Rahxephon: Pluralitas Concentio

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Welcome to my first themed month. Every post in this month of January will be dedicated to the theme of “Series retelling.” These movies take the plot of the original series they were based on and retell them in a short condensed movie. The first entry in this theme month is Rahxephon.

Ayato Kamina and his young girlfriend have been separated by the Tokyo Jupiter Incident, which cuts off Tokyo from the outside world. Ayato is approached by a mysterious woman named Haruka who leads him to the giant winged robot Rahxephon. Now Ayato must use the Rahxephon to fight the Dolems send by the Mu, who caused the Tokyo Jupiter Incident and find a way to reunite with the love of his life, Mishima.

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Since the month is about retelling the story, evaluating whether its a good or bad retelling should come first. Overall, it does a pretty good job retelling the story of Rahxephon. The mysteries don’t get as much time to drag out as they did in the TV show. Still they make sure to focus the important beats of the original story and add some very interesting scenes.

Speaking of interesting scenes, the love story between Ayato and Mishima is the main focus of the movie. Though their romance was a subplot in the original series, focusing on it really helps to showcase just who important it was to the overall plot. Also, the two of them are a cute couple and their love is very entertain to watch develop. Small spoiler but the two of them make love. Personally, I find this refreshing as not all anime couples get the option of having the aspect of an adult relationship without it become some kind of ecchi fanservice comedy or straight up hentai.

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Sadly, the studio didn’t add any new mecha to the film. Would have been nice if they had added one movie exclusive robot for a new fight scene. They do make sure to include a few of the better fight scenes form the show but probably could have benefited from one just one more fight.

Overall, this is a good movie to watch. All fans who enjoyed the Rahxephon series should make it a point to watch this film. This was made at the point in time when many thought that Studio Bones doing a mecha anime was always going to be a recipe for success. Sadly, shows like Heroman and Captain Earth have made it so fans must be a little wary before diving head first into one of their shows. Still, Bones still has a pretty good track record and I become hesitatingly optimist every time I hear they are doing a giant robot series.

There we go. the first entry in the “retelling” theme month.  If you like the theme let me know and I’ll work on adding more theme months in this blog’s future.

RATING: A-

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Full Metal Panic

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As I’ve said mixing genres can be very tricky. You would think just from the description that a “Comedy mecha series set in high school” would not be a good idea because it sounds ludicrous. Well it is ludicrous, and hilarious, thrilling, touching, memorable and a whole lot of fun. This is the series known as as Full Metal Panic, a show that truly is the full package.

Sousuke Saga is a member of an elite secret military organization known as Mithirl who works to defend the world from the shadows. TO protect a young girl who is believed to be the target of a terrorist organization, Sousuke enrolls in her high school. Unfortunately, Sousuke doesn’t exactly fit into Japanese High School life and becomes a major annoyance to the young girl named Kaname Chidori. Just as it seems as if Kaname can’t take any more of Souske’s behavior, the bad guys come for her and Sousuke it there, ready to jump into a giant robot to protect her. Who says there’s no good guys in the world anymore?

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The characters of this show really make it stand out. Sousuke is clueless but a very competent solider. Kaname is an easily angered tsundare (A ruff exterior, sweet on the side type), but the anger can sometimes can justified given that Souske’s first thought is usually to reach for his gun, even in school. Still, the fact that Sousuke is so impulsive and one to make things blow up on a regular basis is what what makes this show so entertaining. The supportive characters such as Kurtz Weber and Melissa Mao are also great and help add to the story. I even enjoyed Tessa Testarossa, despite the fact that I am well aware that she is a rather annoying character to some fans.

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The mecha of this series are very unique. The show seems to showcase that every country has its own designs and different suits. A suit from Japan would be different from one in Russia. Still, its the main guys themselves who get some of the more impressive suits. I still think that the Arbalest (pictured above) is a one of my favorite suits throughout history. Hmm, that’s a list I should probably put together one of these days.

I know that I would heavily criticized if I didn’t mention the relationship between Kaname and Sousuke. There really isn’t anything that I could say that hasn’t been said a million times before by bigger fans then myself. They are adorable together, Sousuke does her best to try to protect her, even though his best sometimes makes Kaname very annoyed at his actions. They are one of the most entertaining Anime couples out there. I like many would probably squeal with delight if they actually animated a scene of the two of them kissing. Someday maybe it will happen.

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Getting around to reviewing fumoffu (even without giant robots) and second raid. I’ll give it some time though and hopefully by the time I get done reviewing all three series they will finally get that newly announced Full Metal Panic: Another done. Come on people, don’t leave me hanging.

Rating: A

Captain Earth

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No it in no way is associated with Captain Planet. This is the latest series from studio bones who gave me two of my favorite mecha series, Rahxephon and Eureka Seven. Is this new title another must see new classic or does it fall plummeting through the atmosphere? Lets find out.

Daichi Manastu had weird memories of his childhood friend and a girl he met in a bubble. As a mysterious group of invaders known as he Kiltgang threaten to absorb all of earth, Daichi is given a strange gun known as a livilaster that allows him to channel immense power. Using this intense power he energizes the giant robot the Earth Engine to become Captain earth to save his childhood friend Teppei and the girl from the bubble known as Hana.

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The art and look to the show are Bones’ usual high quality. The mecha designs for the series are also very interesting but seem to lack a specific quality that makes them unforgettable. They don’t have the distinct look that say Gundam or Evangelion possesses. I also question why the Earth Engine robot has arm blades in the toy version but never seems to use them once in the show. Also, compared to later suits the Earth Engine falls short in terms weapons and over all performance.

The characters are interesting enough but are not exactly ground breaking. I mean the series is fun and has some pretty good character moments but it doesn’t take deep into your soul, make you rethink your philosophy on life, or make you want to idolize these characters. The relationship between Hana and Daichi is heartwarming and you are routing for them to make it as a couple but they only develop just enough to say that they had something of a character arc, not that they each had an overwhelming moment that touches you deep inside.¬†¬†Basically a few good moments here and a few moments there with some repetitive robot combing scenes in between.
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The ending seemed a bit rushed once I reflected back on it. They took the time to gather all of the Kiltgang in an effort to take down the Earth (an objective that could have been accomplished by only one of their Mecha reaching the planet by the way) and when they finally are all together in a group, a new enemy appears so the gang doesn’t have the opportunity to overwhelm the heroes and finally absorb all of earth. I mean the enemy was there the entire time but the actual power he seemed to control rose greatly so the Kiltgang had not choice but to stop the larger opponent instead of focusing on absorbing all life on Earth. After all the episodes that were spend individually gathering the Kiltgang I really thought it would be a more intense battle between them and the Midsummers’ Knights in the end. Kind of a cop out but I won’t fault them too much for it.

In the end the series the only major crime against this show is that it is so forgettable. It is doomed to be another series pushed to the back of our queues because it doesn’t do anything as sadistic as kill a character every other episode or Master degree philosophy on what to has the characters talk about. To studio Bones I commend you on a good effort but sadly this one doesn’t make me wish I had a livlaster.

Rating: B-