle.
These are all listed and used in the anime and/or game.
Aegis Shield - Mounted on protectors either on the shoulders or the back. It is essentially a portable Welle Shield, and is used to block Festum attacks.
Dimension Gun - A large cannon/bazooka type weapon capable of inflicting a large amount of inter-dimensional damage. Can only fire one shot. Appears only in the game.
Dragon Tooth - A high-caliber sniper rifle with a 'tooth' to dig into the ground for stability.
Durandal - A small sidearm for taking on light targets. Ineffectual against Festums.
Electromagnetic Launcher - A railcannon type weapon. It is usually referred to as the "Rail Gun".
Energy Fist - Used by Mark Drei initially. Concentrating energy into its right hand, the Fafner shoves it through the Festum's core, destroying it.
Fenrir System - A self-destruct system that is assumed to activate automatically, should the Fafner be assimilated. It creates a miniaturized black hole similar to the Festums upon detonation.
Garm-44 - A semi-automatic rifle with 100 rounds, scaled to Fafner size.
Gegner - A small energy weapon, used typically against small Festums.
Lindwurm - The Fafner's carrier-type vehicle. It is guided by the Siegfried System. Its armaments include Missile Pods, Grapple Pods, and a rotating Laser Cannon.
Long Sword - Mounted in a compartment within the Lindwurm. A solid shaft with a laser-edge running up the blade. Proved to be marginally effective against Festums.
Medusa - A shoulder mounted energy cannon. Contains considerable power, comparable to that of the Lindwurms Tail Laser Cannon.
Mine Blade - A short laser-edged knife. The blade is apparently made of nanomachines and can reshape itself, if broken. It bears an uncanny resemblance to the 'progressive knife' of the renowned series Evangelion in both appearance and use.
Piram - A handheld spike launcher. Once the spike hits the target, it sends an electric charge through the cable to damage or immobilize it.
Punch - A basic punching attack. Usually aided by a piston to provide more of a kick.
Razing Cutter - Small wires stored in the Fafner's knuckles that shoot out and envelope enemies. The wires can be charged to cut through materials.
Ruga Lance - The Fafner's main weapon. Usually used as a sword, but can be expanded to open a gap. Once a gap is made, an energy shot can be launched.
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 movie 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).