Fly Me to the Music
- Episodes : 26
- Genre : Action, Mecha, Drama, Romance
- Airing Date : January 2002 - September 2002
- Producers : Bones
RahXephon / Plot (No Spoilers)
There are a number of mecha anime that have tried to tackle the psychological angle that Neon Genesis Evangelion so strikingly brought to the genre in 1995. It makes sense, as the mental burden must be immense for these pilots. They are often forced into combat from a young age and asked to take control of weapons of mass destruction. We can’t say that’s a very successful mix for one’s sanity. However, even among these archetypes, RahXephon stands out, and in some ways even surpasses even NGE.
Kamina Ayato was a typical Japanese boy beset by many mundane concerns, like the whereabouts of his classmate whom he had a crush on, Reika Mishima. However, after Japan is attacked, he encounters Haruka, an agent of an organization known as TERRA who shockingly reveals that his entire life has been a lie. He and the other citizens of Tokyo have been trapped by an alien race called the Mu in a forcefield that has slowed time to a crawl. On their escape from this prison, Ayato comes into contact with the robot RahXephon and uses it to escape and combat the Mu. Now Ayato must choose whether to aid humanity by using RahXephon or try to reclaim the only normal life he’s ever known.
An Extensive Parallel Dimensional Plotline
RahXephon is incredibly ambitions with its scope, characters, lore, and setting. We watched this anime fully through, and even after doing so, many of its subtleties and revelations were lost on us. It was only after reading a deep analysis of users across the net that the fullness of its plot dawned on us. While it's very easy to get lost in RahXephon’s story, it’s an emotional ride that can be enjoyed even with a cursory understanding of its depth.
Less of a Mech, More of a God
RahXephon’s origins are rather obscure throughout the majority of the show, and even less its link and symbiotic relationship with Ayato. It possesses more destructive power than either the human and Mu forces combined, and its loss has made the Mu incredibly desperate. Throughout the series, it shows Ayato visions of his first love, Mishima Reika, and seemingly taunts and haunts him to continue becoming one with it through each enthralling battle. It’s a dynamic that isn’t usually explored well in many mecha anime, the bond between a giant robot and a human.
A Fantastic Musical Score
Hashimoto Ichiko, who voices Ayato’s mother, is also a successful jazz composer. She sings the outro to the series and it’s a hauntingly beautiful song that captures the theme and feel of the series. Classical music is at the very core of the series and it has some resonance with RahXephon itself. At the most emotional segments of the series, it showcases its best music, and it really delivers a powerful effect.
Action Loses Nothing to Drama
One of the most effective scenes of the series comes in a fight scene between RahXephon and a Mu dollem that we’ve seen countless times before. However, at this point, the origins of the dollems is made clear and it delivers an emotional impact that many in the audience, ourselves included, were not ready for. Even now, this is an incredibly emotional scene to watch play out, so much so that we could recommend the entire series for that one scene alone.
While many will still be under the impression that RahXephon was just the next anime to try and succeed where Neon Genesis Evangelion failed, it stands on its own legs as a fantastic psychological mecha anime. Although convoluted at times and requiring much work to piece every mystery together, it still works incredibly well at its core, and even manages to make its ending as meaningful as possible. We enjoyed it for what it was, so hopefully this Anime Rewind has made you a fan as well.
Have you watched RahXephon? If so what were your thoughts on the series? Let us know in the comments!