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26 of 26 episodes seen
I suppose I'll start with the story first, STORY:
The beginning of the series is very focused on a few characters, and slowly branches out to include more and more characters in the plot until towards the end all of the characters are being covered but the focus is where it should be. Things start rather slow I think in the beginning, but the other elements really hold it together and make it worth sticking around for. I don't think many people will fully understand the resolution, so the tip I can give you without spoiling the show is to understand Akiyuki's connection to Xam'd. Pretty vague, huh? Well if you really string together various scenes and points of view of many of the characters the entire world really comes together rather complete and stunning. For anyone who likes depth in story I strongly reccomend Xam'd: Lost Memories. It might be a bit unknown in terms of popularity but that's because it's a very character driven story along with many, many scenes in a single episode so the faint of heart might not like the jumps between settings so quickly. Especially when the story crosses dialogue from one character with scenery from someplace completely different. The show has a very individual look on people and life in general, which made the plot intensely likable for me. Don't worry, the ending doesn't upset in my book.
Next up, PICTURES, lots of em!
This anime has really fluid and clean animation. The characters move cleanly around and interact with their world on such a personal level you get drawn in very easily. This just makes the fighting scenes much more intense because of the level of detail that's been drawn out in every picture. There's also alot of symbols and objects that have many meanings and connections to the characters making the picture that more meaningful. For example: whenever a character is giving advice or helping someone else they'll often throw something at them and they'll catch it. Pretty nifty bit I thought. Anyhow, the machines and the mechas (I call them bio-mechas) are really interesting and one of a kind looks. They really make the world very alien and yet believable in the context. (All flying machines are powered by stones that create a cool rainbow effect when ships take-off) Don't worry that didn't spoil any plot. The characters expressions are also spot on all the time like most animes, and there's so much interaction in these stunningly beautiful shots of landscapes and skylines that it's hard not to be a little passionate when you write a review on the art style.
Sorry, did you say SOUND?
I'll make this one short, since you can't describe sound with words as well.
Environment: Pretty good!
The Fwoosh Rainbox Sky-Ship Sounds: FWOOSH!... Tink!
Voices: Really, really good.
Disturbing/Strange: Unexpectedly familiar yet different
Timing: Spot on!
Who's a CHARACTER?
All the characters are really dynamic and many of them end up changing towards the end of the show, or coming to some sort of realization. That's what makes this anime really special in my book. All of the characters are pretty dynamic and interactive. The world feels really alive and ever-changing. Sure, there's always characters with flaws, and there's characters that are supporting, and there's ones you see more often. But when you see a character, you'll think of them specifically because they're really well defined. All of them have differences and individual personalities. I could say the only exception is the standard soldier-type person in this show, but that's believable in the context of things. Everyone also gets a bit of the spotlight as the plot goes on, so if you don't see much of a character in the beginning or when you first see them, expect them to show up in the future because the anime pretty even-handed when it comes to show time. (Of course Akiyuki overwhelmingly has the most show time, being the protagonist and all) For those who don't like the vulnerable parts of characters especially, this show isn't for you. One of the main themes is showing the weaknesses in people and how they overcome their flaws. If that isn't a powerful enough message for you I advise moving on to a different review.
I watched the show twice, I liked the show more the second time I saw it. I probably wouldn't see it a third time because I understand pretty much the whole story now.
-Akiyuki growing as an individual through the whole story
-Every single fight scene
-Every single fight scene 2nd viewing
-Climaxes of secondary character plots
-Climaxes of secondary character plots (Especially)
-Revealing of the truth of Xam'd towards the end the 2nd viewing, because I grasped most of the point behind events
Loved the story
Loved the animation a bit less, still loved it
I never focused on the sound because it was so flawless in my book, totally believable
The characters WERE the story, and I loved the story
OVERALL First view: 8.5
OVERALL Second view: 9.5
Watch this anime! Maybe not twice, but more people should definitely check it out. It's beautiful storytelling on a fast paced and intense level.
I must warn viewers that if you don't understand what's going on and get lost or confused, you will probably get frustrated with the choices that characters are making, even under their respective personalities. But, if you follow the plot you will really understand why a character does or doesn't do something, or what the heck just happened and where they are you'll love the show by the end, guaranteed. I found this out in my second viewing that I liked the choices characters made the second time through because I fully understood the show and where it was going. read more