The previous Aquarion series was set 12.000 years after some cataclysmic event, with the main players reincarnated and re-tracing their steps. The main opposition of the humans is an angel, who is manipulating everyone to further his own agenda of revenge... And because this is a Shoji Kawamori series, there are mecha involved. That transform and link up to form one of three Aquarion variants.
This series is set another 12.000 years later (though it seems that humanity and their technology hasn't really changed all that much), and again there are attackers from outer space, with the angel behind it all. And again an innocent boy and ditto girl get caught up in it all -- ending up in the cockpit of one of the 'vectors' and forming the 'machine angel' Aquarion.
The first series, there was a lot of talk about chakra's and all that stuff. Luckily, that has fallen by the wayside (though there is an occasional mention of 'aura levels'). Instead, the writers are on a Zen trip. Commander Fudo of DEAVA speaks in koan, which amused me a great deal -- the training missions he sends the kids on all have a zen component.
Because yes, again the pilots are kids. They're in this boarding school, with boys and girls strictly separated (by a big wall called 'the Berlin'...). At a certain point the two groups mix, with the usual teenager angst as a result.
There's not much else to tell: it has interstellar mecha combat, star-crossed lovers, zen koans, petty revenge, sacrifice, lost parents... The works. However, that also meant that it doesn't have a clear narrative direction and ends up doing a bit of everything and nothing particularly well. And that's a pity: the series looks gorgeous, with crisp CGI mecha battles, exotic locales and cool visual effects. (But seriously, Zessica's outfit? Really?)
All in all, it was fun to watch, but it's far from the best of this year, story-wise. I'll give it a 7.