Archive for the 'rahxephon' Category

When Trees Were Big

Friday, July 27th, 2007

When ADV started hating their own customers in public, we sort of forgot that they used to do good. I received the first DVD of RahXephon today, and was reminded how the gentle and cuddly ADV of years past released up to five episodes per DVD on first release.

I am watching Figure 17 currently, which is about the same vintage title. Media Blasters released this 13-episode series on 6 DVDs. Thank heavens for Netflix!

UPDATE: Great, just great. No sooner I put my foot into my mouth, I see this (at KarmaBurn):

Figure 17 seems to be a pleasant enough show. It’s not wildly impressing me by any means, but it is entertaining enough, and novel in that its episodes are double-length.

The dumbest part is, I noticed that VOBs were unusually large, and was going to post a note about varying DVD compression. It never occured to me that episodes were longer. Come to think of it, how long are they? Gotta check.

Also, same place:

One thing I I don’t like is how Tsubasa and Hikaru persistently have that stupid cat mouth thing that’s supposed to be moe. You know, the wavy smile represented in the emoticon :3 except with sizable overbites. I’m going to go on record as saying Cat Mouth is not cute; it looks retarded.

I am not so sure.

Repent or face the wrath of Mikan Army!

RahXephon starts

Tuesday, July 31st, 2007

I saw a couple of episodes years ago at a con and it looked somewhat interesting. Blogs I read since then claimed it to be “Eva done right”, “love story”, and other such things, so I decided to give it a try. We don’t have a lot of things which interest me in R1 anyway.

On the whole RahXephon does not disappoint. It’s a pleasant watching, nothing terribly bad. Ep.04 scared me a bit, because I started to sense the boymecha coming. That would be bad, but apparently it develops very slowly, and I do not think it’s only so dumb, so it’s fine.

Animation is fairly basic. Hair is reflex-free, the jawline would not be out of place in Crescent Love. But they did not skimp on eyes. So it’s quite serviceable. I’d place it somewhere a bit below Kamichu.

RahXephon ends

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

Well, this was pretty tremendous. The storytelling in RahXephon is convoluted like in Lain, but the story makes a touch more sense. Or, rather, it meshes with characters better.

One thing is certain: there’s nothing like good Engrish to lighten the mood.

Liked: Yes for quality, no personally.
Rewatch: Possibly, but not likely.

RahXephon, Avatar had a finger in

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

Noticed something in the credits for the ADV R1 release of RahXephon:

Andrew Kent is of course Mr. Avatar. Good job, and nice subs. Ms. Oono did quite well too. BTW, I wish the DVD were not mastered to switch to English audio in the beginning of every episode, but it’s a small thing.

RahXephon notes

Wednesday, September 12th, 2007

By its nature this is going to spoil, and not just RahXephon, but Lain et al.

Art and Animation

Animation issues were obvious from the start. They’ve really overdone it on the clean look and reduced number of fill patterns, and it detracts a lot. The [background] art was beautiful and the designs clever and elaborate. The Alpha squadron’s fighters were especially nice on the mecha side. Characters mostly rode their eyes throughout though. I could not tell who Kim’s date was at first! So, Michiaki Satoh gets two thumbs up, Akihiro Yamada gets one. Ironically, according to the interview in the extras, Mr. Satoh wanted to do the character designs, but Mr. Yamada got the job first, so he had to settle for the equipment.

BTW, why is that that animators are generally unable to handle reflections? Has none of them gone to an art school?

This problem is so common in anime that it’s rapidly becoming a pet peeve of mine.

World Resets

For some reason the following kind of story is getting popular: the hero attains GOD POWERS while the world is being RUINED; eventually the world is ruined completely and this pisses off the hero so much that he/she RESETS the whole thing.

Well, excuse me, but this is a crappy idea. Firstly, it’s not how the real world works. You screwed up, you get to live with the consequences. Secondly, it’s not how imaginary worlds work. There’s zero escapism value in this setup.

The implementation of a world reset invites all sorts of nasty issues too. First is the scale. In Lain (and Matrix’ fanon) the world is limited, so no problem. But in Dual it’s not, so what happens to Mars? Second is the completeness: does anyone carry over the information? The God himself/herself does, but cannot apply it directly to minds (e.g. Lain only visits the world after the reset, but does not live in it). So, all cases seem unsatisfactory: Dual is just a joke; in case of Lain, I do not understand why restart the world at all without Lain if it was designed just for Lain to manifest; and in RahXephon it’s unclear who knows what and even what happened to Mu. Basically, creators did not know how to solve the unsolvable and left it for the viewers to ponder. Good job, lazybutts.

I have fallen into their trap a bit and mused why Haruka cannot recognize herself in the painting. The Occam’s razor solution is, she simply cannot remember how she met Ayato, and she cannot recognize herself cold from the back. There’s nothing more to it. I cannot rememeber how I met my wife, too. But such straightforward answer robs the scene of any power it might have.

Chobits-style harem where women fall away like autumn leaves

I’ve read on a blog somewhere that “Ayato has to lose all that’s dear to him” or something to that effect. Fair enough, that’s a good story.

Shingu’s normality vs. RahXephon’s psychosis

I remember how I was shocked by stable characters in Shingu. RahXephon is very conventional in how everyone of consequence is defective. On that background, Shouichi Yagumo seemed starkly abnormal, a transplant from Shingu. Honestly, I thought he was going to be a gag character like Jun-kun of Nadesico.

Hihgly inappropriate Egypian attributics

These transplants from Yu-Gi-Oh betray a lack of imagination.

What was stolen from Eva

I intended to keep track at first, but it became impossible pretty quickly. It was a roller coaster all the way. Just as I would feel like RahXephon becomes defendable at plagiarism charges, something pops like the penguin in ep.11 or Vermillion shedding its armor EVA-like and ruins the whole experience.

Death and mayhem

Since everyone was a psycho (except maybe Kim and Shouichi), I really did not care for their demise all that much. They were all manufactured to show us something gruesome or deprived. The only person who I pitied was the chubby blonde chick, Cindy, a comrade of Elfy in the Alpha squad. She really didn’t deserve it. Countless others were killed too, either by dolems or Ayato, but she had a face.

Miscellanea and linkage

Questions the answers to which I do not care to know all that much:

  • Why god-Ayato and god-Quon have to fight at all? Maybe it’s some kind of Ing-Yan dualism.
  • What has happened to Mu after the reset?

Hige liked the filler episode. I think it was pretty clear how the cloning process worked even without that episode.

Avatar notes that creators did not mean for viewers to retcon the plot. I sort of figured that… (see “lazybutts” above).

Kaguya

Friday, September 14th, 2007

As seen at Spaceflight Now today:

The orbiter was nicknamed Kaguya after thousands of suggestions were submitted to JAXA by members of the public. The probe was named after a character in a popular ancient Japanese folktale.

They are talking about this:

I’m afraid I’ll have to research that girl. She’s probably acting in Oh Edo Rocket as well.

RahXephon addendum

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

I talked with my kids about RahXephon and several items cropped up. Needless to say, this is going to spoil a lot.

Firstly, criticisms:

* Why does nobody recognize Ixtil when she appears in the shape of Mishima?

   I supposed that it has to do with the way people change over time, and heard “but all that changed is haircut!” A vigorous discussion of anime visual language ensued…

* Why is Ayato of 14 looks the same as Ayato of 17?

  OK, I agree, that really was a blooper. Haruka remembered Ayato chibified, so it would cost creators nothing to adjust him, but they forgot.

* Asahina is superfluous.

   Not sure about that, I suppose it’s all a part of the overall story. If we really start cutting things away, Commander’s daughter can be cut too.

Next, missed items:

Girls delivered through the shrine were Quon and Maiya. They are usually right about such things because they read FAQs. I could not quite figure it out, and thought that perhaps they were Haruka and Meg.

A. says that Meg had a crush on Soichi for a long time and it was obvious because she made him presents etc. According to her tesimony, teenage girls are crush prone this way, which is why she switches to Ayato so quickly. I don’t know why, but that storyline took me by surprise.

And finally, things nobody understands:

Why did the manifestation of Ixtil as summoned by D look exactly like the
Ayato’s version? We know that Ayato modelled it after Mishima Senior,
but D never met her. He could not know how she looked except by studying
Ayato’s art.

I mentioned it before on my own, but again, why do Quon and Ayato have to fight and create the whole apocalipsis?

All in all, the show is thick and is asking for a second pass, but it’s too bloody and creepy, so maybe later.

UPDATE: A couple of postings at Animesuki may be interesting. One (by “kujoe”):

Barbem was really more of a schemer behind the scenes. By paving the way for certain events, he was able to put the two Olins against each other in the final battle. But since Ayato was just a supplementary catalyst of sorts for Quon, I kinda assumed that Barbem expected Quon to win–which of course didn’t happen due to Quon helping Ayato in the end. I guess it wouldn’t really matter who won as long as Barbem got what he wanted.

Two, by “MrProphet”: (abridged, see context for the interview)

Oshii […] These days, the fact that there is no controversy concerning copying in animation and that there’s no awareness of it is a big problem. In my mind, the greatest achievement of EVA is that it is self-aware of being a copy. That was a huge change, and it was a big turning point. That’s why I pay attention to Anno. Not about what he’s going to make but as a situation. […]

Izubuchi: You’re telling me to consciously master that (laughs). But for this job, I don’t really know if it’s a copy of not, but I did feel like I wanted to try and see if that route couldn’t be followed once more. I suppose that might mean that it’s a copy of a route that’s perpetuated to this day.

SDB on Japanese ranks

Monday, December 3rd, 2007

Chizumatic posts a useful table of military ranks today. I think there must be more to it, perhaps responsibility-based ranks, because in RahXephon, while Shouchi’s rank is “shousa”, translated as Major, and is present in SDB’s table, Haruka’s rank is “tai”, and is not present. The “tai” is translated as “Captain”, so I captured it after the promotion into the Tactical division.

RahXephon fan service

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

Motivated by a dumb comment I made elsewhere, I looked into my stash of RahXephon screencaps, started laughing and could not stop.

Meg: high comedy. Ayato was doing his part too.

And the fanservice was great. Although, honestly? I’m a fan of Kim.

But as I moved along, I remembered how everyone had to die, sometimes in rather unpleasant way (e.g. Asahina).

No, RahXephon is a very poor fanservice vehicle.

Unless we just watch the extras.

Lawson’s inkblot test

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

Jeffs pulls a cruel experiment on blog readers. 28 comments and counting.

Ourselves, we just went to a restaurant, lounged in a bookstore, and watched RahXephon (in dub — my better half’s choice). I snapped a picture of Elvy’s watch.

UPDATE: Did anyone notice that we get to know Elvy when she unnecesserily kills half of her squadron by attacking RahXephon in a mistaken belief that it’s another Dolem? That’s pretty much the RahXephon’s theme, I’d say. Oh, and a couple episodes down this somehow becomes Haruka’s fault.