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Rahxephon
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Rahxephon

Distributor
ADV
Certificate
12
Price
£19.99

Anime has a long tradition of cool giant robot series. Most came and went almost without notice. Some, like the recent Gasaraki, became popular and generated good fan followings. Only a few like Gundam, Macross and Evangelion have ever made a real impact and moved on to cult status, becoming the new benchmark by which all other series will be measured.

So how about this new comer to the genre, RahXephon? Well after watching the first five episode I can confirm that we've got many of the key ingredients for a giant robot series; there's the teenage boy who just happens to be the only one who can pilot the giant robot, the mysterious organisations who seem to have a lot of firepower, a couple of girls and ladies for our hero to become attracted to and the potential for some real emotional trauma along the way.

Is there enough for the series to become a classic though? To be honest, I just don't know. After watching the first two episodes I thought I knew what they were trying to do with the series to make it stand out - they were trying to be as confusing as possible and give you no clear idea of who anyone was or what was going on. I was so uninterested in the characters that I dozed off a couple of times. The following day I watched them again just to make sure I hadn't missed anything but it still failed to engage me on any level.

Episodes three to five on the other hand are a different matter. Things settle down as we learn more about the world our hero has been living in and the truth of it's nature. We learn more about a couple of the characters and meet some curious others. The interplay between them suddenly becomes interesting even if it does leave you with new questions about what's going on. The tone of these episodes is so different to the first two that they may as well be different series.

The DVD itself is reasonable. The picture is clean, the sound good and the menu is basic but does it's job. The extras include a moderately interesting production sketch gallery and the Japanese promotional trailer (which I recommend watching before you watch the episodes as it explains more about what's going on in one and a half minutes that the whole of the first two episodes!). The biggest problem with the disk only really applies to anyone who's going to watch with the subtitles turned on. During episode two the subtitles delay behind the spoken words by about a second. I can't think why this wasn't spotted in production checking...

I think I'll be coming back for more RahXephon in future. I enjoyed enough of it to want to know what happens next and that's what counts. I'm really glad ADV put five episodes on this first DVD. Any less and the irritation I felt after watching episodes one and two may have weighted my decision very differently.

7
Not Bad
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