The city of Tokyo has been overthrown, taken over by the Mu, invaders who have devastated the rest of the planet. Within the domed walls of the city, however, time flows in a different path, and none of the citizens even... more » know they've been conquered. Outside Tokyo, the remnants of the human race have fought a desperate 15- year war against the Mu, knowing only that the key to victory lies within the occupied city. But no one has been able to get into Tokyo-until Ayato Kamina, a young resident fleeing a horrifying attack on the city, unwittingly breaks out. An extraordinary mystery unfolds as Ayato confronts a world he has never known, and begins to learn the horrifying secrets of RahXephon, a humanoid super weapon which apparently only he can control.« less
"RahXephon has a lot to live up to, being created by the same studio that brought us the Cowboy Bebop movie, and directed by the director of Gasaraki. Thankfully, I can say (based on this first disc) that it is fulfilling that promise. RahXephon's plot is likely to hook you quickly, and set up a sense of intrigue and mystery that will keep you wanting more. Though many have scornfully compared this series to Neon Genesis Evangelion, RahXephon is not a series to be dismissed as an "Eva clone." While there are many similarities, it could easily be said that RahXephon pays homage to the earlier anime classic, while maintaining its own story and style. Some may even find it easier to digest than the symbolic and didactic Evangelion. Now for my only criticism: You'll notice that I still gave this disc a five star rating, because a show should not be judged on the quality of its box. However, I should point out that the box is flimsy, and likely to be bent or creased by the time it arrives in your hands. Also, there are many reports of security tabs being applied directly to the inside surface of the box, necessitating slightly ripping the colored surface in order to remove it. This was a very poor packaging design decision. Finally, the t-shirt that comes with it is poor quality and made of cheap material. The design on the shirt is too small, and obviously cheaply printed in only two colors. This is not a shirt you would be proud to wear... in fact, it looks worse than most bootleg anime goods. So my advice is, definitely buy the series, but pass on the box. It's one of the worst boxes ADV has put out in a long time. It, and its godawful shirt, are not worth the extra money. The series on the other hand, is a joy to watch... so don't let your enjoyment be spoiled by poor excuses for "collectors items.""
Perfection of Parallelism
V. J. Han | Queens, NY USA | 03/20/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's been a long time since Neon Genesis Evangelion came out and revolutionized the mecha anime. Undoubtly, many tried to mimic the success and ultimately came short.
Meet RahXephon. This series deliver the next step to the mecha anime that's been overdue. From well drawn characters to storyline, this one surpassed my expectation for good.
This series never denies the influence of Evangelion. Rather, it embrasses the basic concept and further develops in their own vision. While some would simply say that there are too much similarity in between RahXephon and Evangelion, I never felt this as mere knockoff clone. Once you start watching it, you would see that this is more like watching alter ego. It gives the sense of alternate reality hence "Parallel Universe".
While mecha (or "gear" if you prefer) is the dominant factor of the series, it never overwhelm the series, nor shy away from the show. Just like in Evangelion, mecha is bonded in personal level that cannot be broken.
Music is what makes this series special. Exceptional combination of fast-paced Jazz and ambient sound of New Age creates uneasiness that makes you sit on the edge. Sound is dominant theme of this series and it shows.
There aren't any ground-breaking acheivement in picture. It has well drawn characters, and back ground; nothing notable.
Within the series, it shows the parallelism right from the beginning. What's more interesting, is that also represents the struggle to break out of blue print created by Evangelion. I believe that they finally found the way to stands out as it own."
A truly profound experience (Spoiler Free)
J. MURRAY | Ridgefield, WA United States | 01/23/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"(This will be spoiler free, and as a result, brief. I don't want to give away a thing!) I recently finished watching this series and I have to say that it has been one of the best viewing experiences of my life. The animation is fluid, smooth, and breathtaking. Strategic placement of various backdrops and images enhance the story, whether by foreshadowing an event to come, or connecting an event from the past. You can tell from the titles themselves that RahXephon has a very strong musical undertone, and in fact is an integral part of the story. The result is music that is haunting, stirring...memorable. Above all else the characters are what makes or breaks a story - and these made it many times over. The diversity of characters ensures that you can relate and empathize with at least one, if not more. They are simple, complex, mysterious, or a little bit of each - tied together with the perfect voices, making these characters come to life. You find yourself laughing with them, crying in sorrow, in rage, in joy. You no longer see 'characters', but real souls going through myriad experiences and taking you along for the ride. After finishing this story I find myself feeling as if I had lost a close friend, since I will never again be able to discover this world and these people for the 'first time'. I'm sure all of you have gone through a similar experience, and realized how profound it was, and how much you wanted to share it with your family and friends, anyone who would listen. RahXephon has been such an experience for me, and it is one I will not soon forget."
Evangelion for the New Millenium?
dramadude 186 | Grayson, Georgia United States | 08/10/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Many people have commented on the similarities of Rahxephon to the seminal anime classic Neon Genesis Evangelion, and having viewed both in their entirety its easy to see why. Rahxephon borrows heavily from Evangelion (henceforth Eva) for both its premise and narrative. Nearly every major character in Eva has an analogous counterpart in Rahxephon, and if you swap out Eva's Christian symbolism for Rahxephon's musical references the overall plots are strikingly similar. Yet to simply dismiss Rahxephon as an Eva knockoff is to dismiss one of the best made anime series of the past few years.
The most immediately noticable aspect of Rahxephon is the stellar production values. The animation is simply gorgeous, made all the more beautiful by a flawless DVD transfer. The characters and mechs more with a convincing grace and fluidity not always present in anime TV series, and the amount of detail in the backgrounds is stunning. Also of note is the entire look of the show. The characters are realistically proportioned while still retaining that anime flaire (ie big eyes, spiky hair, etc.). The mechs are among to more interesting designs seen as of late, which like the characters are convincing yet stylized. The other mechanical aspects of the show, such as tanks, fighters, and ships, are all realistically detailed and help to sell the not-too-distant future setting.
This volume introduces a bevy of characters, yet they are all uniquely designed so that keeping track of who's who isn't a problem at all. You may not be able to keep all the Japanese names straight (it certainly took me a while), but you'll never have trouble recognizing a face. And for once in an anime, the characters go through realistic costume changes instead of wearing the same outfit all the time. We also get a lot of solid character development in this volume, although of course there's plenty more the come.
Then there's the narrative. Although it does bear several strong resemblances to Eva, there's more than enough that's different to distinguish the two series. For instance, the plot twist that occurs midway through this volume is completely unexpected and helps to keep things fresh. Rahxephon also spends a lot of time on the details, slowly trickling information to the viewer one juicy detail at a time. I'm currently rewatching the series a second time, and I'm amazed at how much more there is to this show than I picked up on the first time around. Rahxephon is a show that rewards repeat viewings.
Although outwardly similar, anyone who gives Rahxephon a chance will see its not really like Evangelion at all. Rahxephon is a smart, high-concept anime that is executed wonderfully. The show steadily guides the audience along without being too obvious about anything. If you're looking for a show to make you think, Rahxephon is definitely worth picking up. And after all, one can only watch Eva so many times."
"What can I do?"
Marc Ruby? | Warren, MI USA | 04/23/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This has become a very promising year for US releases of anime. Most of the new issues are at least interesting, and a select few are serious contenders. RahXephon is one of the latter, combining some tried and true story lines with enough original thinking to seem fresh and original.Sometimes I think Evangelion is the most borrowed from anime ever produced. Many of the results are unsatisfactory because the original set such a high standard that failures are glaring. Not so the case with RahXephon - rather than borrow, it echoes the old themes in an original context. Sure enough, a teen-aged boy (Ayato) finds himself in the middle of an attack on Tokyo and is led to the mystical temple where a giant egg contains RahXephon, who is a very aesthetic combination of EVA 01 and Gundam Wing. And giant space creatures (Dolems) appear in the skies for RahXephon to conquer.But for each similarity, there are differences. Ayato is a much more vivid character than Shinji. After the first battle, Ayato and the robot catapult outside of the 'hidden' Tokyo. Where Ayato discovers that the city he though was all that was left of the world was really the last stronghold of the alien Mu, who plan the earth. They have locked themselves behind a time barrier in what is now called Tokyo Jupiter.Ayato's friends have echoes as well - the reticent Reika Mishima who links him with RahXephon, Haruka Shitow - part special agent and part softie. And there is also the stern head of TERRA operations, Jin Kunugi. But despite the parallels, they these new efforts have different and richer personalities than their precursors. And there are many others to fill out the cast. It is clear that relationships will play as important a part in the story as the combat scenes, where 'song' is a weapon.If the first five installments are any indication, the artwork and character design are outstanding. And true to a series where sound is a weapon, the music (by Khiko Hashimoto) is memorable. The story is carefully paced, but the viewer is treated to an active and often beautiful film surface. Mecha and mystical are mixed together seamlessly. This is a work that stands on its own quite well, but I think that Evangelion fans will be especially pleased.I am not as excited with the set box and t-shirt, though. I like gimmicks, but while the packaging is pretty, it is not as solid as it should be. And the t-shirt is a bit average. Be warned that, if you are not a collector, the DVD alone is probably a better purchase."