boku wa boku no koto ga shiritai (I want to know more about myself)

RahXephon is an anime produced by Studio BONES (who worked on the Cowboy Bebop movie) which screened last year in Japan. The series comprised twenty-six episodes, starting on January 21, 2002 and playing until September 11, 2002.

The story starts out as typical mecha fare, it revolves around Kamina Ayato, a teenager who is asked to pilot a "giant robot" to defend the earth against 'alien' invaders. There are many similarities to earlier mecha work (particularly Evangelion, Gundam and Space Runaway Ideon before that), however RahXephon takes these tried and true stables of the anime mecha experience and moulds them into something spectacular.

The animation quality overall (apart from one particular episode which wasn't done in-house) is superb, with both the character and mecha designs being memorable. The action sequences however were formulaic and uninspired. The music was average throughout the series (which was disappointing for a show that places such emphasis on sound) however the opening theme, Hemisphere, which was sung by Maaya Sakamoto and composed by Yoko Kanno is one of the best anime opening themes ever in my opinion. The show encompasses a large ensemble cast of characters, and this leaves individual character development at a generally low level. Most of the characters are not explored in depth, and so it is hard to feel empathy for what they go through in the little screen time they get. This is the biggest flaw in the series in my opinion, because it spreads the story telling out too thinly, and doesn't delve deeply enough into what is important.

Overall though it is a fantastic series, one that ultimately resolves into a story about love. I highly recommend seeing this anime, as in my opinion it is the best mecha anime to come out of Japan for at least three years.

In other RahXephon news, a RahXephon Manga is currently being released, and that is currently up to the third book, while a movie is slated for release in the Japanese Summer of 2004.


Original Story and Series Director: Yutaka Izubuchi (Patlabor)
Character Design: Akihiro Yamada (The Record of Lodoss War)
Character Animation: Hiroki Kanno
Mechanical Design: Michiaki Sato and Yoshinori Sayama (Earth Girl Arjuna)
Design Works by: Shingo Takeba
Art Concept by: Kazutaka Miyatake
Animation Director: Hirotoshi Sano
Digital Works by: Mitsuo Iso
Sound Director: Yota Tsuruoka
Music by: Ichiko Hashimoto
Produced by: Studio Bones, RahXephon Production Committee and Fuji TV

Opening Theme
Title: Hemisphere
Singer: Maaya Sakamoto (Escaflowne)
Music: Yoko Kanno (Cowboy Bebop)

Character : Seiyuu
Kamina Ayato : Shimono Hiro
Mishima Reika : Sakamoto Maaya
Kisaragi Quon : Kuwashima Houko
Shitow Haruka : Hisakawa Aya
Shitow Megumi : Kawasumi Ayako
Kamina Maya : Hashimoto Ichiko
Asahina Hiroko : Kakazu Yumi
Torigai Mamoru : Nojima Hirofumi
Elvy Hadhiyat : Sugimoto Yuu
Kunugi Jin : Nakata Jouji
Kisaragi Itsuki : Miyamoto Mitsuru
Kim Hotaru : Orikasa Fumiko
Yagumo Souichi : Miyata Kouki
Isshiki Makoto : Seki Toshihiko
Kuki Masayoshi : Ootsuka Houchuu
Miwa Shinobu : Asakawa Yuu

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