RahXephon Vol. #3 (of 7) (Mania.com)

By:Paul Jacques
Review Date: Sunday, November 30, 2003
Release Date: Monday, December 15, 2003

What They Say
Just when Ayato thought he had finally learned the truth, the walls between the world of the Mu and our own "real" world begin to crumble once more. With the enigmatic Quon and Reika as guides, he must discover the truth of his own nature or be forever trapped inside a prison of his own dreams. Reality and fantasies intertwine in nightmarish rhythm, but the ultimate horror is yet to come as the fabric of time and space itself begins to unravel in the third volume of RahXephon!

The Review!
Only three measly episodes in this volume, but they’re all corkers!

5.1 English is certainly welcome in my room any day of the week, but to be honest they didn’t seem to make much use of the surround capabilities. The Japanese stereo track is good with no problems detected. I swapped between both tracks and got equal enjoyment from both languages. If you’ve got a 5.1 speaker system then by all means go with the English track for that extra sound depth.

The open theme song “Hemisphere” is a corker with a good toe tapping beat, but you don’t get to hear it until the start of episode 2. The closing song is called “Fledgling Dream” and is a nice and soothing ballad.

The incidental music is great, dramatic with plenty of urgency and discord in just the right places. In fact music and sound is very central to this series, so pay attention.

The presentation is a done in nice pastel colours, with a clear definition to the characters physical lines. All-in-all very nice to look at with no visual problems detected and a pleasure to view on the big or little screen.

The front box cover has Reika Mishima, Ayato Kamina and RahXephon looking out into somewhere. The rear of the box contains the anime premise, credits and three stills. The disc itself is printed with the same image as the box front cover.

The insert booklet is very good, it’s about 14 pages long and full of art work, character bios and interviews, so read and enjoy.

The menu is presented in a blue, whilst playing in the background is a short piece of strong incidental music (discord). We have the three episode links as well as Scene selection, Languages and Extras. All links worked and no dead ends were encountered.

You also get clean open\ close. A early RahXephon production promo, which although slow to start is quite interesting, and even better the background music is from Sheherazade. The Production sketches are good (as usual) and we get Hemisphere played again.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review will contain spoilers)
Episode 10 starts with the TERRA Defense Force working together as a team, and quickly dispatching Dolem Larghetto to a water grave. The we quickly slip into what might be termed as a quiet day in the office. During this period we Dr Itsuki discovering that Quon’s violin music helps create hybrid flowers. Primarily the focus is on Commander Kunugi, as he spends the day in quiet contemplation of the daughter he lost in the war.

Episode 11 starts very dramatically, with the RahXephon and Ayato being kidnapped by the Dolem Vivace. Things get worse when the Mu use a psychological weapon to mess with Ayato’s mind, making him think he is back inside Jupiter Tokyo, in a dream state in which he can do anything. Only what does a young man think about in a dream state? During this time Quon starts acting very distressed, and is rushed to hospital. Who can save Ayato from his own fantasy?

The final episode on this disc starts with Quon still in hospital. This situation doesn’t seem to stop Nanamori and Isshiki Makoto getting it on in the hospital observation room! Meanwhile the Bahbem Institute (Federation) has taken an interest in Quon’s well being, and wish to investigate her condition. It is obvious that they know more about her and her abilities than anyone else. But before they can examine her Quon goes walk-about and meets up with Reika. This meeting starts a reaction, with Quon calling a Dolem with an egg into being, this in turn leads to a confrontation between the new Dolem and RahXephon.

Overall this is a touching and insightful volume. We see aspects of peoples personalities that have until this point remained hidden. And yet we continue to get story advancement and some very useful plot history.

In summary- It just gets better and better.

Japanese Language 2.0,English Language 5.1,English Subtitles ,Printed booklet ,Production sketches ,Clean opening close animation,Early Production Promo

Review Equipment
JVC 28" Pure Flat Wide Screen TV, Pioneer 454 Progressive Scan code free DVD player, Logitech Z-680 THX DD/DTS receiver & Speakers. Secondary equipment, 21” Sony Trinitron monitor, ATI 9700pro & PowerDVD v4, Creative Audigy 2 & headphones.

Mania Grade: A
Audio Rating: A-
Video Rating: A
Packaging Rating: B+
Menus Rating: B+
Extras Rating: B+
Age Rating: 12 & Up
Region: 2 - Europe
Released By: ADV Films UK
MSRP: £19.99
Running time: 75
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: RahXephon