Movie: RahXephon is the name of a large robot piloted
by a young man in search of his identity. In the first DVD, he was thrust
into a position of piloting the robot by circumstance and found out
everything he "knew" was a lie. Learning that his own mother might well be
an alien set on destroying Earth and that things weren't always what they
appeared to be, he makes choices that may or may not come back to haunt him.
As the series progresses, the alien attacks get more and more powerful,
using better weapons but they also use more subterfuge in order to capture
the RahXephon and it's pilot. With Ayato now much more on the fence between his organic heritage and his newfound discoveries about Earth, the series could end in a number of ways. Various friends turn to foes and foes to friends in RahXephon 7: Crescendo:
With all the events of the series wrapping up in these last three episodes, it took a few viewings to catch all the action going on. Further, there was a lot of subtle thread tying up going on with various agendas revealed and events taking place to explain much of went on previously (ending some of the speculation taking place on the internet). Ayato faces up to his mixed background and is presented with a choice, one that will result in the destruction of Earth and/or the Mu if the wrong path is taken. Quon reappears and has a more important role to play as well as a host of varied minor players taking prominence this time.
Like most current anime series released on DVD, there was a need to know what went on prior to the events taking place here so you'll want to watch the previous volumes before getting this one. I think the series as a whole deserved it's rating as one of the best anime series of 2003, due to the use of sound and visuals with creative ideas and solid writing. As such, I'm going to rate it as Recommended since there were only three episodes on the DVD but get the previous volumes first so you'll know what is happening and the significance of the events. Also keep in mind that the final episode was more of a wrap up than anything else, with little of note taking place. For the thinkers out there, you'll enjoy the series as much as the action junkies but both groups of people should open their minds up to appreciate it for everything it has to offer.
Picture: The picture was presented in full frame 1.33:1 ratio and looked great. I noticed no problems and even the DVD transfer looked great. Over the course of the series, I've been a fan of the technical qualities of this show since its beginning and wish all series were as well made.
Sound: The audio tracks were either in English 5.1 Dolby Stereo or the original Japanese soundtrack with English subtitles in 2.0 stereo. Both sounded very crisp and clear although I give the nod to the original Japanese track as being better.
Extras: The best extra was the final lengthy set of interviews with the some of the original Japanese language voice actors. A clean opening and closing (no credits on them), some trailers, an early production promo from Japan and production sketches. Lastly, there was a paper insert in the DVD case that was in full color, had translation notes and sketches of some of the characters and Dolems.
Final Thoughts: If you watched the series up to Volume 6, you'll have to put this on your "must have" list for all it has to offer you. If you're new to anime or the series itself, try getting the first volume and I think you'll find out why so many people are raving at the quality this one has to offer. RahXephon is in a class all its own, a class you'll want to attend.