April 9, 2007

RahXephon (TV series and The Motion Picture)

Some people recommend watching RahXephon: The Motion Picture as a cap to the TV series. I, however, recommend only the TV series if you choose to watch this work, and even then it's not all that amazing. The problem is that RahXephon is someone's attempt to remake Neon Genesis Evangelion in a manner that makes more sense. The RahXephon movie does a better job of that than the TV series, but it's also a chopped up that the plot doesn't make sense. And in both cases the depth and emotional meaning of Evangelion is lost.

It is a little disappointing to be watching something only to think very often "that's from Evangelion". It ruins the whole idea of watching something new. The angels are replaced by Mulians, and Unit 01 by the RahXephon. Ayato even goes through the same sequence of internal conflict and realization that Shinji does. Instead of some complex character dynamics, things are pretty standard fare with the protagonist having multiple love interests, so to speak, and predictable character development.

There are some pretty nice visuals, but the art quality is a little inconsistent. At times, I thought the artist had changed because of the difference in visual depth afforded to characters, and also line quality of character faces. The larger, more complicated sequences tended to look better than the simple conversations with characters in profile. The music is okay for the most part. I found the choral aspect of combat and "tuning" interesting at first, but then a little boring.

The movie makes things a little clearer because it starts out with some explanations of what's going on, rather than revealing them over time as the protagonist Kamina Ayato discovers them. And the ending narrates exactly what's going on rather quickly and concisely, whereas the TV series prolongs the explanation and forces the viewer to figure things out as they unfold. It should be noted that although the meaning remains the same between the TV series and movie, there are significant differences in the plot and the ending itself.

Posted by josuah at April 9, 2007 3:39 AM UTC+00:00

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