Monday, February 9, 2009

Xam'd: Lost Memories review

Final Rating: B+

Plot Review: Although I initially thought the series wanted to portray a war between two sides, it was not the case. What we get in Xam'd is a story pumped full of Bildungsroman in which the main character, Akiyuki , a young hero whose tribulations and encounters with different people and places are well portrayed. Of course this needs a vehicle, and the Xam'd provided the trigger for the story to portray these.

I have to say that Akiyuki is a character I will never grow to like. He embodies the qualities of selflessness and devotion to a higher cause (the duties of the Xam'd), while at the same time neglecting to cherish the peaceful and happy life he left behind. Yeah, we got this selfless bastard who didn't even bother to come back home (episode 26 does NOT count). I don't know, but there's something in me that makes it unbearable to just disappear for 9 years without them (the people back home) knowing anything about your status, or if you're still alive or dead already. Let's just say that in his selflessness, he acted selfishly. How ironic. One could think about how many sleepless nights Fusa or even Haru must've endured all those years. It's horrible.

The story also is a subtle attack at human experimentation. Basically, the entire stuff about the humanforms being former people (Nakiami's reluctance to kill them reinforces this), the case of Midori and the effects of eating artifical Hiruko and the like is a veiled protest against the "immorality" of toying with lives for scientific purposes. However, the series never goes deeper in articulating why, as the producers apparently wanted to cover too much story in 26 episodes, so this is just my speculation.

Well, that's about it. What we got is a young man's journey made possible by strange creatures amidst a backdrop of "war". There's nothing deep nor profound about it, but some elements will grow on you.

Technical review:

I liked the animation. The characters moved fluidly and the palette was not too bland nor too colorful for its own good. Character designs are quite simple by today's standards and the Tessik's faces are an acquired taste. The entire idea of Humanforms were original, as well as the weapons they use.

The music was great. Both OP and ED were obviously made to cater to western ears. The series also introduced me to a band named Boom Boom Satellites, so I'll have to give them credit for it.

Final Remarks:

Watch once, condemn the hero and vow to not be like him. Akiyuki is what a hero should NOT be.

Additional note:

Marimite 06 will be next. Stay tuned.

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