Rahxephon Vol. #6 - 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: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: RahXephon

Rahxephon Vol. #6

By Paul Jacques     February 05, 2005
Release Date: June 21, 2004


Rahxephon Vol. #6
© ADV Films UK


What They Say
As TERRA’s obsessive new commander begins a massive build-up for a final assault on Tokyo Jupiter, Ayato’s former friend Mamoru attacks Nirai-Kanai in his own Dolem, seeking revenge for Hiroko’s death. Meanwhile, a mysterious new cadet has suddenly appeared within TERRA’s ranks, a cadet with a hauntingly familiar face. Confronted with his destiny, Ayato must make a terrifying choice: to reclaim the RahXephon or sacrifice everything he holds dear. But even with the RahXephon, can he stop the horror that is about to happen? Too many of his friends are about to die in the shocking sixth volume of RahXephon!

The Review!
The last volume was a bit of a let down. Let’s hope this volume gets the ball rolling again.

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 very 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. 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, a real pleasure to view on the big or little screen.

Packaging:
The front box cover has Ayato, Quon and Haruka looking on, with a background of the red eyes from RahXephon. The disc itself is printed with the same cover image.

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

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

Extras:
You also get clean open\ close. The (~30) Production sketches are good (as usual) and we get Hemisphere played again (yay!). The ADV interview with the five English VA cast is around 45 minutes long, and will give you some idea of what it’s like to be a VA. About 29 minutes in the VAs begin to talk about RahXephon and the characters they play within it.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review will contain spoilers)
Episode 20 starts with Ayato in TERRA’s custody, and he is being made to feel very unwelcome. Then out of nowhere Mishima appears at HQ, almost like a visitation. But she is not Mishima, but a new recruit called Lt Haruka, and everyone is a little puzzled at first…… before they remember who she is ;-)

A little later Ayato meets an old friend, Torigai Mamoru, who he invites back to meet Megumi (at Ayato’s digs). Now remember that Ayato doesn’t know that Torigai is Mulian AND working for his mother, so we can assume that foul deeds are afoot. Meanwhile the Federation, in the guise of the newly installed base commander Ishikki Makoto, continues with it’s own nefarious plans within TERRA.

It’s not long before the Mulians send out some more Dolems, two in fact, and Alpha squadron is scrambled to intercept. The RahXephon also joins the fray. Alas the TERRA forces are easily outmatched by the new Dolems and a very messy battle ensues, with TERRA taking casualties.

The next episode sees Ishikki Makoto reveal his grand plan to take the war to the Mulians, by breaking the barrier surrounding Tokyo Jupiter. Only what he doesn’t quite realise, that as he is manipulating Ayato, Mishima is manipulating him, with the Foundation is manipulating everyone. And it has to said that the Mulians do not seem to be overly concerned by any of these events.

Anyway, this episode does a very good job of hinting at some hidden relationships between the characters- ah, the plot begins to unravel a tad with more intrigue. As the episode closes Mamoru makes a discovery about Hiroko from the diary that Ayato carries, and he is very, very, upset by what he discovers.

Episode 22 has us back inside the Bahbem Institute, as it prepares to enact it’s impious plan with the aid of Helena and Quon. We also get more hints at the genealogical relationships between the main characters, which to be honest, only confuses things.

Back at Terra HQ Ishikki Makoto speeds up the time table for the assault on Tokyo Jupiter, and at long last TERRA goes on the offensive. At last the barrier is broken and the Earth is whole again. This starts a chain of events that leads Ixtli (aka Mishima) to gather up Quon and Ayato in order to produce Yolteotl- nope, I didn’t understand a word of it either. Alas the great plan backfires and the Mulians start appearing all over the world in vast cities. This disaster leads to (a now loony-tunes) Ishikki Makoto being relieved of duty.

Episode 23 finds the Human and Mulian worlds merging, overlapping each others time-space continuum. And to everyone’s surprise the Mulians are very happy to be out and about again. After a brief display of raw power the Mu orders Earth to surrender and hand over RahXephon poste haste (well, in 24 hours anyway).

With RahXephon out of action, Ayato unable to help, and TERRA HQ evacuated, things look pretty grim to say the least. The bad guys have the upper hand and it looks like there is nothing to stop them. Who will step unto the breach and how will this be resolved?

In summary-
Well, I mixed feelings about this volume. On one hand it was good to see the end game of storyline begin to be played out. On the other it was very annoying for so many exposed plot points to be couched in riddles [reviewer has flashback to Boogiepop]. This volume starts many revelations, with some quite vague explanations, that it cannot possibly finish until the last volume. As such it may leave you a little frustrated. If you’ve made it this far, it makes sense to have bought the last volume, so that you can get to the full explanation that will make sense of it all.

Features
Japanese Language 2.0,English Language 5.1,English Subtitles ,Printed booklet ,Production sketches ,Clean opening close animation,Interview with English Cast

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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