In order to fully appreciate these multi-layered once in a life-time apocalyptic haiku’s, one may need to first read and then discard Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead, the Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams. Read them and then burn them. You will only then, possibly with the help of cliff notes, a thesaurus, a carafe of wine and probably some cigarettes, be able to get into the mind of Korean-American animator Peter Chung, and of his muse Aeon. Chung created this series about a futuristic dystopic land way back in the wonders years of the mid 90’s when MTV was still putting on work of artistic integrity via Liquid Television. Shows like The Maxx, Aeon Flux and The Specialists were shown weekly and it was excitement all around. We won’t speak of what MTV is producing now. But I digress!
Monican secret agent Aeon Flux is on a continual, dominatrix themed hunt for the leader (dictator) of Bregna, Trevor Goodchild. Ceaseless warring empires in the heart of the dystopic 1st world global theater has caused these two civilizations to create an almost Dr. Seuss-like anathema. Monican anarchists are depicted as tall, wiry, leather-clad brunettes entirely skilled as assassins and trained in various deadly arts, including acrobatics. Aeon, assassin #1, is the brilliant, slightly mussed renegade of malcontent wearing two riding crops and a black silicone athletic cup. She doesn’t play. She gets what she wants. Most of the time. Once in a blue moon will an episode depict a warm, funny moment from Aeon, and it usually precludes her own death or the death of something she comes to halfheartedly care for. Her very coldness creates the most affective of killer yet she never sheds her humanistic qualities of occasional self-doubt whilst mowing down countless Breens to get to her sometimes lover, always enemy, Trevor Goodchild.
Trevor, fascist dictator cum “peaceful liberator” of the Republic of Bregna, is all swolled in his Aldous Huxley-esque blonde utopia. He thrives on his mega-image as he savagely hunts and spies on all dissenters and wreaks havoc on world dominance. He loves and is obsessed with Aeon. He hates and wants to kill Aeon. Most ardently of all, he loves himself. Creator Peter Chung gives Trevor the most dialogue out of anyone in the entire series (much of the series is wordless) and it’s so wondrously fun to sit and listen to him wax on about his grand plans and visions to Aeon as she’s aiming at his head. She’s never interested in buying what he’s selling. That nonchalance continues to possess Trevor’s heart. But not necessarily his bed. In an episode named Last Season For Everything, in yet another bid to END him, she stumbles upon Trevor’s boudoir filled to the brim with Aeon clones. After endlessly pursuing him for decades…eons, Aeon looks tiredly on the sweet doppelgangers reclining and giggling on the bed. We see her lower her gun and drop it to the floor. Will she give in and join the party?
After reading interviews about Peter Chung’s science fiction phantasmagoria created here as well as his plans and work on other dark space odysseys such as the animated Chronicles of Riddick, I see that he literally speaks with the silky pathos of the perspicacious Trevor Goodchild. Most people don’t speak in that ‘vernacular’, like reciting lines of philosophy until your mind feels fuzzy and your eyes start stinging but apparently Chung does. This explains Trevor’s loquaciousness and also sets the series on another level intellectually. Ghost in the Shell (original) and Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex series are the only things I can slightly compare it to in scope, scene and intellect. But this one is perhaps slightly more accessible in 10-25 minute increments. To say this series is cutting edge, imaginative and very entertaining is to describe the first foray into space as only cutting edge, imaginative and very entertaining. I hope Peter Chung will be able to create more someday and that a Blu-ray edition is in the works.