Posted on 5 February 2009 with categories: Bonen no Xamdou



Short Synopsis: Bonen no Xamdou’s finale.
Episode Rating: 7/10 (Enjoyable)
Well, there we have it. This unique series is finished at last, even though the finish comes way too soon. Still, this episode did a good job of providing closure to the different characters, so while not a great ending, it wasn’t a bad or rushed either.

But let me first focus on the one big disappointment of this episode: Akiyuki. What the heck was up with him? His character had so much potential in this series, and yet his death felt so… insignificant. It’s the main character everyone should be caring about, and yet when he died, I was more interested in Yango. But that would have been excused if not for the incredibly blatant deus ex machina that the creators pulled at the episode. I really expected better from this series…

Okay, now the good stuff. The characters I really liked in this episode was the Zanbani crew minus Benikawa and Yango. Not haru, or any of the other main characters, only they were the ones who received good closure in this series. I think that that’s the result of the very strong first half of this series, and all of the attention it focused on fleshing out their characters, and with that I suddenly realize how little we came to know about the rest of the cast.

I’m not really sure what kind of rating I’m going to give this show at this point. At one side, this show had some really good points and parts, but on the other hand it would have been so much better if it were longer. I’m not sure who found it a good idea to only give this series a scope of 26 episodes, because that sole decision caused this series to simply become a great series, instead of the incredible, genre-breaking one that it could have been. I remember how Eureka 7 also had some pacing issues, but at least that one had enough time to fully flesh out its characters for its amazing finale, while in comparison I’m going to remember Bonen no Xamdou’s final quarter, despite its godly animation, as the weakest part of this series.

14 Responses

  1. Envision says:

    I totally agree with you on this part, I found the beginning of this episode very confusing, which was the confrontation of the Hiruken Emperor and Akiyuki in person, this also came to a closure way too fast and was quite unclear, what is your opinion on this?

  2. Denizen says:

    I did find it a very satisfying ending. All I ask from an ending is an aftermath and a view into how the characters will continue, or have continued.

    As for the series..it had flaws. However, despite these, it did not stop the anime from being one of my favourites – in fact I find that most of my favourites shows have big flaws to go along with them. It’s extremely unfair to rate a series on what it could have been or what people expected it to be, rather than what it is.

    It was a satisfying ending, and whilst Xam’d could have been done in a variety of different ways, the way it did turn out was still a superb production.

  3. psgels says:

    I think that that’s indeed why Akiyuki’s death lacked so much impact. I still don’t know what the heck he did in order to kill/destroy the Hiruken emperor. It was just over too fast.

  4. Cos says:

    The end didn’t seem so hard to understand, Akyuki gave is identity to the Hiruken emperor who ceased being himself. Thus Akyuki forgot himself and turned to stone.
    The only question is if the final Akyuki is wheter the original one who being in stone remembered himself or the hiruken emperor who became Akyuki.

  5. Irie says:

    I agree completely with what everyone is saying about this series. It was rather difficult to follow early on simply because of all the subplots. It’s very difficult to pull off such an epic story, with so many facets within 26 episodes. It probably could have been stretched to 28 since the ending was disappointing.

    Here is my take on what happened to Akyuki. They did exchange personalities. I believe it was intended to rid the emperor of his emotional pain. I don’t think Akyuki lost his own personality but was hidden away again.

    Towards the end, while on the ship, the captain said, lets go pickup that rock. I suspect she mean’t Akuki in his turned form. All I can guess is he regained his identity and was returned to the island.

    I really hate having to guess on what the writers intended for this ending. It really ruined what had been a terrific series of ending episodes. I only wish they would consider an OVA to fill-in those lost moments or clarify things a bit

  6. omo says:

    LOL, the final Akiyuki is himself. It’s subtle, but the whole point to the 2nd half of the ep is that it took Haru nine years to help him remember everything up to a certain point.

    And LOL @ dying. I think saying that is totally missing the point to this episode.

    I think even if potentially this show could’ve been so much more, ranking it this low is totally unfair. It’s still one of the best in recent years. But of course, it’s not going to be a perfect fit with people mostly concerned with coherent character-driven plots, even if it’s still quite good on that regard.

  7. BSM says:

    Reading your episode synopsis, I think you totally missed the point of the episode. I was kind of in the same boat at first, and decided to re-watch, which really opened my eyes up. I suggest re-watching at least the last episode to everyone who was dissapointed or confused with the ending, as the ending was so much more then just “that”.

    I’m kind of interested in what rating you’d give something such as Neon Genesis’ ending actually, since it was portrayed in a similar fashion. Both leave the viewer to think for himself, and from that come up with his own conclusions. The ending of NGE was probably one of the most complex I’ve wrapped my mind aruond, seeping into great psychological depths. While Bounen only scratched these depths, it still left a big scar. Give the ending more thought is all I can say. NGE’s ending wasn’t particularily well-seen either at first.

    @Irie, I agree with pretty much all of what you said. @Others, did you ever stop to think of why they chose to fast-forward into the future nine years? Why not two? Why not four? etc.

    If you want a proper episode synopsis to this wonderful ending, I suggest you check this out, and also the comments: http://www.omonomono.com/2009/02/04/xamd-episode-26-between-a-rock-and-a-hard-place/

  8. BSM says:

    When I said @Irie, I meant @omo

    haha, w/e :)

  9. irie says:

    You know, I have to apologize for my early critique. I looked at this last episode during a busy day. Finally got a chance to really sit and break things down.

    Anyway, after this closer view I felt a lot better about the ending. It did conclude all the major subplots and gave good closure to the character development. Yes, Akiyuki did survive after being turned to stone. Haru visited his turned body for some 8 years. After all those years, he regained his memories and you have a nice, complete reunion.

    Where I think this episode had some problems is the direction during the early flashback with the emperor. It was extremely confusing between Akiyuki’s childhood flashback and his sudden appearance from the sky. Since we also didn’t see the emperor again until the very end, it wasn’t clear who survived.

    This was an incredible good series with high production value. It was far too short for the scope of the story. Amazing they managed to pull everything together and give some closure. I could see this story retold in so many ways, exploring other aspects of this fictional world and relationships. I think the grading is good given how complex the story and may not be suitable for everyone. For me, it’s worth the purchase for future viewings.

  10. Lightning says:

    It’s the best of 2008! the graphics,story, characters, etc. It’s a really nice ending(so sad though) where the two children grew up and became raigyo and nakiami. I was surprised with Yango, he grew really fast and cool.. I want to see nakiami and yango scene more than akiyuki and haru, and the haru and akiyuki ending scene was kinda corny. I want to see nakiami more than haru, it’s like haru is a minor character, what she does was for akiyuki’s sake only, she’s so obsessed with akiyuki. Still, I want more episodes…..

  11. Ninee says:

    I am so glad I read the comments because for once, your synopsis did not match my understanding of the episode :)
    I loved this ending and also wish we could have more!

  12. panaghoy88 says:

    The only thing I can say now is why didn’t all the characters age? The young did grow physically and psychologically but the adults didn’t? Must be an anime thing. The more I think about it, it’s funny.
    And yes Akiyuki did survive after nine years of being a stone and the emperor was defeated by being given akiyuki’s name but not much is shown of what really happened to the emperor.

  13. PL says:

    BSM if you still read this, I watched this show a while back, and I’ve struggled to answer the question you ask, “Why 9 years?”… I also believe it is key to understanding the finale, but I can’t work it out, or find anyone with a solid answer. Even the link you provide, the guy says its the key, then doesn’t answer the question and deverts it to other parts of his/her interpretation (which were also quite insightful)…

  14. Sacchi says:

    Just finished the series. I agree that the whole deal with the emperor was indeed kinda lame, but still…this series was really awesome. Perhaps you wanted it to last longer, because you liked it so much?

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  • JaK
    (Friday, Aug 1. 2014 02:14 PM)
    http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2014-08-01/digimon-adventure-characters-returns-next-spring-in-high-school-sequel/.77195 omg i have soo many childhood memories of s1 it being one of the first anime i ever watched yesssss
  • JaK
    (Friday, Aug 1. 2014 12:37 PM)
    oh taiyou no ie won the kodansha best manga award for shoujo good going their its a really good manga totally deserves it
  • JaK
    (Friday, Aug 1. 2014 12:26 PM)
    not all of them though kino’s journey was a exception among exceptions
  • Emma
    (Friday, Aug 1. 2014 11:06 AM)
    What gets me though is when I for example were to say “what did you think of perfect blue?”
    And someone says “Never heard of that, do you watch guilty crown?”
  • Emma
    (Friday, Aug 1. 2014 11:02 AM)
    Many light novel adaptations feel like low end 12 year old targeted action films, they also feel like terrible fanfiction.
  • K-Off
    (Friday, Aug 1. 2014 10:58 AM)
    Of course, Im saying that the appeal-to-age ratio happens most, not all of the time.
  • K-Off
    (Friday, Aug 1. 2014 10:57 AM)
    My bad, if it reads like I’m rambling, because it’s two AM and I’m tired as fuck.
  • K-Off
    (Friday, Aug 1. 2014 10:54 AM)
    @Emma When we had Bebop, the target demographic for that was much younger. Fast forward a decade, and the new younger audience doesn’t find the humor of Space Dandy,or the premise of Zannkyou no Terror very interesting. So those shows only remain relevant thanks to the likes of us, who grew up with similar shows. Since the new generation is a majority, it’s only logical to assume that it’s the reason why TiR and SD would get the backstage.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Aug 1. 2014 10:43 AM)
    Mindfuck time, artist for koe no katchi did the art for at least one Mardock scramble manga.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Aug 1. 2014 10:37 AM)
    @K-off: My view of Zannkyou is still up in the air but I was thinking the exact same thing as you were earlier about shows getting overshadowed as I watched it.

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