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RahXephon (1-26 complete) April 8, 2006

Posted by ayasawada in Anime.
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It’s just about impossible to watch this without the shadow of Evangelion looming large. The RahXephon entry on Wikipedia tries to play it down, emphasising the more original parts, but there’s no way this would have come about without Eva before it. Tortured teenager? Check. Organic mecha? Check. Foxy female commander? Check. Weird, pale-faced heroine? Check. Classical music and mind-boggling confusion? Check and check. Yep, this is Evangelion any way you look at it, even down to the slightly ‘harem’ aspect. I don’t want to say ‘Eva rip-off’ but….

(Continued)

That’s not to say it’s a bad series. RahXephon is a pretty intriguing sci-fi anime. It premises a future where humans and aliens are at war and only Tokyo survives. 17-year-old Kamina Ayato is a typical Tokyo teenager, until an attack on the Japanese capital leads him to the mecha RahXephon and the ‘truth’ of how the world really is.

It’s certainly more coherent than Eva (but what isn’t?) and boasts the one thing that series missed: epic romance. There’s intrigue right from the go as conspiracy after conspiracy is set-up. The amicable cast keep you interested, but the series strays into ‘filler’ territory quite a lot, many episodes adding little to the story, and just stirring the confusion. I’m wondering if the movie might be slightly better, if only ’cause it condenses the plot a bit as a slight ‘reimagining’ of the story. The series does, however, pick-up sharply in the final eight episodes, giving a satisfying (if Eva-like) conclusion. I really liked the double coda at the the end.

It is however, just as up-itself as Eva was – right down to the pretentious use of classical music and ‘floating around with thoughts’ scenes (though there are less of them). It’s not as cinematic, but RahXephon has way better action sequences. Clearly a hell of a lot of thought has gone into this and it pays off. Overall, RahXephon is worth watching if you like your clever sci-fi anime. I just can’t shake the Eva influence, ’cause it gives me that same weird shivers feeling.

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