Film Friday- RahXephon

RahXephon is an anime series about 17-year-old Ayato Kamina, his ability to control a mecha known as the RahXephon, and his inner journey to find a place in the world. His life as a student and artist in Tokyo is suddenly interrupted by a mysterious stalker, strange planes invading the city and strange machines fighting back.

The original 26-episode anime television series was directed by Yutaka Izubuchi. It was created by Izubuchi and Bones studio and it aired on Fuji TV from January to September 2002. It was produced by Fuji TV, Bones, Media Factory and Victor Entertainment. The series received critical acclaim and was subsequently translated, released on the DVD and aired in several other countries, including the United States. A 2003 movie adaptation RahXephon: Pluralitas Concentio was directed by Tomoki Kyoda, with plot changes and new scenes. The series also spun into novels, an extra OVA episode, an audio drama, a video game, illustration books and an altered manga adaptation by Takeaki Momose.

The central elements of RahXephon‘s plot are music, time, archetypal mystery, intrigue and romance. The series shows influences from philosophy, Japanese folklore and Western literature, such as the work of James Churchward. The cultural background of the series is dominated by Mesoamerican and other Pre-Columbian civilizations. Director Izubuchi said RahXephon was his attempt to set a new standard for mecha anime, as well as to bring back aspects of 1970s mecha shows like Brave Raideen.

Movie

A television movie version of RahXephon called Pluralitas Concentio was directed by Tomoki Kyoda, who had directed three episodes of the TV series and acted as assistant director with Soichi Masui. Izubuchi acted as Chief Director on this movie, but was not heavily involved in its production. Most of the staff members involved with the TV series worked on the movie, and it was distributed by Shochiku. The producers were Masahiko Minami, Shiro Sasaki, Maki Horiuchi, Kenji Shimizu, and Tatsuji Yamazaki.

The movie quickly reveals mysteries that were developed slowly in the TV series and makes changes to the plot. It begins with a prologue showing previously unseen events, followed by a couple of expository scenes. The final 30 minutes contain the most plot changes and new scenes, ending with a new epilogue. The rest of the movie consists mainly of abridged scenes from the original series, sometimes with characters replaced or with different motivations and dialogue. The link between the Kamina and Mishima families and other storylines that were prominent in the original TV series were reduced or removed. One prominent distributor promoted the movie as an “encore” — an extra performance at the end of the series, rather than as a replacement.

Music is very important in this series, as in all the episodes and the attacks are named after different musical movements. So the opening and ending themes are just amazing. Here they are for your listening pleasure!

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Manga Monday- RahXephon

The manga was illustrated and written by Takeaki Momose. Momose was one of the candidates for character designer on the series, but Izubuchi wanted Akihiro Yamada to do the original designs, and Hiroki Kanno got the job of adapting them for animation. With the manga Momose got the opportunity to re-design the characters into his own style and make changes in characterization and story, as well as adding “fan service”.

The scenario of the manga adaptation is similar to RahXephon series with some minor and major differences. In the anime series, Reika is a mysterious and distant figure; in the manga Reika is a more comical figure who grew up as Ayato’s adoptive sister with a darker origin. The anime series shows Megumi competing with Haruka for Ayato’s affections, while this role is taken by Reika in the manga. The rate of time dilation is also different in the manga version, as the year outside Tokyo is 2033 instead of 2027.

The manga release started before the anime broadcast, so that the ending in one medium would not trail too far behind the other. The first chapter, or “mission”, appeared in the magazine Monthly Sunday Gene-X in the October 2001 issu (released 19 September 2001); the final chapter was released two months after the airing of the last anime episode, in the December 2002 issue (released 19 November 2002).

The chapters were subsequently released in three compilation volumes which were translated and published internationally. These volumes contain the following chapters and extras. In addition, each publisher may have added certain notes and advertisements in the front and back of the volumes.