The city of Tokyo has been overthrown, taken over by Invaders who have devastated the rest of the planet. For 15 years, the remnants of the human race have fought a losing battle against the Mu and their Dolem, knowing tha... more »t the key to victory lies within the domed walls of Tokyo Jupiter, where time flows in a different path and none of the mind-wiped citizens even know that the city has been conquered. But no one has been able to get into Tokyo. Until now. Prepare for the ultimate paradigm shift as one young man learns the horrifying secret in RahXephon.« less
""RahXephon- Complete collection" repackages the 2003 7 disc TV series from ADV Films into a space saving thinpak collection. The orginal cover art is used but buyers wont get the dvd character booklets that accompanied the original release nor is the motion picture included. The series does come in a stylish collectors box with new artwork. If you missed RahXephon the first time don't hesitate to pick up this amazing series.
RahXephon was at first dismissed by some as a clone of Neon Genesis Evangelion with it the similar idea of a protagonist (in this case Ayato Kamina) reluctant to use the giant mecha RahXephon to fight otherworldly invaders. Those who watched the show realised thats where the similarities end.
RahXephon is the story of high schooler Ayato Kamina, a ordinary guy living in Tokyo, the last city on Earth that didnt fall to invaders the MU. The citizens of Tokyo are constantly aware that invasion could happen at any point and in the first episode it does. During the attack Ayato is seperated from his friends and meets up with another classmate Reika who takes him to an underground room where she awakens the RahXEphon and makes Ayato become one with the hulking mecha. Ayato is able to escape the city using the RahXephon where he soon learns Tokyo is actually controlled by the MU.
Over the course of the series Ayato has to unravel the truth of the world, come to grips with his own personal demons and decide how he is connected to the RahXEphon.
The series does a great job of storytelling. The first episode quickly throws many questions at the viewer and has you wondering just what is the truth in the world of RahXephon. The pacing of the story is excellent. Viewers are given just enough answers to questions to keep them satisfied while having new questions crop up. The show will keep you guessing until the end.
A phenomenal anime that has action, romance, comedy, big mecha and lots of mystery- truly something for everyone. If you haven't seen RahXephon yet, what are you waiting for?
Night and Day!
S. L. Burdick | South Dakota | 04/03/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First off, I loved Rah and hated Eva, so keep that in mind reading this. ;)
As I added to my Eva review here, Eva did it first, but Rah did it RIGHT.
Other people have said Rah blows you away for visuals, and they're right. The Last Exile was the only series I've seen that's on par with the beautiful art here.
The beginning's a bit hectic to be sure, but after the mess that was Evangelion, I was willing to sit it out for a few episodes. Boy am I glad I did!
You won't even notice when Rah works its subtle charm on you, but you'll suddenly realize you're connecting pieces of the story and really getting involved.
Eva NEVER gave me a similar moment, most of that's weak "what if" at best. RahXephon took the entirely different road with their ideas. If you watch to the end and then think about each and every instance, Rah DOES make sense. The wierd happenings all are understandable, something Eva didn't seem to bother with at all.
As to why the Mu only sent out Dolems one at a time? Unlike Eva's Angels which really DIDN'T make sense to be attacking solo, the Mu weren't after conquest. Their whole motive was to awaken Rah. This's why they don't outright try to kill Xephon in the first episode. See? Like I said, Rah makes sense!
Don't even get me started on character differences. Night and day, baby. Rah's populace is heroic and act like actual humans, for the most part. None of the gloom and doom from Eva. As a result, you actually give a damn about them. The underpinning main romance will have ya jumping up and down in your chair screaming "Just tell him!", it's that well written.
And the biggest point in favor of RahXephon? It's resolved. All the philospies and long episodes go somewhere. There's no jumbled mess at the end of Rah. The ending, while ambiguous except for a few characters, is an ending. An ending a HUMAN would choose if given Rah's choices. Eva forgot that it was dealing with humans somewhere, instead turning them all into fatalistic robots with a deathwish in the second half.
Eva did it first, but RahXephon did it right. Here comes the sun, baby."
Entertaining Sci-Fi Anime with Several Glaring Flaws
Suzanne | Oklahoma City, OK United States | 07/14/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
I'm really torn when it comes to RahXephon. See, I did something stupid... I saw Evangelion and fell in love with it. Hungry for something similar, I read the glowing reviews for RahXephon and bought it, hoping for another intelligent, profound series. On my first viewing (too soon after Eva) I hated it. No, I despised it! It blatantly 'borrows' a ton of ideas, themes, scenes, and dialogue from Eva. Those who say it doesn't aren't looking. (A site called EvaXephon has 17 pages worth of these similarities for those interested.) As my Eva-mania cooled down, and I reflected on Rah, I thought perhaps I'd been too harsh. So I recently re-watched it. This time I didn't find the similarities as disturbing. In fact, I actually found myself enjoying this series, especially towards the end. But I still found many flaws that detract from it. First, I will discuss those flaws, but end on a high note with what this series does right.
Rah's biggest flaw is its poor execution of PRaT (Pace, Rhythm, and Timing). This series jumps and jerks around with wild shifts in pace, little rhythm to its edits and narrative flow, and a lack of timing in execution. Ep. 11 is a good example: The viewer is thrust immediately into a fight between the Xephon and a Dolem with no explanation of how this came about. The Dolem "swallows" Xephon, sending the hero, Kamina Ayato into an alternate dimension-like state. This is one episode borrowed from Eva, but the real problem is lack of setup. To believe in the altered state that is happening to the hero, we have to have a setup and a flow of events. Another example is the train sequence in the final episode. Again, this idea is ripped from Eva... but this scene makes no sense in regards to the rhythm of Rah's narrative and sticks out like a sore thumb.
I'm extremely sensitive to PRAT when it comes to art (long series especially). Series that flow logically have more impact and make it easier to get involved. Rah's lack of good PRaT shows a hackjob on the part of its creators who had many good "ideas", but weren't able to put them together in logical, rhythmic order.
Rah's second flaw is in its cast. Rah has a monstrous cast, but the problem is with the focus of the series. Rah was intent on bringing every character into the mix with a story and multiple, intertwining relationships. The problem with this is that characters who seem important early on disappear for episodes, and characters that seem unimportant early on dominate the later episodes. They really needed more episodes in order for this method to work. Without them, they should've just focused on a few. It's not that these stories are bad, but just rather shallow due to the lack of time spent developing them.
Rah's third flaw is in its characters. I thought most were poorly conceived. Eva, by comparison, went to great lengths developing characters with specific personalities. Eva's characters always acted and interacted in an honest manner regarding their personality. But Rah's characters often seem wooden. Ayato especially has as much flavor and personality as cardboard. I neither love or hate him. My apathy towards him is reflective of his apathy towards everything. I think the most interesting characters are under-developed. Quon is always intriguing, but she's never given a proper story. Megumi is a fun personality that fades into the background, only to emerge too late. In the end, I just didn't feel like I really knew any of the characters, and just didn't care what happened to them. This might just be a matter of personal taste, but I think Eva had superior characterization, even if their characters were often unlikable.
Rah's fourth flaw is how contrived much of its drama is. This goes back to PRAT and lack of development. Ep. 18/19 is a prime example; Ayato and Hiroko develop a relationship VERY quickly late in 18. The ending of 19, which should be the most poignant in the series, instead seems mawkish and sloppy due to the dearth of story development. A series for audiences with any kind of attention span can't just arbitrarily introduce characters and relationships, give them a "tragic ending" and expect intelligent viewers to fall for it.
Rah's fifth flaw is in its extra-contextual elements. Its "philosophy" is so trite as to be laughable. I especially got a chuckle out of Ayato's "I am me because I will remain me because I am myself" talk, which has been recycled to death. if Rah succeeds as a sci-fi narrative, it fails miserably as a work with something to say. I can't help but think these aspects were thrown in for pretentious reasons solely because Eva had them.
Rah's final flaw is in its "big picture". Rah has some great parts and ideas but as a "complete work" it comes up short. Great albums are those where each song serves a larger purpose in the structure and context of the album. Series are the same with episodes. Episodes exist both singularly, but also as one piece to a bigger puzzle. In Rah's case, many pieces just don't fit. And while they may work as stand-alones, they don't enhance the overall work, and this again goes back to poor PRAT.
With all the negatives I had to say about Rah, I still think it works well as an interesting piece of science fiction. Here are what I consider its greatest strengths:
Rah's style is a rich tapestry influenced by a variety of art (music, literature, visual arts, mythology and culture). These aspects are integrated seamlessly into the narrative, making it unique and captivating stylistically. Visually, it's gorgeous with very fluid animation. The character and mech designs are phenomenal, with great color usage that's thematically relevant. The visuals evoke a type of mesmeric painting, while the music evokes a sense of enchanting mystery and nostalgia. The series bases much of its story on time and music, so this was a crucial aspect, and it works. Literature, religion, myths, and cultures are also used to shape Rah's style. The RahXephon page on Wikipedia discusses many of its influences in terms of art and culture. It's really fascinating, and perhaps the most alluring reason to watch Rah.
I think Rah actually succeeds extremely well as a pure sci-fi narrative. Many of the ideas it uses were interesting until the end. The series gets more compelling in the later episodes. From ep. 19 on it's hard not to get engrossed in the story, wondering how it's going to end. The final episodes are a whirlwind of revelations and one big twist after another. It's enough to leave any viewer's head spinning. Rah's narrative is fairly complex and worth dissecting for those who aren't satisfied with the surface aspects. The character relationships, while a bit shallow, are also fun to follow, to see how they conclude.
The finale is extraordinary in its artistic vision. If I hadn't seen End of Evangelion before seeing Rah, then it would certainly fall under the mind-blowing category. They have a bit of a "been there, done that" feeling, but it's extremely well executed and visually stunning. While Rah will probably leave you with some questions, it resolves most of its main narrative in a fairly complete and conclusive manner.
The voice acting is also exceptional. In rare anime fashion, the dub is almost equal to the sub. Though I still give the edge to the sub (some GREAT performances from its cast), the dub is adequate for those who despise subtitles.
As one critic stated, "Rah is like Eva lite: Tastes good but less filling." For me, Rah is a good but very flawed series. It's a bit pretentious and fails intellectually, but succeeds with its imaginative sci-fi narrative and rich, vibrant visual style. It has enough depth to give the viewer something to contemplate, but isn't nearly as demanding of its audience as Eva. While I still consider Eva a vastly superior artistic work, Rah is a good alternative for those who find Eva too complex, depressing and demanding. This is perhaps why most either love Rah and hate Eva or vice versa. One works more as fun, light entertainment (Rah), while the other works better as a mature, complex work of art (Eva). For casual audiences, Rah would likely be preferred. For those (like myself) who enjoy a challenge, Eva is a deeper, more rewarding work.
I do feel that both works deserve a lot of merit for what they accomplished. Despite their similarities, the essence of both in what they (tried to) achieve are quite different. I've yet to experience a visual work as endlessly fascinating as Eva. But for those who didn't latch onto it emotionally or intellectually, Rah might be just what you're looking for."
An excellent anime series
eau | USA | 05/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This complete collection contains the same discs from the current, individual volumes but now at a fraction of the cost. The discs come in thinpaks housed in a chipboard artbox. The only things that are missing are the booklets from the individual volumes. Note that while this is called a complete collection, it does not include the movie DVD."
Truly a great series!
A. Schneider | 12/23/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Often enough this series is compared to NGE (Neon Genesis) and is blamed for following in its footsteps. In all honesty I find RahXephon extremely creative, thought provoking and well done. In its own right RahXephon stands out as possibly one of the very best "mecha" series to date, in a class and category all to itself!
As a fan of thought provoking animes (preferring seriousness over humor and calm introspective moments for the characters over highly complicated battle sequences), I was deeply disappointed with NGE and many movies in the Gundam line... was it impossible to fuse high-technology robots with an intellectual storyline? Was it impossible to bring great voice acting, great animation and design together in one series?
At first I thought I was asking a lot ... that was until I caught RahXephon on G4TV.
RahXephon's art alone is superb. The series is drawn and animated quite beautifully, almost everything on the screen is highly detailed and appropriately colored. The series comes across as extremely stunning in comparison with other mecha-type shows. In other shows the artists sacrifice detail in order to bring you quick action sequences - RahXephon doesn't focus too much on the action sequences and instead brings you stunning visuals you're sure to remember.
RahXephon features a creative storyline: a world in which music plays a key role in human events. Music literally shapes the world as a whole and when two races collide (Humans and Mulians); music might just be the world's only salvation. Through themes which were heavily researched (as apparent in the Italian musical notation names of the Dolem - enemy Mu fighting units - and through the use of clever poetry to foreshadow events to come), RahXephon's storyline is one of the most engaging storylines in a mecha-type show I've seen.
RahXephon is a story about uncertainty, taking risks, and exploring the nature of reality. And yet for all the major themes present, through the use of downright loveable characters (who are aesthetically pleasing as well as interesting), we see a world "suffused with sound" in all of its magnificence.
An anime great. I recommend this series to anyone with any interest in mecha combat mixed with a heavy story! Those with a good grasp on what makes a quality Japanese animation are bound to enjoy RahXephon!"