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RahXephon Short Review

Genres: Mecha Drama Romance All
Series' Year of Release: 2002
Number of Episodes: 26
Review Date: 10-9-2010
Review Language: Dub
Review DVD Region: R4 Available in Australia
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Review By: Bradley Beeck

Tokyo Jupiter. That's what the survivors of the Mulian invasion call the barrier that separates Tokyo from the rest of the world. Inside it's boundary time flows differently and for 15 years no one has been able to breach it's walls. The citizens inside Tokyo Jupiter are unaware of the Mu's invasion and continue to live their daily lives, as before. The same goes for Ayato, until the day he sees visions of a mysterious girl in yellow and encounters a woman from the outside world who promises to tell him the truth.

rahxephon008RahXephon is a mecha series that tries desperately to be Neon Genesis Evangelion. There's the mysterious organization determining the fate of humanity, the pseudo religious symbolism, and the instrumentalists. Unfortunately it has neither the depth of character, nor the depth of ideas to compare to that legendary series. Another way of putting it, is that it has narrative feet of clay. A lot of things happen but there aren't any reasons why they happen. It doesn't have the psychological make up of Evangelion that drives the character interactions and plot in that series. It also relies upon artificial dramatic tension - we hear half conversations, and much of the series would be rendered moot if a certain character revealed her real identity. Speaking of identity, this is the central theme of RahXephon, as the main character - Ayato - finds himself torn between the Mu and humanity. Ayato himself is a bit annoying, as he just stumbles through the plot, not really knowing or deciding to do anything. Which goes back to what I said earlier; what can anyone gain from watching this?

rahxephon009One thing in RahXephon's favour is that it's consistently entertaining, despite the lack of underlying narrative logic, where's Evangelion falls apart in the last third. The series is also one of Bones' early works, and the studio went onto correct it's storytelling failings with Eureka Seven and Fullmetal Alchemist. As far as mecha series go, RahXephon is an enjoyable series, if a little annoying at times, but I would recommend a number of other mecha series before it such as Eureka Seven, Full Metal Panic, and of course Neon Genesis Evangelion.