Bones’ latest series is one full of ambition. Aired on the PS3-network, Bonen no Xamdou tells the epic story of a war between two warring countries, centred around a bunch of different main characters and some of the most amazing production values. While not everything went well for this series, and it’s got quite some big flaws here and there, it gets so many points for trying.
What makes this series so awesome is how it prefers natural progression of story-lines above forced climaxes, especially in the first three quarters of the series. Instead of focusing on battle after battle, the creators let everything flow very smoothly, with especially care to flesh out the world that this series takes place in. Akiyuki, the lead character, while he’s a typical teenager at the beginning of the series soon grows into someone as far from your average lead character as you can get. While the story focuses on him, he hardly ever stands in the centre of attention, and instead various of the side characters get to play the hero-part.
This allows for a unique storyline with a fantastic attention to detail that’s the closest to the levels of Seirei no Moribito that I’ve seen so far. The characters also live in a very imaginative world that’s very interesting to explore, with lots of new concepts and ideas. Things like Hirukos, Humanforms and Xam’ds are nice takes on the usual superpowers and super-weapons that you usually see.
The problem, however, is that even though this series is an incredibly solid one, it’s also a series that bit off a bit more than it could chew. The 26 episodes are way too short in order to fully develop everything that’s in this show, and the results of this start showing up in the final quarter of this series. It features the one big climax after the other, but when you look at the big picture it just feels lacking and incomplete because the different settings and characters couldn’t be fully developed. As a result, characters pull random powers and plot twists out of nowhere and big deaths that would make lots of emotional impact with the right amount of development and foreshadowing simply feel like they could have been done better.
In terms of production values, however, this series is really as good as it can possibly get, especially for such a relatively long series. Because the series originally wasn’t aired on local TV, it didn’t have to spend a lot of money on the broadcasting rights, and all of this excess money was put into the series’ animation, with some absolutely gorgeous results. The animation is consistently through 26 episodes of top-notch HD quality, characters are very expressive and every single one of the many action scenes are simply godly animated.
So overall, there’s plenty of great stuff left in this series, but at the same time I’m also a bit bitter: if it had simply gotten more episodes, this really could have been a contender for the best series of the year, possibly the decade. It would have been truly outstanding in every aspect, while right now it’s simply a well written but incomplete series that has a rushed finale.