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RahXephon - Vol 1 [2003] [DVD]
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 14 January 2004
RahXephon is a science fiction anime which seemed (in my opinion) to be a cross between Neon Genesis Evangelion, Detonator Orgun and the Matrix. It's about a teenage boy called Ayato who lives inside a city in a dome called Tokyo Jupiter. The people there believe that the rest of the world has been destroyed and that they are all that is left but in reality their city has been taken over by the evil Mu and isolated from the rest of the world. After part of the city is bombed, Ayato wanders through the rubble and finds a mysterious girl from his class. Uncertain of what is going on, Ayato follows her and finds himself in a huge underground temple called the 'Room of Ra'. Here he witnesses a huge mecha called the RahXephon hatch from an egg and bonds with it. This makes him valuable to TERRA, the anti-Mulean resistance group as they see the RahXephon as being an easy way for them to destroy the Mu's own mechas (the Dolems). The only problem is Ayato's reluctance to join him as he is forced to leave his friends and his mother, whom he knows is a Mulean...
The animation and soundtrack of RahXephon is absolutely stunning, as are many of the voice actors in the American dub. As I have already said, the plot seems to be a cross between many other stories but all of the characters are very deep and so I expect they will develop very well through out the series. It also manages, like animes such as Trigun, Outlaw Star and Generator Gawl, to be serious and have some humour at the same time and so it lightens the mood and so prevents it from being overly dark and depressing. I love this anime and will certainly watch it more. I would reccomend it to everyone ^0^
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 17 April 2006
My first anime was Evangelion. Ouch, heavy you might say and it certainly was. Having a love/hate relationship with that series (love the start, hate the ending, both of them) I moved onto something that would give me the same challenge as the prior mentioned series. RahXephon was the obvious choice. This DVD is the beginning of what I can say is by far the best series (for me anyway) I have ever seen. It is the only series I have watched the whole way through and not regretted it ending. You couldn't ask any more of it.

At worst, on the NGE comparison, is that you can say it is seizing of myriad aspects of various series (especially NGE) and making something better out. At worst it is NGE done right but I feel it is better than that. To be honest it deserves more than five stars. The series is complex (as you'll see from this DVD) but plotholes are non-existent and all important strands are tied neatly into place (unlike NGE) at the end in a sublime final episode. The characters are wonderful and quite human (or not when it is demanded of them) and the animation is next to (or often surpassing) movie quality. To put it simply. Watch this anime. No scratch that. Buy this anime and watch it many, many times (or have a very understanding friend who won't mind never seeing his DVDs again).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 26 April 2004
RahXephon is a series that has been compared (quite unfairly) to the 1995anime masterpiece Neon Genesis Evangelion, and I suppose there is somereason for this. Both series have the premise of slightly angst-riddenteenage boy battles invading alien monsters in a hugely powerful giantrobot, but there the comparisons end. Ayato is a much more well-adjustedand likeable lead than Shinji, and whilst Haruka starts off as somethingof a Misato clone, she becomes very different as the seriesprogresses.
RahXephon is just as complex and some might say confusingas Evangelion, but with greater emotional intensity, a higher "concept"behind the show and different themes being tackled, including racism andindividuality, RahXephon helps stand nicely on its own. It's a toughseries to describe though, and this set of episodes are so full ofincident, story and character it's impossible to condense it in to asimple couple of sentences.
Ayato Kamina is a normal seventeen year-old who is flung out of his normallife in Tokyo after a train crash, where he meets the mysterious ReikaMishima and gutsy intelligence agent Haruka Shitow. From this point, Ayatolearns that Tokyo has been taken over by the alien race known as the Muand that the entire city is in a time warp, putting it some 12 years inthe past. When he and Reika discover an enormous robot in a temple,RahXephon truly begins.
With five episodes on this disc, we are fully introduced to the charactersand the world itself - indeed, these are wonderful episodes in themselves,kicking off the series in spectacular fashion. The first three episodesact as a trilogy, nicely setting up the world of Tokyo Jupiter which willbecome very important in later episodes, whilst episodes four and fiveproperly introduce us to the defensive organisation TERRA, for which Ayatoand the RahXephon are enlisted.
The animation is absolutely stunning, the music gorgeous and the voiceacting intense and believable. Each disc comes with a lovely booklet thatgives us helpful (if rather spoilery) character information. The only flawI can find is the slight lag on the subtitles for episode two, but it'snothing major and shouldn't detract from the episode that much. Highlyrecommended.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 27 October 2004
There isn't alot I can write here that hasn't already been said before. The comparison with Evangelion is obvious as it is so heavily influenced by it. Mobile Suit Gundam changed traditional 'Super Robot' anime of the 70's into the serious, darker and more complex Mecha anime usually produced today. Evangelion took that concept another step forward and it's influence was as far reaching as Gundam's was, spawning many 26 episode Mecha TV series such as Blue Gender and Argento Soma, even the godfather of Mecha anime Yoshiyuki Tomino jumped on the bandwagon with the (in my opinion) sublime Brain Powered. One of these shows was RahXephon.
But for all the similarities RahXephon is so much more than Evangelion. Rahxephon is every bit as complex but the plot development is better paced and more thorough, so while there are plenty of twists and subplots, it has a proper ending and can be followed with some thought. Evangelion leaves too many things unanswered, even with the revised ending, ultimately reducing the overall enjoyment of the series. Sequences in Rahxephon, such the majority of episode 11 are explained, so you can see the relevance and how it adds to the overall story, this is something that the ambitious Gasaraki suffers from as well, as much as I adore that series.
Character development takes another step forward. The balance between action and character sequences is perfect allowing each character to develop fully, making you understand them and wanting to know more about their personality and history.
The animation is absolutely amazing and the whole series just looks incredible. Character, vehicle and location design is first class and you will never tire of the visuals.
The first volume surprisingly for ADV contains 5 episodes (although the latter volumes contain the usual ADV stitch up of 3 episodes per disc). These episodes hook you into the story incredibly well and build a superb foundation of the world of RahXephon on which to build the rest of the series.
In my opinion....MUCH better than Evangelion, everything is superior about it. Once you start watching it you will want to go out and buy the entire series as it is that good.
For any Mecha anime fan an essential purchase.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
RAHXEPHON is an twenty-six episode anime mecha series, which ran on Japanese television from January to September of 2002. It was produced by Studio BONES, who would go on to produce more landmarks of anime TV - WOLF'S RAIN (2003-2004), FULL METAL ACHLEMIST (2003-2004) and EUREKA SEVEN (2005-2006), the latter which I'm planning to watch next.

The series focuses on seventeen-year old Ayato Kamina, who lives in Tokyo, which is believed to be the only remaining place for humans. The rest of the world has been attacked by the Mulians. One day, Ayato meets the beautiful Reika Mishima, who guides him to the RahXephon, a giant huamnoid robot which Ayato soon has the power to control.

Then, Ayato meets Haruka Shitow, who reveals that everything he has been told is a lie - there are more people on the planet, the year is 2027 rather than 2015 and Tokyo is under the control of the Mulians. Haruka takes Ayato and the RahXephon to TERRA, an Earth Federation organisation fighting the Mulians.

Along with Mishima and another girl, Quon - who often speaks in riddles - an epic jounrey begins for Ayato.

Five years since it's debut, RAHXEPHON has been wrongly accused for being a rip-off of the controversial NEON GENESIS EVANGELION (1995-1996). But it's just wrong to compare the two programmes. RAHXEPHON isn't as deep nor philosophical as EVANGELION. Plus, it doesn't get depressing as the show continues.

Despite that, RAHXEPHON is an excellent anime. The animation is beautiful, the story smoothly-paced and epic, while the characters are interesting. The set-pieces are so superb. My favourite episodes are 'City Of Two' (3), 'Nirai-Kanai' (5), 'Bitterly Cold Holy Night' (8), 'Kyoja Circuit' (11), The Children's Night (15), and from 'Return To The Labyrinth' (17) onwards.

My favourite scenes from this series is the heart-wrenching climax of 'Blue Friend' (19) and one scene with Ayato and Haruka in 'Twin Music' (24), although I won't go into detail. The ending of the series brought a smile to my face. Do watch the Japanese language edition, because the English dubbing is rather poor.

Don't listen to those who are saying this is an EVANGELION clone. It isn't. It truly is one of the best animes around. Buy it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 31 January 2004
I picked up RahXephon Vol 1 purely as an impulse purchase, and was very impressed.
Both the animation and dub are very good, and the plot is interesting, with likable characters. I expected it to be a clone of NGE, but while the two have simalarities, they are different beasts. You get 5 episodes on the first disc, although I believe you get less on the later discs, so if you get hooked, be ready to spend on the other volumes.
You find yourself just desperate to watch the next episode and find out what happens... none of which I'll spoil here. However, if you liked the idea of the Matrix, and you like Anime, this may be just the thing for you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 30 March 2008
I went into this series thinking 'Something as well rated as EVA must be superb, right...', needless to say I was somewhat disappointed.

I shall say this now, this is not as big a rip off of EVA as I feared it would be, sure the pilot of a mecha is a young Japanese boy with no real knowledge of the outside world, but it doesn't play out like that at all. The big issue here is the characters though, while there's no doubt in saying that the animation and dub are genuinely superb (rare for the latter), the characters are unconvincing and lack true emotion. I won't spil the story but Ayato lacks any real emotion in some of the key important scenes early on, especially as some of the early revelations are bigger than that of EVA. Regardless the 1st volume plodded on at a slow and somewhat tedious pace, more characters were introduced that failed to engage me at all, and the inevitable light hearted and somewhat comedic sections were poor as well.

Needless to say Vol 1 did not leave me salivating for more, and I don't feel a desperate desire to run out and buy the next volume. While it's certainly well drawn with a decent opening and closing sequence and a superb dub, it is a case of style over substance that ultimately failed to deliver what others say it has.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 June 2006
I think that the mecha aspects of this series - though possibly the initial attraction for some - are much less important than the complex backstory and the human relationships. This is a brilliant series, well animated, beautifully scored, and which definitely benefits from repeated viewings. After finishing the series for the first time, I had only a vague idea what was going on - but the full emotiobal impact of the story was only brought home to me in the last scene of the last episode, a brilliantly understated scene that put everything into context. Seeing the whole series again, I realised how much I'd missed, and how much more I could have picked up if I hadn't underestimated it as just another mecha story.

Unlike some reviewers below, however, I found the English dub appalling - though no worse than most anime (Full Metal Alchemist is the only anime where I'd choose to watch it in English). Someone said they thought the Japanese voices in Rahxephon lacked emotion - I think they're just being more subtle about it than the shrill hysterics the American voice cast seem to go in for. So I'd recommend the subtitles.
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on 21 August 2013
Coming into RahXephon I didn't really know what to expect. I was recommended it as a substitute for the Evangelion franchise, due to the similarities the series' share, so I was hesitant to form an initial view, due to the fact that I'm not the biggest fan of Eva. However, upon watching the first volume of RahXephon I was pleasantly surprised. Gone was the whiney and annoying protagonist, to be replaced with a realistic and generally likeable main character (add in the voice of Chris Patton and he checks all boxes); gone were the random splurges of information shoved into your face; gone was the fluctuating quality of the animation.

RahXephon was a pleasure to watch from an animation and musical perspective, with a clear and defined style; not to mention a plot that draws on symbolism from music. In terms of voice acting, it also ticks all of the boxes, with great acting the whole way through. The plot is engaging if focus is given to it and I, personally, loved it. So much so I have bought every subsequent volume.

Now onto why I believe this is very much not an anime for everybody. The beginning two episodes are laced with so much mystery that it may put off casual watchers. By no means is this on the level of a show like Paranoia Agent or Baccano, but it does require quite a bit of attention in order to actually get into it. A lot more is explained following the third episode, however, there are still some things you are left in the dark about that are revealed later on. Another problem people may have is that, at times, it can move a bit slow. Some people, like myself, will appreciate the quiet moments and enjoy the effect it has on the atmosphere of the series. People into more fast-paced shows, however, will not find this to be their cup of tea.

I would recommend this series to viewers who both enjoyed Evangelion, and who liked the concept, but overall found it to be a bit of a let down. Lovers of music in anime will also enjoy this; as will avid fans of Chris Patton (I feel this is one of his best performances; just behind Fullmetal Panic and Guyver).
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on 6 November 2003
This is an excellent beginning to the series, and is quite a good value perchase for an anime DVD, containing 5 episodes, which should be enough to decide wether you want to keep collecting this series.
The animation in this title is excellent, and the storyline is exciting and engaging. The English dubbing is very good, and I would say it actually surpasses the Japanesse for once, as the Japanesse voice actors seem to put less emotion into their characters than the English-language ones. Unlike some anime DVDs, the English dub is very similar to the text in the subtitles, only those who are hard of hearing and those wishing to watch the Japanesse will really need them. As mentioned below, the subtitles are delayed by a second or two in episode 2 which is a slight inconvience, but one which isn't that bad.
The music in the title is excellent, but takes a little time to grow on you. I personally think this is partly becuase the music seems out of place in episode 1 because the situation isn't really similar to anything else in the series.
I loved this title and would recommend it to anyone who likes anime. I will definatly be buying the second volume. There aren't many extras, but the characters are interesting, the plot exciting and the design of the creature/robots is very interesting.
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