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Anime / Earth Maiden Arjuna

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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 , An Inconvenient Truth and a lot of angst and Taoism. See also Blue Gender for a similar series, but in the mecha genre.

This anime provides examples of:

  • Analogy Backfire: 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 
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  • Author Filibuster: Chris has a checklist on Taoism and crosses subjects off the list everytime he opens his mouth.
  • Author Tract: Word of God is 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.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Don't mess with Chris- he may be polite, but he is still a powerful being.
  • Big Bad: The final episode reveals that the mysterious boy Chris who gave Juna her powers is the one summoning the Raaja to save the planet from human destruction. Chris then proceeds to cause a mass blackout and nearly destroys Japan, forcing Juna to stop him and save her friends.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Cindy.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Cindy towards Chris.
  • Contemplate Our Navels: Most of the series is an existential discourse on nature and humanity.
  • Crucified Hero Shot: Chris at the end of the series after being defeated, though he is not exactly a hero.
  • Cryptic Conversation: Chris engages in this with Juna, which frustrates her to no end.
  • Effortless Amazonian Lift: Arjuna can hold Tokio in her arms without even noticing the strain.
  • Facial Markings: Less a marking than an actual stone, Juna has a magatama on her forehead.
  • Gaia's Lament/Gaia's Vengeance: The Raaja function as the embodiment of the suffering planet.
  • Global Warming: Mentioned as a threat to the planet.
  • 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, nature will try to correct itself, which will not be fun.
  • Harmony Versus Discipline: Actively changing Nature to solve problems with Science only causes bigger and bigger problems.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters:
    • Befitting the Green Aesop, there are scenes where humanity at large is portrayed as either assholes or destructive ignoramuses. Mostly jerkasses. This even extends to SEED, the protectors of the environment, who are incredibly callous about how they treat Juna and Tokio. Moral of the story: Don't try to use ridiculously unsafe and possibly malignant techniques to experiment with radioactive substances.
    • 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 in the slightest.
  • Humongous Mecha: The Earth Guardian Ashura. Near the end of the series, it ends up moving somewhere faster than 16,000 miles an hour.
  • In Harmony with Nature: The point of the series is for Juna to become this.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Cindy may be a Bratty Half-Pint, but she does care for Chris.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: SEED thought Juna was an incompetent high school girl who could be easily managed. And then they made her mad.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: Tokio, who’s father just gave him material things and thought that was sufficient to form a bond, since that is how his father raised him.
  • Ludd Was Right: Downplayed; quite a bit of technology is used for human gain at the expense of the environment, but modern civilization as a whole is not shown as being evil, and the Big Bad Chris is an Evil Luddite who's Evil Plan to use the Raaja to destroy modern Japanese civilization is shown to be exactly as harmful and dangerous as would logically be expected.
  • Magical Girl Warrior: With a Green Aesop.
  • Mama Bear: Don't threaten Juna's friends, family, or country. If you are alive after having completed the actual threat, you will live to regret it.
  • Meganekko: Sayuri.
  • Messianic Archetype: Chris, a blonde boy bathed in light and wearing all white who serves as the messenger of the planet, but he turns out to be a Dark Messiah. Then, Juna herself becomes this in his place by saving Japan and the planet from his mad plan.
  • Mysterious Waif: Chris is a rare male example.
  • Nature Spirit: Juna herself, and Chris.
  • No Pregger Sex: Inverted with squicky results in Cindy’s backstory.
  • One-Winged Angel: The Big Bad Chris fuses with several Raaja to become a Kaiju-sized, black, shadowy monstrosity that is Multi-Armed and Dangerous.
  • Psychic Powers: Juna, Chris, and Cindy have this.
  • 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. In the final episode, the relationship turns to outright antagonism as his true intentions are revealed.
  • 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: Downplayed. Technological civilization is not an intrinsically bad concept, but it will have dire consequences if humans 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 represented through a more immediate, pro-active threat in form of invisible worm Kaijus. On the other hand, the series rejects a scientific solution to the Green Aesop, and argues that trying will just make things worse.
  • Sekaikei Genre
  • 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 is just that: this Arjuna and the Hindu hero of the Baghavad Gita share nothing but being archers.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Sandwich: The Meriken burgers that Juna tries and fails to eat repeatedly.
  • The Thing That Goes "Doink"
  • Transformation Sequence: Complete with Stock Footage, although it only gets used a few times.
  • Wrong Genetic Sex: One of the female ecology activists has this, with the implication that it was the result of the polluted environment.


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