a.k.a. RahXephon: The Motion Picture
a.k.a. RahXephon Tagen Hensoukyoku
Kamina Ayato and Mishima Haruka were two teens in love. Then the Mu invaded Tokyo, and Haruka and Ayato were cut off from each other by the dimension-bending Tokyo Jupiter that encased the city. Years later, Ayato runs into Shitow Haruka, a woman working for the anti-Mu organization TERRA. She promises to tell Ayato the truth about the world and to help him locate the girl he has not seen in years.
summary by Ender
Highs: Unique presentation of the RahXephon story
Lows: A lot of the good stuff was cut
Condensing a whole series into a movie is not an idea alien to anime studios. This is a practice that has existed since the late ’60s, early ’70s. Essentially, episodes are cut from a television series and edited together into a two-hour format, sometimes boasting new footage. In that case, RahXephon: Pluralitis Concentio is not wholly original, but it does manage to tinker around with a few interesting ideas not seen in these “movie condensations”.
This movie is not a Cliff’s Notes™ retelling of the series, and in some cases it can be seen as a different story… or rather, a different perspective on the same story. Many of the ideas from the series carry over here; blue-blood, dolem battles, music and “tuning the world”… it’s all here. But what really stands out is the newly-developed love story in the center. The story turns away (as best as it can) from the oft-confusing science fiction and hard-boiled mecha fights to focus on the lost (?) love between Ayato and the girl he remembers from long ago. It works rather well with the themes of time and relationships that seem to tie the world of RahXephon together. This is an interesting way of storytelling, utilizing the condensed-series format… something I wish that anime studios would do more often.
However, at its core, this is still a condensed series. Much of RahXephon lay within the intrinsic web of relationships that worked throughout the series; here, that web has been shaken. All of the main and secondary characters (with the exception of Ayato, Haruka and others) have been regulated to a little more than extended cameos. A viewer who is unfamiliar with RahXephon will find little interest in these characters and will see them as scenery eaters. Also, seeing the titular mecha himself become a small role in the film leaves more for the stomach. Why call a movie “RahXephon” when there is very little of RahXephon to begin with?
Although I would recommend this movie to those who have already watched the series, I can still say that this is a cinematic flight worth taking for anyone with an open mind and heart.
RahXephon: Pluralitis Concentio can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.