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RahXephon - Threshold (Vol. 1)
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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.
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.Read more ›
A lot of reviewers tend to compare Rahxephon to Evangelion, but I don't really think it's all that great of a comparison. Rahxephon is a much better series in my opinion. The characters have much more depth and have more reasonable motivations for their actions and are considerably more believable while the angst is less severe and more reasonable when it is present. The allusions and references are much more literary, like the aliens being called the Mu after Churchward's lost continent of Mu which I believe is often referenced in H.P. Lovecraft, and several rather apt references to various works of Japanese literature. Also the series has an awesome ending which while really weird and somewhat nonsensical at first eventually revealed a wealth of wonderful irony and assorted goodness after I thought about it for a moment. All of which leads to a wonderful series that I greatly enjoyed.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This series kept you guessing, always hinting but never coming out and saying what was really going on. But great imagery and characters.Published 14 hours ago by Amazon Customer
I thoroughly Enjoyed this Anime, I also watched Evangelion back in the day. Even though it shares similar concepts. I feel this had it own well developed story line. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Amazon Customer
Similar to evangelion. Futuristic battles with fighters and tanks against Uber powerful creature/robot suits.Published 18 days ago by darwinist
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