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RahXephon

In the year 2012 Japan was invaded by the Mu. Human-like beings from another dimension with blue blood. In the year 2015 Tokyo is attacked by invaders, who are repelled by a humanoid weapon called a Dolem. During the chaos, Ayato Kamina meets Reika Mishima, a classmate. During that same day, he is attacked by government officials but a woman named Haruka comes to his rescue, informing him that she was sent to get him by the Organization TERRA, and that Tokyo had been sealed in a time rift where time flows one third as fast as the outside world. He flees from Haruka onto a train where he sees Reika once more. Arriving at the Room of Rah, he follows her to a tremendous egg where the Dolem RahXephon is hatched from, and upon her singing his mother appears atop the Dolem that had stopped the TERRA Invasion. In the battle Ayato's mother is injured, and Ayato flees Tokyo Jupiter with Haruka.
User Count9904
Favorites Count124
Start Date21st Jan 2002
Next ReleaseInvalid date
Popularity Rank1180
Rating Rank2066
Age RatingPG
Age Rating GuideTeens 13 or older
SubtypeTV
Statusfinished

Episodes

All RahXephon released episodes

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Reviews

You know, it's actually kind of hard to write a positive review. It's not that it's hard to point out positive aspects of something. But it's a bit harder to justify your praise for it, without coming off as a fanatic that choses to ignore it's flaws. By contrast, it's far easier to justify a negative review. My last review of School Days was one of the easiest things i've ever written. A show that i detested for so many reasons, and that others felt the same about, so it was easy to justify my negativity. But what about a review of my favorite show? One that i believe to be a masterpiece, yet many do not, either out of ignorance of the shows existence, or out of spite for it's similarities to the elephant in the room of anime. It's been a review that i've been a bit fearful of writing, but i simply cannot hold back any longer. This, ladies and gentlemen, is my review of my number one favorite anime, RahXephon. Story (9/10) In the year 2012, a human-like species called the Mu invade Japan. But that is not where our story begins. Our story begins in the year 2015 in Tokyo, where a young artist named Ayato Kamina is attacked by government officials, only to be saved by the mysterious woman, Haruka Shitow. When Ayato learns that those government officials have blue blood, Haruka promises him the truth that has been kept from him for so long, only for him to run from her to chase after a mysterious girl by the name of Reika Mishima with whom he stumbles on a giant egg that holds the RahXephon, an ancient mechanical titan than can only be piloted by Ayato. With this, he learns that there is a separate world, right outside the one he's lived in all his life, with a 12 year difference to that of Tokyo's time. With Haruka and the anti-Mu organization TERRA, Ayato will find the truth. About the RahXephon, about the Mu, and, most importantly, about himself. As you can tell by that not-so-brief description, there is a lot going on in RahXephon. It's a series filled with lore, mystery, and symbolism that is just begging to be answered and analyzed, yet the series always chooses to hold close to it's chest. The show always gives you enough to work off of, and plenty to keep you interested, but the answers come quite slowly, and there are plenty of times where you're left in a state of confusion where you simply have to sit down for a minute or ten, and think about what you just saw. This makes it such a joy when you finally do get those answers and everything finally comes together, but so frustrating to actually continue on with. Many will find themselves fascinated with the show, and invested to find out it's secrets, but there are plenty that simply get fed up with being kept in the dark. This is understandable, but RahXephon is definitely a series worth sticking with, and and even greater joy to revisit, once you know all the secrets, and realize that the show gave you a lot more to work with than you gave it credit for. RahXephon is a show doused with Mayan lore and Aztec culture, mixed in with the studies of the fictional continent of Mu, thought up by James Churchwood, plenty of classic literature influence, and plenty of reference to surrealist art. But above all, RahXephon plays with the concept of music. Each episode ends with the words, "The world, suffused with sound", and many music terms are often brought up in cryptic riddles, for example. All because one of the main themes of RahXephon, is the idea of music changing the world, though put in a much more cryptic and spoiler-ish manner, and as such, the show itself plays out like a symphony, playing until it reaches it's coda, and ends with a striking crescendo. But, while you may further enjoy the show with proper knowledge of it's influence, you don't need to know them to like the show. RahXephon is a cerebral art piece indeed, but it's primarily a romance that centers around revelation and inner strength. It shows how easy it is to come face to face with reality, how hard to is to accept it, and how strong you have to be to move past it in order to find happiness in the bonds that you spend time creating and strengthening, and while it may come with occasional heavy-handedness, the show itself it so genuine, honest, and respectful to it's audience with how it's presented, that those moments never dampen the show, and the shining moments are ones that will linger on with you for quite a while. Art (9/10) RahXephon is brought to us by Studio BONES, a studio which few, if any, anime fans are unaware of. How could they be when BONES brought us some of the most noteworthy anime to come out, such as FMA and it's reboot FMA Brotherhood, Wolf's Rain, Eureka Seven, Soul Eater, and Ouran High School Host Club. What some people might be unaware of though, is that RahXephon was one of their first works, and their first big success. While RahXephon is somewhat of a small title these days, it's possible that without it, BONES wouldn't have the same illustrious future. It seems that BONES may have been aware of this at the time of RahXephon's conception, because the show is beautiful, even by todays standards. The show is surprisingly bright and colorful, despite it's ominous tone, brought out through the simple yet effective design of the island of Nirai-kanai where most of the show takes place, making it all the more relevant when the tone changes and the backgrounds go dim and eery. As a cerebral show, it loves it's share of symbolism and imagery, such as the ever present contrast of red and blue, the reappearing dove portrait, modeled after Rene Magritte's "La Grand Famille", the use of common day items as representation of characters emotions, such as windshield wipers and a chime. But the most distinct aspects of the art in the show has to be the character designs, done by Akihiro Yamada. It's often said that body language speaks louder than words, and RahXephon has proven, possibly more than any other show, that animation is no exception. It's almost baffling just how expressive these characters are. The show says more in it's character expressions more than some shows say in entire series worth of dialogue, and some more subtle touches, like someone taking a few seconds to look someone in the eye, or just a look that the camera panders on for a second or two too long, can almost tell you everything you need to know about that character. The show doesn't slack in the animation department either. In fact, i wouldn't say that it'd be too much of a long shot to say that some parts of the show rival that of modern theatrical releases. But there are two reasons why this section doesn't get a perfect score. The first being the actions scenes. The animation for the action scenes isn't bad, far from it in fact, and the designs for the dolems are actually quite eye-catching, but it doesn't really have the cool factor that you find in most mech fights, and can be a bit formulaic. The second reason is episode 20, which was outsourced to another studio, and looks positively dreadful. Mind you, it's the only episode that looks dreadful, but that simply makes it all the more noticeable. Still, what the show delivered in visuals is far exceeded expectations, and made for a defining point in the career of one of anime's most beloved studios. Sound (10/10) To match the show's outstanding visuals, the soundtrack provides a score of equal quality. RahXephon's OST was composed by Ichiko Hashimoto, providing a divisive score, mostly orchestral pieces, where every song stands out from the other and fits the visuals of the show perfectly, but because of this if actually hard to describe, and you'd be best listening to some tracks yourself and then judging it. As for dub vs sub, you can't go wrong with either one, but they actually provide fairly different experiences. The Japanese track is very subtle and sedated, bringing in some real talent with names like Hiro Shimono, Aya Hisakawa, and, my personal favorite, Maaya Sakamoto, each presenting great performances. The dub on the other hand, is actually a little clunky at first, with some performances starting off rather rough, but eventually evolves into one of the better dubs you could possibly listen to, with Chris Patton and Monica Rial giving possibly their best performances to date with their respective roles as Ayato and Haruka. Unlike the Japanese dub, it's much more emotional, and more fitting to a drama. Both tracks cater ideally to the show, but in different ways, so it really all comes down to personal preference. RahXephon is a show that centers around sound, so it's only fitting that the sound for the show itself comes out with near perfection. Character (10/10) RahXephon is a story of love, determination, realization, and acceptance. These are themes that can only get across with a great sense of humanity in it's cast. Luckily, RahXephon delivers fully in that category. The characters follow archetypal designs for it's cast, with Ayato being the calm competent protagonist, Haruka being the protective older woman, Quon being the mysterious doll like girl, so on so forth. But there's one thing that evolve them far past these tropes and labels into something so much more. Their interactions. No line of this show is unimportant, and often, when one character says one thing, they're actually saying 10 different things. It may sound simple, but to achieve it to the level that RahXephon has done is far from an easy task. By the end of it, these characters seem lot less like works of fiction, and more like actual people, complex with genuine desires, motivations, attitudes, and feelings. It's this that makes a simple fanservice character like Sayako into a tragic case of solitude and unrequited feelings, or a despicable character like Isshiki into a pitiful being of inadequacy and unfilled hopes. While there are some standout characters, like Maya Kamina, who is one of the best maternal characters period, or Johji Futagami, whose basic role in the series is to just keep being awesome, you'll be hard-pressed to find just one favorite character, as there's something to love and adore in nearly all of them. Similar to how i liked the School Days ending because it gave the characters exactly what it deserved, i love RahXephon's ending because it does the same. Only in this case, it takes an incredible cast of characters, shows them true suffering, but eventually gives them the fate that they had deserved right from the beginning. Evangelion Comparison In reviews, it's rarely a good thing to compare the work you're reviewing to another work. To be honest, i didn't really want to have to address the RahXephon/Evangelion comparison, but the show has become so associated with Evangelion, that it's almost impossible to avoid. RahXephon came out years after Evangelion, giving the world of mech anime the boost that they needed, and one that would've be given again until the release of Gurren Lagann years afterwards. Since it's release, RahXephon has often been compared to Evangelion by fans and critics alike, some saying that it's an improved version of Evangelion, while others label it as a blatant rip off. Both of these, i highly disagree with. What makes something a rip off, is when a work tries to ride the coattails of another popular work because the writers simply lack the talent to make something of their own. RahXephon, is an original work with superficial similarities to Evangelion, but is practically it's opposite in themes, tone, and execution. But even if they weren't, would it really matter? Does it matter that the show in front of your face got it's idea from something else, when it provides you a smart, well-written, and emotional story? To some people, it does, and you can spend your time moaning and groaning about it on forums and message boards. But, i will be spending that time watching a fantastic show. Enjoyment and Overall (10/10) RahXephon is an anime that has been all but forgotten, in the West and in Japan. But even so, it has it's own loyal fan base that continues to support the show even to this day, and i am proud to call myself one of them. RahXephon has it's flaws and could be considered a bit esoteric to some, but it's imperfections only make it more beautiful in my eyes. RahXephon is my favorite anime, and i doubt that any other show will be taking it's place anytime soon. Anyways, that's all for now. Til next time.

The Sonata: RahXephon is an interesting anime to speak about in modern parlance; it is often compared to Evangelion and for good reasons. They both share similar themes with one and another and are often compared because of it, but is RahXephon a beautiful symphony of anime that can share the stage with its elder and acclaimed thematic brother? Or is RahXephon a movement that should have just remained on the sheets and out of Studio Bones’ larger symphony? My charm this is Wexter, and we are about to analyze the composition that is RahXephon. History: RahXephon is an original series by Studio Bones and written by Yutaka Izubuchi. The story goes that Izubuchi was contacted by a friend from their time at Sunrise, Masahiko Minami. Minami who was now a producer at Studio Bones (as well as its president) suggested that Izubuchi directs a series. Izubuchi at this point was a mecha and costume designer (Gundam and Patlabor) with little experience in other fields of anime production, but he agreed to Minami’s offer, and his directorial debut would be RahXephon. Izubuchi while writing RahXephon drew inspiration from classic 70’s and 80’s mecha namely Raideen the Brave, he claimed that he wanted to make an updated version of those style of mecha series. Izubuchi also drew heavily from classic literature (such as "The Dandelion Girl" by Robert F. Young) while writing some the characters. Once he had his core story together, he assembled a team to work on the series. Working on the art for the series we have Akihiro Yamada (Wolf’s Rain) as character designer and the veteran art director Junichi Higashi best known for Cowboy Bebop and Mobile Fighter G Gundam. For the mecha designs we have the ever talented Yoshinori Sayama (MSG: Char’s Counterattack, Ergo Proxy) and assisting with the mechanical designs was Michiaki Sato. With music composition being handled by Ichiko Hashimoto; whom was initially approached to do just some of the series OST, but insisted that she do all of it. The only exception was that Yoko Kanno ended up composing the opening theme “Hemisphere” which is sung by Maaya Sakamoto who is the Japanese voice of Reika. The series started airing on Fuji TV on the 21st of January, 2002 and ended its run on the 11th of September, 2002. The series would experience modest success, enough to get a North American release by ADV Films in 2003, where it also received a dub. After many years of being out of print Siren Visual picked up the rights from the now-defunct ADV and plans to re-release the series in North America for 2015. The series was also picked up by Madman Entertainment for a UK release. RahXephon also had a manga series which was loosely based off of Izubuchi’s original story draft. The manga was illustrated and written by Takeaki Momose and was published from 2001-2002, it has been collected into three volumes. RahXephon also received a compilation film that condensed the 26 episode series and added new scenes to help with the pacing along with a new ending. Plot and Characters: The plot for RahXephon is rather complex, and for the sake of brevity we are only going to cover the basics, and that will involve spoiling some plot points of the first four episodes (so spoilers). RahXephon follows a young high school student named Ayato Kamina, Ayato attends high school like any other 17-year-old boy in Tokyo. The only difference is that Ayato and the rest of the inhabitants of Tokyo believe that the entire world was destroyed in a great war and all that remain is the city of Tokyo and its 23 million inhabitants. That is until one day a squadron of foreign fighters enter the city and start attacking. Ayato ventures off from his injured friends to find help for them and the rest of the victims of the assault. He ends up being attacked by two men in black, luckily Ayato is saved from this would be the kidnapping by Haruka Shitow. Haruka claims that all that Ayato knows is a lie and that the city is being held captive by a race of humanoid aliens called the Mu. Mu are almost indistinguishable from humans, but their blood is not red it is blue. After much convincing Ayato eventually trusts Haruka and plans to leave Tokyo, only to be drawn into a strange temple where he discovers an ancient mech know only as the RahXephon. The RahXephon brings Ayato into its cockpit, and after fighting off the mechs of the Mu (known as Dolems), he escapes Tokyo with Haruka in hand. When Ayato wakes, he is informed that he may never be able to return to Tokyo for it is trapped behind a time diverting barrier known as Tokyo Jupiter. Ayato also discovers with his own eyes that the rest of the world is still intact, that the population is over 6 billion and the world outside of his gilded cage has aged over 12 years. Ayato and his RahXephon end up being recruited to fight against the Mu by Terra a human organization that is the first and last line of defense against this threat. Ayato now must learn the powers that the RahXephon holds, discover a way to free Tokyo from the hands of the Mu and what it means to be alive in this world that had aged beyond the 12 years he had lost. RahXephon once passed the first four episodes turns into a monster of the week kind of show for the first half. Terra learns of a new Dolem that has left Tokyo Jupiter, and Ayato enters the RahXephon to destroy that Dolem. This may seem like a rather simple setup, but RahXephon much like its often compared to thematic brother Evangelion does more than that. Now the world of RahXephon is rather thick and tells its story through its characters and most of the time what they converse about may seem to be about one thing, but may be turned around and mean something completely different. Now, this may sound high as it gives depth to conversations between characters, but if you are not paying close attention to some of those conversations, you may run into issues later on in the series. This show is juicy with its symbolism as it uses a ton of color symbolism (the dichotomy of the Mu and Humans is often represented with the colors blue and red) and uses iconography that is associated with Christian religions, the ancient Aztecs, Shintoism and much more. This is not to discourage new viewers as all the answers that you would be looking for about certain plot points and ideas are in fact within this series and requires no external reading to understand unlike other series of this type. The downside is that if once again if you are not paying attention to the plot, you will end up more baffled and confused by the series’ conclusion that you are satisfied by it. Another unfortunate point in the series is that even though it is rather sharply written it would devolve during some of the action scenes. Don’t get me wrong they are for the most part rather cool, but Ayato, especially in the early episodes, would be in a dangerous life or death jam, and he would seem to be losing. Then all of a sudden ‘RahXephon est deus ex machina’ would happen, the RahXephon would somehow to develop a new power or somehow to escape its inevitable destruction. For such an amazingly written show to use such a trope is disappointing, luckily later on in the series, this happens less often, but that still does not excuse when it does occur. Now even though some of that last paragraph may seem to be negative, this series is amazingly written, and the mystery of the Mu and Tokyo Jupiter is compelling. I had moments where I would be glued to every delicious piece of dialogue to put together the ever expanding plot. Each episode gives questions and also answers them most of the time, sometimes you just need to be paying close attention to find your answers. This series is also really satisfying for re-watchers as one piece of detail you initially assumed was superfluous turns out to be a major plot point. This series for being 26 episodes long as well is also almost entirely devoid of filler. Virtually every episode is important and you will never have an episode that felt tacked on. Each episode introduces more of the plot, more of the mystery and even tends to answer some of your questions and even explore the mindset and delve into the backstory of its highly likable cast of characters. RahXephon’s biggest problem is that it is frustratingly broad! There is so much about this show it becomes frustrating to piece it all together and if you do not enjoy this kind of show RahXephon is not going to change your mind on it. Some may critique it as annoying as it puts its plot above one's enjoyment. Now one may see this as a minor complaint, but it is rather valid as if RahXephon cannot grab you, it will lose your attention and that is its’ Achilles heel. Now it would not matter how much this series has to offer if each character was unlikable or was just there to shove the plot forward like an another mecha series I know. Ayato is portrayed to be rather angsty early on after discovering the truth, and much like any other teenager would do does not want to fight and would rather be a pacifist and just return to the world he once knew. Though unlike other protagonists Ayato grows past that rather quickly thanks to the support of characters like Haruka, her sister Megumi, the ever dashing yet manipulative Doctor Itsuki Kisaragi and the rest of the Terra officers. It is through Ayato’s eyes that we learn a lot about this world and it is nice to see that he is proactive and rather likable. Not saying there are not moments where Ayato does not come off as a complete and total blockhead, but luckily those scenes are rather uncommon. Ayato also goes through a ton of development and it is nice to see that the Ayato we starting out with as he constantly having his head stuck in his sketch pad is not the same one that we have at the end of the series which is ready to defend his friends and liberate his home. Now onto our other lead, Haruka is Ayato’s anchor throughout the series, when Ayato seems lost in the outside world, it is Haruka who reminds Ayato of his humanity and what he is fighting for. Early on it is hinted that Haruka knew Ayato at some point in the past, as she is familiar with some of his tendencies, is very attached to him and would put her life on the line for him beyond just being his handler. Ayato and Haruka make some of the best character interactions in the series as we see both Ayato’s development paired with the unraveling mystery that is Haruka. One would say it may be one of the best romances in mecha history. The side characters are also no slouches as there are a ton of them, each with history and relationships with each other that tangle many the villains and heroes together in this complex and interconnected world. Let's start with Haruka’s sister Megumi. Megumi starts out a little unlikable in the early parts of the series, but you quickly warm up to her. Unlike Haruka that can be labeled as a dere dere, Megumi is a pure tsundere. She is a little cold to Ayato at first, but as you see she is harassed by others her age and she relates to those who are older than her do to her position in Terra. She warms up quickly to both Ayato and the audience, unfortunately, she still is not the most interesting character, and she feels almost there just to work as a comparison between the teenagers of the outside world compared to those in Tokyo. Next is the ever dashing and secretive Doctor Itsuki. Itsuki is one of the best characters in the series as he is almost like an older brother to Ayato looking out for his best interests and his mental state, but due to some of his actions in the series one questions his motivations. He is shown to have a history with Haruka, and that is also explored the further you delve into the series. He also has an adopted sister named Quon. Quon is an interesting character she does not say much that is not cryptic or related to her passion for music. Her relationship with Itsuki seems almost like a business partnership over a real brother and sister relationship. She also shows a high interest in Ayato and seems to know more about him and the RahXephon than she is letting on. Outside of those there are a ton of interesting characters in RahXephon like Jin Kunugi (the commander of Terra), Souichi Yakumo (Jin’s right hand man), Kim Hotal (Megumi’s best friend), Sayoko Nanamori (Itsuki’s assistant), Elvy Hadhiyat (Haruka’s best mate) and her Alpha Squadron. Finally Makoto Isshiki, the White Snake who acts as the antagonistic figure in the series when the Mu are not around. I would touch upon the Mu characters, but since they are only a presence as a monster of the week in the first half of the series, I cannot talk much about them and their dynamic with each other and the outside world without revealing spoilers. Music and Sound Design: Since music is a core theme of RahXephon one would expect nothing less than a top-notch soundtrack. Ichiko Hashimoto was the composer for this series, and her unique style bleeds through in almost every way. She used a rich infusion of jazz, classical sonatas, chamber music, with more traditional, but experimental hard rock with some acoustic tracks and electronica. Some of her more ambient tracks tend to also almost blend into the sound design of this series. The sound design is also rather surprising sometimes if looking a bit generic. When the RahXephon and Dollums clash, you get these bellowing cries from the mechs and the clanking of the mechanical components sound organic, but also sound like clanking metallic and stone armor. This gives more presence to the mechs and makes them seem more alive than your average Gundam or another mecha. The ambient noise with the combination of Hashimoto's ambient tracks also makes the series more of an interesting listen than it first lets on. Unfortunately, some of the sound effects are rather generic and even if they add more to the series you do get a feeling that you have heard some of it before. The Second Sorrow Forbidden Ponds La, la Maladie du Sommeil The Chariot Yoko Kanno composed the opening of the series and that should speak rather highly of itself. It sounds like a Kanno track, but it does not overshadow the OST as it looks seems ke an extension of Hashimoto’s other tracks, which is quite a delight. RahXephon Opening, “Hemisphere.” Sub vs. Dub: The question as to whether or not you want to watch this series subbed or dubbed will mostly come down to personal preferences as the series has some very accomplished Japanese VA’s. Such as Hiro Shimono (who debuted in this anime as Ayato you may know him as Keima from TWGOK), Aya Hisakawa, Maaya Sakamoto, Jōji Nakata and Mitsuru Miyamoto. Even though the Japanese cast is quite accomplished fans of dubs will not be disappointed as that is my preferred way of watching the series. ADV Films did the dub, and in the post-Bebop world of dubs, this one fares very well. ADV was also responsible for the dub of Neon Genesis Evangelion, and it shows massive improvements they had made since then in the casting and production quality. In the role of Ayato, we have Chris Patton who was able to capture the brash naivete of Ayato while also capturing his whimsy and frustration with his situation. Monica Rial played Haruka, and she can perfectly capture her mature, yet playful nature quite well as also sounding genuinely concerned for Ayato’s well-being. (Just to increase the Evangelion connection she ended up playing Pen Pen in the rebuild movies.) Some other standout performances were by Mandy Clark, Vic Mignogna, and John Gremillion. Sub or Dub no one should be disappointed with either choice, which is quite nice. Art Design and Animation: RahXephon was animated by Studio Bones and much like their earlier works RahXephon is just simply sublime with its art design. The technology of this world has a real organic look and adds to the otherworldly aspect and helps us feel lost in this new world just like Ayato. In fact I would say the world is very well designed and pulls from many cultures from the militaristic feeling of an American base to structures that feel Aztec infused with Greek designs. The coastal city where Terra is based reminded me of a rural Japanese/Philippine village and looked beautiful as well. RahXephon is just a marvel to experience from a design aspect, and the main mech is just gorgeous. The RahXephon itself seems to be an homage to a Gundam with its all white sheen with hints of blue, gold and red. The RahXephon seems to also share designs pieces with Reideen as when the RahXephon’s wings are closed it closely resembles the Reideen’s headpiece, and the Evangelion may have influenced its overall body structure just with more modern sensibilities and the more organic and muscular elements. Combine that with the pair of angel wings on its head, and this has to be one of the coolest mech designs ever. While the Mu’s Dolems can sometimes look beautiful and unique, while sometimes not so much, the Dolems may be the weakest part of RahXephon’s design as they may at times look silly and not all that pleasing to the eye. The director was also able to capture the tone of this series well through a rather bleached color palette that seems to be lost in some newer series. Not saying the series is not colorful it is, but it is something about the shading and the colors he chose that make this set beautiful. That and whenever you are in Tokyo Jupiter there is sometimes red and orange in the shot and sometimes even an orange filter to have a visual cue to the audience where they are. Overall this series is breathtaking with its visual sensibilities. If there is negative, it is with the animation, as with the action scenes they never quite capture the bombastic nature of an Evangelion or a Gundam. It is serviceable, but never amazing. Saying that the final episodes kick the tempo up for quite the bombastic and for an outstanding final that will take your breath away. Overall this series is a visual treat. The Crescendo: Overall RahXephon is just sublime it has fantastic characters, an amazingly dark plot, breath taking music and a visual sensibility that is just fantastic. If this show has negatives, it is that it is not for everyone. The story can be frustrating for first-time viewers who may be turned off by RahXephon’s slow start, and as I pointed out relies on tropes early on to wiggle its way out of corners. The animation and action scenes are not anything to write home about until the last few episodes. Though the lack of filler keeps the show progressing well and this series continues to be engaging even with repeated viewings. Overall I highly recommend RahXephon for its engaging plot, beautiful romance, and its simple amazing soundtrack. RahXephon is an 8/10 and should belong on any fan of this kind of series shelf. Positives +AmazingCharacters +Engaging and Deep Plotlines +Fantastic use ofSymbolism and Visual Style +The RahXephon is a cool looking Mech +Simply Sublime OST +The Last Episodes are soGood +A Well Done Japanese and English Dub Negatives -The Amount of Story can be Too Much for First Time Viewers -Weak Action Scenes in the First Half -Usage of Deus Ex Machina -Sound Design has a been There Done That Feeling 8/10 Where can I watch or purchase RahXephon? As of right now, the series is out of print (until the 2015 reprint), but you can find the ADV, DVDversion through Amazon and Rightstuf. There is no place to find a legal stream right now. For those who enjoyed RahXephon check out either NeonGenesis Evangelion (1995-1996,Gainax) EurekaSeven (2005-2006, Studio Bones) Raideen the Brave (1975-1976, Sunrise)

When I first discovered RahXephon, I assumed it was to Evangelion what Guilty Crown is to Code Geass.  I have never been happier to say that I was dead wrong - since RahXephon is not even close to an NGE rip-off; in fact, it's actually BETTER than NGE (which is a great show in it's own right). Story - 9/10 One day, Ayato Kamina is traveling to school in Tokyo when the train he is on is derailed because of a bombing by an invading force.  He runs to get help, but then encounters Reika Mishima, a classmate of his, who follows him for a while.  He then meets to another subway station, only for Reika to disappear on him.  He then meets Haruka Shitow, who saves him from some government agents (he is shocked to see that the agents have blue blood), and she promises to tell him everything.  However, Reika re-appears in the subway train that arrives, and Ayato gets on, much to the objections of Haruka.  He then arrives at the shrine of Xephon - and witnesses the awakening of RahXephon, a dolem (the RahXephon equivalent of mechas).  A few days later, after being hospitalized, Haruka sends Ayato a letter telling him to meet her at a park if he wants to know the truth - which he does.  She takes him to a military base, where they steal a jet and fly back to the shrine of Xephon - where RahXephon is still sleeping.  Reika is waiting for Ayato, and Ayato enters RahXephon.  Ayato escapes Tokyo with Haruka, but during the escape, Reika disappears - and he also sees that his mother, Maya Kamina, has the same blue blood that the agents had.  The rest of the story follows Ayato coping with the realization that he has been isolated from the outside world, and literally living in the past, all while defending humanity from the Mulians (who have captured Tokyo, and kept it in the past). The only reason why I do not award the story a perfect 10/10 is because the first episode isn't where the story really begins - things don't really kick into high gear until episode 2/3. However, once you get past those episodes, you'll enjoy the ride. Animation - 10/10 This is a production by Studio Bones, who are also notable for works such as both Fullmetal Alchemist animes, Soul Eater, Eureka Seven and Ouran High School Host Club.  The animation is clearly on par - in fact, I found myself reminded of RahXephon's art style a lot when I tried Eureka Seven recently (I have put it on hold as of writing, but I do plan on finishing it before the end of the year). The character designs are also very well executed - they reflect the somewhat light atmosphere (sure, it can be somewhat dark at times, but the moments where it's dark are equal to when it's not dark).  And the detail on the mechas is just amazing -whereas I remember the mechas in Eva because of how unique the designs are, I remember the mechas in RahXephon because they are so detailed. Sound - 10/10 It would be more amazing if a music anime didn't deliver in this department - sure, RahXephon is primarily a mecha anime, but music is a big part in the story.  The music often fit the mood - and as someone who used to play an instrument, I really appreciated the focus on music. There is a dub and a sub of RahXephon, and while I cannot say if the dub is better than the sub (since I have no plans to watch the sub), the dub is a very good one. Character - 10/10 While many of the characters in here do kind of have counterparts in Evangelion (I'm only going to compare RahXephon to NGE one more time, I promise!), the cast is almost entirely composed of likable characters - the only characters I didn't like were Elvy (who just struck me as a bitch) and Ayato's mother, Maya Kamina (who is as bad as, if not worse than, Gendo Ikari in my opinion).  Sure, there were counterparts of Rei, Asuka, and Minato in RahXephon (Quon, Megumi, and Haruka, respectively), but they were very different - Quon was more friendly than Rei was (she still had the quiet personality, though), Megumi isn't as hostile to Ayato when she first meets him as Asuka is to Shinji (and Megumi ends up warming up to Ayato a lot, even showing obvious signs of affection for him - more so than Asuka), and Haruka starts off as similar to Misato, but she ended up not only defying my assumptions about her, she out right destroyed them. Enjoyment - 10/10 I don't think I could really give a reason for my enjoyment without seeming like I'm fangasming over the story, so here's a few reasons why I enjoyed this so much: - The detailed mecha - The extremely likable cast of characters (Ayato is easily my favorite male protagonist, and Haruka is one of my favorite female protagonists) - The awesome soundtrack - The extremely well executed plot twists (especially the one in episode 19) - The great romance between 2 of the main characters - The fantastic ending Neon Genesis Evangelion comparison (for the last time) Yes, you will think of NGE when you watch RahXephon - but not in the same way you will think of Code Geass when you watch Guilty Crown.  Instead, you'll think of NGE when you watch RahXephon in the say way you will think of Berserk when you watch Claymore - there are a good number of similarities between the 2, but not enough to warrant calling RahXephon an Eva clone or rip-off.  In fact, I believe the only reason for the comparison is because of how close RahXephon aired to EVA - had RahXephon aired after Gurren Lagann, people would compare RahXephon to Gurren Lagann.  The 2 series are meant to complement one another - NGE is meant as a deconstruction of mecha anime, whereas RahXephon is a reconstruction. FURTHER RECOMMENDATIONS/FOR FANS OF: Neon Genesis Evangelion (obviously), Eureka Seven (same studio and most of the same staff), The Vision of Escaflowne, Raideen (either the original or the 2007 reboot), X'amd: Lost Memories (same studio), Star Driver (same studio again), Full Metal Panic!, Maritan Successor Nadesico (shares a lot of similarities with Evangelion), Guilty Crown (the main character becomes involved due to similar events), Gurren Lagann (both had a significant impact on the mecha genre, although Gurren Lagann had a bigger impact than RahXephon did)

Considering this is the joint creative works of Gundam and Evangelion staff with Studio BONES - carefully crafted over two years - it should be no surprise that this was destined to be brilliant with so many talented veterans behind it. The creators - mostly composed of artists - wished to bring mecha to a modern age, and managed to do so with ultra-clean character design, and elegant; almost "effeminate" mechanical design. Story takes hints from classical literature - in a setting that delicately weaves myth and extinct ancient Aztec culture into a futuristic struggle for dominance of the planet. A strong musical influence ties in to all aspects of the show; even the sci-fi elements are accented with many musical references and jargon. The themes of love, atonement, time travel, and escapism are used to drive the drama between the characters; the motivations of everyone in the cast are believable and enjoyable to unravel, and the obvious and hidden connections between the characters is surprisingly great.  Infact, this series has immense replay value as you can discover easter-eggs of information that once appeared meaningless on your first watch - things that "make no sense" at the time make *perfect sense* as you grow to understand the characters, and certainly rewards people who remember the significance of subtle glances and body language between chars. The series itself is a puzzle that is constructed on screen and also mentally in your head. Of course, a show about music would be damned if it didn't have excellent music itself. The quality of the score is definitely one of the production highlights along with its animation and art direction. It's a fantastic expression of art on multiple levels. On the downside, there's some suffering from low budget. Some scenes are lavishly afforded plenty of frames and silky smooth animation, while others are recycled cels or inexpensive placeholders for something that ought to be much cooler. The final scenes are case-in-point; very cool; but not enough spent on them. The art style itself varies minutely from episode to episode, with animators showing their own style in places. It can get weird, but its usually okay. If you just wanted an action-packed Sci-fi mecha as brainless as Transformers, you're going to feel disappointed. This should appeal to anyone who is moderately artistic.

Reality is a concept that has been used in various medium to explore many interesting concepts, not to mention how we as humans view reality. What isn't mentioned as frequently is how people try to run away from reality. This varies from seeing images of people that aren't real (focusing too much on positive or negative aspects of a person instead of seeing the whole picture), seeing the world either extremely positively or extremely negatively, or simply running away from interacting with people for fear they might hurt you. This is a fascinating concept that has been explored in many other anime series, from Neon Genesis Evangelion to Lain. What is different about RahXephon, however, is the way that it views that running away from reality may not necessarily be a bad thing, if it can help the people around you and accomplish something better for many people. This is treated with a great deal of ambiguity and is left morally grey for the viewer, and it wouldn't work if it wasn't for this show being excellent in presenting its story. The story is very distinct from many mecha series, and while there are undeniably massive influences from more popular mecha shows, the show soon develops an identity on its own and doesn't attempt to clone elements that simply were fit for those particular shows. The show is extremely rich in themes, from Mayan mythology to music to perception of reality and there is a lot of depth to sink your teeth into. The show is extremely skilled at making the viewer curious about the overall pieces of the plot, showing all of the clues and not holding the viewer's hand or lecturing them about plot details but instead using the absolutely stunning animation quality and various imagery to tell the story, and it works extremely well. The characters are all developed and almost none of them fall into archetypes that plague the genre. They are all distinct and multi-layered, which is very refreshing. Their actions always make sense, and they never act inconsistently or out of character, although many character actions require a rewatch to fully understand. The artwork looks gorgeous and the character designs are an absolute beauty to look at. The backgrounds and the scenery present throughout the show is beautiful to look at, which adds wonders to the show's tone and makes the show's presentation all the better. I cannot praise the absolutely amazing soundtrack enough, which fits the mood of the show, has extremely high hearing value outside of the show, and the various tunes present in the show which fit the mood so well and never feel out of place. This show has one of my favorite soundtracks out of anime and I honestly adore it to pieces. This show is underrated and under-appreciated, and while the show appears to be very unoriginal initially it quickly becomes very distinct and stands completely on its own. This show deserves more attention and I honestly recommend it a lot if you want a very different experience from your typical mecha anime.

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