It’s amazing to think that even in the early days of Bones, they already managed to gather a ridiculous amount of talent. I mean, they immediately showed how good they are with animating down to earth fight scenes with Angelic Layer, they got to do the Escaflowne movie, which had some fantastic animation, and not to mention Cowboy Bebop’s movie (of which I’ve heard many good movies). Then they came with RahXephon and really cemented themselves as a unique production company.
First and foremost, RahXephon is an example of the heights that anime can attain when they make full use of of their creative liberties. For something that aired nine years ago, it just has absolutely fantastic ideas within its graphics. The mecha design is exquisite, and unlike any other series I’ve seen. The use of CG is brilliant, especially for its time. The cleanup animation may leave a lot to be desired, but this show more than makes up for it with its gorgeous artwork and animation. The scenes in this series are also really well directed: this show is full of ideas, from the small details to large plot twist.
Now, as for the story itself though, you’re definitely going to like a bit of a mind-screw once in a while if you want to be able to enjoy this series. In particular, this is in no way a series that tries to explain everything that’s going on through it’s airtime: it leaves a lot unmentioned, and it especially refrains from mentioning exactly why everything is happening in this series. Instead, it just leaves this up to the viewers to make their own interpretations. I personally really like these kinds of series, but if you don’t then prepare to go “wtf” quite a few times throughout the series’ airtime because even for my standards this show ended up leaving a bunch of crucial unanswered questions behind.
Now, one thing that annoyed me a bit is that the cast of characters in this series is a bit of a mixed bag. It can be very good, and the acting is mostly rock solid, and the backgrounds of the characters are overall pretty interesting, but at the same time this show also spends quite a bit of its time on teenaged angst, unfortunately to the point where it takes up too much of the storyline and just goes on for too long. Characters refuse to talk to each other for strange reasons, and various romantic relationships take ages to get from A to B due to superficial padding.
Overall though, while this isn’t a show to watch for its cast, it still has a lot to like here, and I’m impressed what the people from Bones pulled off here. And to be honest, I had a really difficult time deciding whether to give it a rating of 85 or of 87,5, because even nine years after it aired it still is unique. Unfortunately, I do have to admit that it had some parts that were annoying. Nevertheless, it did have got the kind of mindset that I really like, where it put more focus on being interesting than on being flawless.
|Storytelling:||9/10 – A lot of subtle details in the storytelling, the pacing is slow, the story is vague on purpose and yet packs some great and interesting scenarios.|
|Characters:||8/10 – Too much teenaged angst and characters who make strange actions, but the rest of the cast is solid enough to make up for it.|
|Production-Values:||9/10 – Unique graphics for a TV-series. Brilliant use of CG, especially for its time.|
|Setting:||8/10 – Inspired by Evangelion, but packs more than enough great ideas and details of its own. Could have been more solid, though.|