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Earth Maiden Arjuna is an Anime written and directed by Shoji Kawamori and produced by Satelight and Bandai Visual. With a total of twelve episodes with an original run between January 9, 2001 ? March 27, 2001 on TV Tokyo. One additional episode was included on the DVD but was included in subsequent reruns.The story follows Juna Ariyoshi, a Japanese high school girl chosen to be the Avatar of Time and entrusted with saving the dying Earth. Opening with her trip to the beach where an accident results in her death. As Juna's spirit leaves her body, Juna sees the dying Earth, the planet's suffering is visualized by worm-like creatures, the Raaja. A young boy named Chris appears before Juna and offers to save her life if she will help the planet, she agrees and is resurrected. The series chronicles Juna's attempts to save the planet with help from international organization SEED.Think Captain Planet and the Planeteers crossed with an existential discourse on human's role in nature note the combination of which makes for some very interesting viewing, An Inconvenient Truth and a lot of angst. And Taoism, lots of Taoism.
This anime provides examples of:
Analogy Backfire: this is a very visual meta version of this trope. Throughout this series the immune system and internal environment of the human body is shown as analogous to the planet environment. This is something pointed out to Juna multiple times, but she never seems to put two and two together to realize what would happen if the environment got "sick."note No, of course we're not going to see the analogy of an aggressive inflammatory response where neutrophils and other leukocytes migrate to the site of infection, ingest and oxidize waste, incite rampant vascularization while destroying the architecture of the tissue site as the they get rid of infective material, and then the death and dispersal of the aforementioned cells...The fact that this isn't a case of metaphorgotten is rather disturbing.
Author Tract: Word of God that this series expresses his ideas on several subjects, like, for example, natural farming and ecology.
Berserk Button: it might be a good idea to not be in the vicinity when you're telling the girl with excessively powerful psychic powers that you're going to leave her country to die. Or at least, find a way not to be in the building when she levels it.
Green Aesop: human science and technology is fine as long as it doesn't get in the way of nature (e.g. cause excess pollution, non-biodegradable waste etc). If you try to alter the course of nature to fit human ends well... lets' just say there's a good reason why things have developed over billions of years to work as they have (insert evolutionary bias here) and if you screw around with the balance of nature eventually its going to try to correct itself, and it is NOT gonna be funnote And no, if things get to this point, science and technology are gonna be completely ineffectual so don't even try
Towards the latter parts of the show, where Raaja-infested Japan is quarantined, it's hinted that the outside world eventually abandoned both the victims and the remnant government as a means for a cover-up. Of course, Arjuna isn't pleased at the slightest.
Humongous Mecha: The Earth Guardian Ashra, near the end of the series it ends up moving somewhere faster than 16,000 miles an hour.
Rage Against the Mentor: Juna does this a lot due to Chris's love of being cryptic. It doesn't help that when she actually takes his statements at face value, he gets mad at her.
Rule of Symbolism: The communion scene at the end after the Heroic Sacrifice, just to stress the religious parable. Funnily enough, the symbology is Christian, while the rest of the anime is a Taoist tract (with a heroine named after a Hindu hero and lots of Hindu imagery scattered across the series, for good measure).
Science Is Bad: Averted. Technological civilization is not an intrinsically bad concept, it's just gonna have dire consequences if you keep using artifacts and processes that are harmful to Earth's ecology. Devastating storms, droughts, infectious disease and the poisoning of the human body are rpresented through a more immediate, pro-active threat in form of invisible worm Kaijuus.
Sink-or-Swim Mentor: Chris is rather tight-lipped on the subject of exactly what Juna's supposed to be doing or how she should accomplish it. He usually just chucks her into the action and tells her to figure it out herself, because that's the only way she will learn.
Space Whale Aesop: If you screw up the environment, then giant worms will rise up from the ocean, rampage across the Earth, and... provide the starving people with an alternate food source.
Alternatively, if you attempt to use science and technology to fix or improve the environment, giant worms will rise up from the ocean, rampage across your country, and leave your modern technology-driven civilization in ruins.Thus the moral of the story is,never try.
Squat's in a Name: All the Hinduist name dropping and symbolism it's just that: this Arjuna and the Hindu hero of the Baghavad Gita share nothing but being archers.