Anime Notebook: RahXephon

April 16, 2006 on 1:40 am | In Notebook, RahXephon | Comments Off on Anime Notebook: RahXephon

It appears that at least three people enjoyed my previous notebook effort, so I shall make it a semi-weekly feature.
This notebook apparently has, under City Hunter 2 episode 50: “Goodbye, Hardboiled City (part two)”, “He is skilled in panty warfare”. Fair enough. Context is nothing in the face of such a quote!

This entry is slightly more serious than that; here I chronicle my experience with RahXephon, which was really a jumble to my eyes. I’ve decided to put in every entry as this serves a more academic purpose than simply “laffs”. Which is not to say that you won’t find any humour beyond the pale … (if only because my normally impeccable punctuation gets kicked in the arse when I’m taking notes)

Extreme RahXephon spoilers ahead!

RahXephon in notes

Episode 1: Invasion of the Capital
Rockin’ score
Too shiny digital
Not to mention ugly mech.
Very careful composition
Hisakawa Aya rockin’ out

Hisakawa Aya was already the series’ highlight for me at this early stage.

Episode 2: God and Man Awaken
Highly reminiscent of Argentosoma.
Ayato’s mother talks politically
^very clipped delivery
Man Mishima is totally fake[?]
English is a dead language!
Man, so mysterious
She walks on water!
I wish I could be surprised

I actually cannot read what I wrote in that line about Mishima. The final word there could be really anything that starts with “fa”. And the last line clearly indicates I was already unimpressed at such an early stage.

Episode 3: City of Two
Pretty freaky to find your mother can fly.
Did Ayato just kill someone?
The score is great.
Food made by bones.
The song is different each time!

I’d be freaked out if my mother just started flying. The line about the food is because, when they were scavenging, Ayato and Haruka found BONES branded packages.
The song refers to the ED being a cycle of different verses on that song.

Episode 4: His own watch – literal
No OP in favour of recap
The recap did a better job than the show.
What’s this Ollin nonsense?

The ironic mystic-babble begins! I think it’s quite sad that a brief two minute recap did a better job of telling RahXephon‘s story than 75 minutes of RahXephon had done.

Ep 5: Nirai-Kanai
Poor Haruka.
Opening with boob shot for intro.
They admit psychic link?
Foot fetish?
Blue sakura story!

I have no idea what that is about the foot fetish. I was struck by the blue sakura story of this episode; it twisted the normal sakura story by making it symptomatic of the Mu.

Episode 6: Obliterated Cities
Ayato no uniform.
Wait, journalist with fan?
No! Canberra!
This show has a great sense of humour.
“She left part of herself behind!”
No! Sydney!
People who say “we promised two weeks, not the rest of our lives” are bitches.
The enemies are ugly, but efficient.
The RahXephon being absorbed by blackness does not encourage me.

The introduction of the journalist! He simply wasn’t quite ridiculous enough; he clearly should have laughed coquettishly all the time. The “no!” in this episode is because I mourn every time part of Australia gets destroyed in anime.
That said, one of the most hilarious moments in anime history is when Sydney gets destroyed in Bubblegum Crisis episode six: an office lady is walking through the streets with a koala on her shoulder. Then the city gets obliterated. But I digress.
Kim’s parents’ death was met with no sympathy by her aunt and uncle, who refused to take her in. I thought that was really cruel of them.
The “absorbed by blackness” bit was because I swore that I would try my darndest not to make comparisons to Evangelion. It’s not my fault that Izubuchi inserted Evangelion episode 16 into the end of RahXephon episode six!

Episode 7: Day of Assembly
Hey, ADV is doing the characters surname first
But not the seiyuu.
Ayato realises that people aren’t different.
Dodgy long shot.
The shoji metaphor.

Game metaphors; honestly I think I was just making very perfunctory observations here: the only one of note is that Ayato was beginning to get less painfully hostile.

Episode 8: Bitterly Cold Holy NightSurprised that they’d let him in.
Not very servicey beach.
Wait, where did the snow come from?
Ayato wearing a winter dress.
If he “knew it” it suggests he’s using her.
Very good Christmas episode.

Normally I write down when new characters enter just so I can keep track of them, but I haven’t done so for this series. I think that this episode introduced Itsuki and his crazy-psycho-bitch assistant Sayoko, who Izubuchi desperately wanted me to feel for; I gave him no dice.

Episode 9: Small Shrine of Memories
Beach again already?
Ayato is much nicer now.
Megumi will lose all relationships
McMahon has boobs!
Water Reika!
RahXephon is female?
What is all this Ollin talk?!
The spiriting!
For days!

I think I was expecting a turning point at this part of the series; I also noticed that they had missed fan service opportunities the episode beforehand and were offering them now. And I was still confused by the mystic-babble. Not surprising, really, because the series did a poor job of attempting to explain it

Episode 10: Sonata of Reminiscence
Four months pass.
Crucifix – with Jesus

Inspiration began to fail me at this point.

Episode 11: Kyoja Circuit
Why were her boobs important?
Ayato is “frustrated”
Dolems as humanoid.
Stage/curtain metaphor.
Konaka wrote it! Figures.

At this point in the series Izubuchi was trying to make up for the earlier episodes’ lack of service by making Ayato sexually frustrated. It’s easy to create service when you do “teenaged boy’s POV cam”. It’s a guilt free way of perversion.
At this point the episodes began to get more oblique; it all came clear when I learned that Konaka Chiaki, lord of confusing scripts, came into play.

Episode 12: The Black Egg
Man, confusing territory.

Clearly I thought a lot of these events.

Episode 13: Human Specimen 1
Service is Ayato view.
Itsuki and Haruka were together!

Ah, Itsuki; what an inconsistent bastard! Mysterious characters shouldn’t change their countenance rapidly simply so that a director may maintain their mystery.

Episode 14: The Boy in the Mirror
Ayato’s blood ain’t blue.
It acts on confusing names.

The mystic babble must have been really getting on my nerves.

Episode 15: The Children’s Night
Hitting children makes them smarter.
Young Helen is bitch[?]
It’s like watching Not RahXephon
The butler is different design.
Limited use Dolems.
Very Production IG Style
Starring Nene!

I can’t read what I said about Helen. In this episode, which you may recall was the one that chronicled the shared childhoods of Itsuki, Helen and Isshiki, a guest designer was used and it felt more like The Big O than it did RahXephon.
It’s part of the trend of using effed up pasts to tell a story. And the line “Starring Nene!” must mean that Hiramatsu Akiko was featured.

Episode 16: Island of Others
Triangle of interests
Itsuki is suddenly sympathetic
I’m more than halfway through, but not engrossed.
Rikudoh … Ayato’s grandfather?
Itsuki Haruka pairing is good
Das ist turning point.

I was praying for RahXephon to snag me, but it simply wasn’t near as enchanting as, say, Argentosoma. The scale was too grand for me to really connect to it on any level; the turning point remark was me hoping that it would be an uphill slog from that point. You really would expect that a “return to the land of exile” would be a huge part of an anime’s story.

Episode 17: Return to the Labyrinth
Holding Quon is very familiar.
They are actually sitting in hands.
The other friend is a bitch.

I used to collect the names of the fake McDonalds featured in anime. By “the other friend”, I mean Mamoru.

Episode 18: Bond of Blue Blood
His bastard friend is in on it?
In a way, she’s a good mother
She’s just a “nurture mother”
RahXephon acting as the turmoil in Ayato’s mind.
Blue blood nose Torigai!
There is no biological link.
How can you go 17 years without noticing your blood’s colour?
Joy of re-entry.

This is where the broken Mamoru story began. I also appear to be saying that I liked the amount of care that Maya took of Ayato. Here you get the inkling that Ayato is actually a chosen one and not a human at all. You know, all of those revelations that would send any other 17 year old insane due to the extent of “out there”ness.
I think the whole “everyone suddenly has blue blood” part was really important.

Episode 19: Blue Friend
Blade Runner architecture!
Propaganda announcements!
Whoo Report-san!
Rosetta stones?
Wall of flags.
Ayato is not conditioned for hard labour.
What lame future mobiles.
Holy light.
The Dolem is her, to no surprise.
This Dolem was not attacking.
Realisation that each Dolem was a person.
Bloody peeps.

This was supposed to be the saddest, most shocking episode of RahXephon, but I couldn’t really feel it. When the series wasn’t making me wonder what the heck was going on, I was not surprised by anything. I really liked the propaganda reels that warned against the outside world, though; that was good stuff that actually gave an idea of society.

Episode 20: The Artisan’s Battle
They’re back where they started.
Reika! In uniform!
This is messed up stuff.
Well, he wouldn’t know about Torigai … but please, be suspicious.
Blood can turn blue?
This Isshiki … bit of a bitch, eh?
Alpha Squadron’s going to die?
Didn’t he see the death connections?
And Torigai will try killing Megumi.
One sided personal.
Tear drop means nothing.
Poor Donny.
Wings behind Reika.

I can’t remember this episode well enough, but I think that I was angry at the characters for not noticing the “you’re going to die” symbolism that was thrown at them. I think that the Reika in uniform part of the story was one of the most messed up parts of RahXephon, and I’m still not sure what they were trying to achieve with it.
This is the point of the series where Terra was going to Hell and no one thought it weird that someone from Tokyo Jupiter turned up on Nirai-Kanai with no problems. I was beginning to realise that none of the developments had any impact because the script and direction telegraphed everything that was going to happen. I was finding it very difficult to care.

Episode 21: Carved Seal of Xephon
Quon and Maya – spirited fathers?
Isshika has such a fake smile.
Ixtli must ay things on the edge of consciousness.
Wait, records in 2028?
They’re just throwing names!
Megumi, stop liking everyone!
Poor Megumi, being told wrong right away, then sympathising
Please don’t have had sex.
Future pocky!
Megumi pushes the limits.
They do blush blue!

I remember wondering if the Mu blushed blue; it was quite gratifying to find that they did. Again I’m complain about meaningless Mayan terminology and also railing against the fact that Megumi was Izubuchi’s tool, less of a character than a way to get other characters to do the things that he wants them to do.

Episode 22: Operation Jupiter Oblivion
There being an infant clone of herself running around …
Kunugi and Ayato getting along
Seventeen is important.
Sayoko is mad!
Where is Mamoru?
Souichi is so obviously sarcastic
Quon sure has been sexualised.
Ixtli – the guise of the person your true heat desires.
Reika is a guidepost.
RahXephon’s hands … Reika’s hands?
Ixtli in sexual throes.
The painting was his “instrument”.
Ixtli works in mysterious ways.
Man, now we’re confused.

Good old Sayoko. “Herself” in this instance refers to Helen, whose story turned out really freakishly. Look! The series here is imploding into a bunch of self importance, and forgetting what has happened to characters that it brought back for nefarious purposes several episodes previously.

Episode 23: From Here to Eternity
Theme of “protect them”.
Where did the complete painting come from?
“Marriage can not survive the death of a child”

Why did I write down such a trite quote?

Episode 24: Doorway to the Tuning
“Within you” is lame.
Sou-chan = dead.
Great ED remix.
Vermillions are organic.
Good animation.

More deaths; I honestly have no idea what I was talking about.

Episode 25: God’s Uncertain Music
Transformation very Rei like
Episode 26 to be epilogue?
This episode is called “Deus Ex Machina”
Look, it’s “internal king”
Everyone disintegrating!
The rainbow removed all colour.
I mean, Elvey, come on.
Isshiki has a lot of ammo.
That was actual Oz.
Lots of deaths.
Quon is so naked.
I think I’ve turned on Konaka.

Yes! My favourite part of RahXephon: the part where it takes concepts from every SF anime ever and jams them in to make a conclusion. What a mess this is becoming.

Episode 26: Far Beyond EternityFaulty DVD encoding.
No OP = good.
The wing background.
Bloody Ninamori
Programmed? Bloody hell.
This is just fucked.
Look, it’s Mamo.
Michiru is everywhere.
Blue is everywhere!
Restoring colour to the world.
A space cross? Please.
Reika was 14 year old Hikaru!

Yes, despite all of the pastiches of everything in human history making RahXephon‘s conclusion the single least original 50 minutes in all recorded history, both human and alien, I found the last minute of this 26 episode series highly gratifying.

And that was the roller coaster ride of my notebook; I’m surprised how many memories of a show that I watched and didn’t overly like almost a year ago were stirred by its contents. I wanted to really like it, but I couldn’t. It wasn’t bad anime, I suppose, but there is no way this was excellent stuff; it simply couldn’t deliver that which I expect in SF anime, and one thing I expect is to be grabbed like nothing else can grab me.

No Comments yet

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress with Pool theme design by Borja Fernandez.
Entries and comments feeds. Valid XHTML and CSS. ^Top^