Arjuna (Earth Maiden Arjuna) is a Japanese anime television series created by Shoji Kawamori. The series follows Juna Ariyoshi, a high school girl chosen to be the “Avatar of Time” and entrusted with saving the dying Earth.
Arjuna aired on TV Tokyo from January 9, 2001 to March 27, 2001, totaling 13 episodes. The DVD release (“Arjuna: Director’s Cut”) featured remastered video and sound, and a previously unbroadcast “Chapter 9”. Subsequent re-runs of the series on Animax include the DVD-only episode.
The story opens with Juna telling her boyfriend Tokio that she feels too cramped in the city, and deciding to take a trip to the Sea of Japan. On the drive, they get in an accident caused by a large, invisible worm-like creature and Juna dies. As her spirit leaves her body, Juna sees the dying Earth. The planet’s suffering is visualized by worm-like creatures similar to the one that caused the accident that killed her. Known as the Raaja, they vary in size, from microscopic bacteria to those entwining the planet. A young boy named Chris appears before Juna and offers to save her life if she will help the planet. She reluctantly agrees and is resurrected.
Supported by Chris, Tokio and SEED, an international organization that monitors the environment and confronts the Raaja, Juna must use her new powers to stop the Raaja from destroying Earth through humankind’s destruction of the environmental systems of the planet, and Chris can only hope that she can fully awaken her powers in time to save the world.
In the near end of the anime, Chris is revealed to be responsible for summoning several Raajas and was taking rampage all over in Japan, causing everything including their modern clothes, gadgets and accessories to be destroyed as well as food, water and electricity, and all the people are forced to wear traditional Japanese clothes and others became sick due to starvation and dehydration. This forces Juna to fight Chris and the Raajas for the sake of the people that she cares about when SEED tries to put her to safety. It is during this time that she finally understands how to fully awaken her powers, and saves everyone. When Chris is defeated and after realizing his mistakes, he dies and disappears. Juna, satisfied to see her friends and her boyfriend Tokio one last time before dying for the second time tells them to eat the Raaja, and Tokio discovers that the Raajas that she defeated was made by food and water nutrients as he grabs it stating that they can survive to live once more.
- Juna Ariyoshi
Juna is a girl in the tenth grade, who is recognised by Chris to be the “Avatar of Time”, to save the planet. A magatama bead embedded in her forehead symbolizes her powers. Besides possessing powers due to her “Earth sympathy”, she is an ordinary teenage girl. She has a difficult time understanding her purpose, and is unsure how she is supposed to help the planet. Her personal life is also distressed, both with her mother and sister, and especially in her uncertain relationship with Tokio, whose thoughts she cannot figure out, and who similarly never manages to understand her feelings. While she attempts to succeed in her job, she cannot understand the message Chris is trying to explain until the very end, when she realizes the meaning of “becoming one with the target” that she repeats from the beginning of the series.
- Chris Hawken
Chris is a powerful entity who appears in the body of a young boy. His efforts to revive Juna left him crippled, but he can still leave his body when the situation demands it. He is unerringly kind and patient with everyone, including Juna, despite her misunderstanding his words. He repeatedly admonishes Juna for trying to fight the Raaja (“Why do you kill?”), claiming he never asked her to do so.
- Cindy Klein
Cindy is a young orphan whom Chris rescued, leading to her unwavering devotion to him. She is a telepath who acts as Chris’ translator. She seems to take an immediate dislike to Juna; she is arrogant and rude towards her and says negative things about her even when she’s not around. This is presumably because she feels that Chris’s crippled condition is Juna’s fault.
- Tokio Oshima
Tokio is a normal teenage boy, addicted to video games and fast food. He is greatly concerned with Juna’s safety, not realizing he is powerless to protect her from the forces she must face. Though Tokio is witness to Juna’s tribulations, he cannot fathom what she is going through. Though he doesn’t understand Juna’s situation, he is very patient and does his best to help and protect her, even in the face of a Raaja attack.
- Sayuri Shirakawa
is a classmate and friend to Juna and Tokio. She knows nothing of Juna’s role as savior, but tries to help her deal with what she sees as nothing more than emotions from her confusing personal life. Although she never says it directly, it is very obvious that Sayuri is greatly infatuated with Tokio, even though Juna, her best friend, is dating Tokio. She tries to fight her own feelings, swinging between pushing Tokio away by setting him and Juna up, and raging at Juna for not appreciating his kindness. With Juna absent off fighting Raaja, Saiyuri can’t help herself from moving in on Tokio, but Tokio’s response to her is minimal.