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Several U-Turns Ahead
on December 17, 2003
Not unexpectedly, the conclusion of this series is apocalyptic. After being forced to action after fleeing from the disasters of the previous episodes Ayato Kamino finds himself at a crossroads in his own quest for identity. He fears that, if he gives in to the call of the RahXephon, he will lose his own personality. But the war between the Mu and humanity reaches a fevered pitch around him. If he does not commit, the ruin of what he loves is inevitable. Torn between his love for Haruka and the lure of Quon, Ayato most make a great leap of faith, with results that are difficult to absorb.
Watching these episodes is like falling through one layer of deception after another. Like an onion, the viewer first sees the interpersonal deceptions, then the deceptions of Mu and human, and finally the deceptions created by director Yutaka Izubuchi. These components are so intertwined that it is impossible to determine whether Izubuchi was deadly serious or tongue-in-cheek. This creates an intentional air of unease which is hardly relieved when the entire plot is once again stood on its head on last, glorious time. After pointing out that RahXephon was quite a bit different than Evangelion, These final episodes unexpectedly reestablishe RahXephons relationship to its noble predecesspr, while retaining a great deal of independent creativity.
From all production viewpoints - art, animation, music, acting, etc. - these final moments are outstanding, frame after frame. I have to say that I'm happy to have decided to follow the series, even if I haven't quite figured out what to make of it. As in much of art, you have to decide what it is you want to believe, which may very well be the point being the conclusion. In any case I don't think you will be disappointed - stunned maybe - but not disappointed.