Rahxephon Vol. #2 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • 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: 95
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: RahXephon

Rahxephon Vol. #2

By Paul Jacques     October 31, 2003
Release Date: October 20, 2003


Rahxephon Vol. #2
© ADV Films UK


What They Say
As the Mu launch a succession of attacks against the free world, TERRA is forced to use their secret weapon, the RahXephon, despite the reluctance of its pilot. Lost in time and trapped in a world he thought had been destroyed, Ayato must confront both a new wave of Dolem and his suspicions that he is only a pawn in a much larger game. The mysterious advances of the girl known as Quon and the reappearance of a supposedly dead friend are only a few of the many mysteries that must be unraveled in the second collection of RahXephon.

The Review!
I left this volume to near the end of the review pile, because I need something good to watch after a long day. It didn’t disappoint.

Audio:
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.

Video:
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.

Packaging:
The front box cover is in fact what a 6Km high Dolem (Fozando) looks like. 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.

Menu:
The menu is presented in a mauve and blue ripple effect, playing in the background is a short piece of strong incidental music (discord). All links worked and no dead ends were encountered.

Extras:
The interview with the English VA is very interesting, but the left & right channel sound mix is heavily biased to one channel and spoils it a little. You also get clean open\ close. The Production sketches are good, but not as many as the previous volume (but you do get Hemisphere played again).

Content: (please note that content portions of a review will contain spoilers)
Episode 6 has the Press following up on the new “secret weapon” that they believe TERRA and the Federation have, but TERRA puts up a PR smokescreen of denial. At the same time the Mu make another incursion – the last incursion killed 6 million people – that obliterates life and property. Despite these horrendous actions Ayato declines to pilot RahXephon. Of course Ayato reluctance to engaged the enemy wins him no friends, especially with Kim (she lost her parents in the previous attack). He does agree to help Dr Kisaragi with tests of RahXephon systems. Meanwhile Kim, with a little help from Quon, stumbles upon a method to predict the Mu next attack.

During the next Dolem attack Ayato changes his mind and decides to help defend the city. Unfortunately he gets sucked down into Mu phase space during the battle, and only manages to survive when the mysterious Reika appears to him (like an angel) during his moment of greatest need.

The next episode has Elvy putting together a crack squad of fighter pilots (presumably to support RahXephon), and it isn’t long before they are deployed to attack a D1 that stands 6Km tall! This leads to a very tense battle between TERRA and the behemoth D1.

Meanwhile, Futagami (the reporter) is given a guided tour of TERA’s HQ, but he appears to be more interested in certain personnel that any of the facilities, even going so far as to visit Ayato’s dwelling. How does he know who to visit, and what is his ultimate goal?

Episode 8 starts with the main TERRA members end up chilling out on the beach. Then Dr Kisaragi slides by to invite everyone to a party at his place. And Dr Kisaragi is in such a good mood he gives his assistant (Nanamori) a piece of D1 crystal as a Christmas present. It then starts to snow on TERRA’s tropical island, sure, nothing strange about that eh? Then we have a little confusion as the characters begin to hint that they fancy someone else within the department (cupid has been busy). This leads to outburst and misunderstandings aplenty. Then the crystal starts to exert it’s power and begins building another Dolem out of ice, with Nanamori trapped inside. Ayato is not too keen to fight this new threat in RahXephon, as it will endanger Nanamori’s safety, so he needs to use his head (or heart even) as well as his brawn to defeat this new Dolem.

The final episode on this disk has our team going to beach (again) to celebrate the New Year, only this time Quon joins them. It also gives us the opportunity to see that Ayato and Quon have similar body markings. We have an amusing moment when the girls fight over who gets to be drawn next in Ayato sketch book. This gives Kim an opportunity to quiz him on his life, whilst pointing out that if he had lived outside Tokyo Jupiter he would in fact be the same age as Haruka and Dr Kisaragi. Then Ayota spots Mishima on a hill top, so he and Quon go to find her. Only they find a shrine instead, and upon venturing inside they discover- well, that would be telling. Back at the lab Dr Kisaragi and Mr Makoto (Federation representative) try out a little experiment on RahXephon with interesting results. As an epilogue to this episode we see a spurned Nanamori get “friendly” with Isshiki Makoto (who is a bounder), so start booing and hissing now.

Yes, we have more intrigue, but that’s good, because we have a lot more episodes to go.

In summary- It still looks good, sounds good and has plenty of plot to keep you guessing. I really like this series.

Features
Japanese Language 2.0,English Language 5.1,English Subtitles,Printed booklet ,Production sketches ,Clean opening animation ,Clean closing animation ,English vocal cast interview

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.


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