Xam’d: Lost Memories – Anime Review

Love prevails all or so they say…

Genre – Action, Sci-Fi, Military, Romance

Length – 26 Episodes

Run – Jul 15, 2008 to Feb 4, 2009

Animation Production – Bones, Aniplex, Sentai FilmworksL

I went into this anime with the assumption it would be “epic”. Why? This series has received mostly good reviews so why wouldn’t I? However, I must admit, I was a tad disappointed, but regardless this is a really good anime. If you watched “Eureka Seven” your gonna be telling yourself the exact same thing I did…

The basics of the show is quite simple. Sentan island is a small and peaceful place near the north and southern continent. Both the north and south continents are at war. As such, Sentan island is usually caught in the middle of the conflict. A religious group is spreading “Hiruko seeds” (through terrorist-like explosions), which take ordinary humans and turn them into “Xam’d”. Throughout the show there is heavy focus on the Xam’d and their purpose in a ritual that occurs once every thousand years. The series begins with Akiyuki Takahara running for school. Akiyuki is pretty much the type of character you figure out immediately. He can be best described as a hard headed person, somewhat of a clown, but caring of those close to him. As you may have guessed he is one of the main characters along with Haru Nishimura. Haru is the love interest between Akiyuki and their mutual friend Furuichi Teraoka. Haru is a kind and outspoken person who often sees past Furuichi’s feelings of her because of her love for Akiyuki. Furuichi is Akiyuki and Haru’s best friend. He loves Haru and starts to see Akiyuki as a nuisance. After Akiyuki gets caught in a car bomb that destroys the their school and gets his power, Haru and Furuichi join the army in order to protect their island. Akiyuki is rescued by Nakiami after the explosion. Nakiami is a girl from a mysterious village who now resides in a delivery service air ship. Nakiami is very knowledgeable in the mysteries of the “Hiruko seeds”. Since Akiyuki now has one after the accident, she takes him in to join the air ship and begins teaching him about his power and the reasons behind the spreading of the seeds by white haired children around the world. Events start to unfold that will change the world forever…

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Training in the skies.

This anime has amazing artwork. It’s probably the best artwork I’ve seen in an anime series longer than 4 episodes (please note I said anime series, not movie). It never get’s choppy, and only occasionally interrupts the texture in the art style. I felt like I was watching a movie at times. The art style is also very good and highlights the settings well. The settings are very exotic ranging from dreary smoke covered mountains to secluded tropical islands and the art style really brings each of the settings to life and distinguishes from each other very well. The color is handled very well to give each setting visited its own unique look and feel. The character designs on the other hand are unremarkable Akiyuki and Haru in particular feel generic in their design along with everyone else. The soundtrack was great. It was mostly composed on classical pieces that sometimes fit the situations perfectly, while others it just made it dull and didn’t stimulate much excitement in heart pumping scenes. The OP & ED didn’t stand out much either.

Xam’d: Lost Memories is perfectly blended. Hate, love, resentment, discrimination, every emotion a human can conjure up will be put to the test. Character development is great, everyone has their time to shine. From Akiyuki and Haru’s love for each other that spans distances and time, to the lost and found love of Ryuzo and Fusa (Akiyuki’s parents). Every character’s relationship to primary and secondary partners is explored and given time to blossom and grow and in some cases die. Basic human emotions drive the characters, you can easily identify.

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Reunited at last…

As I say that I realize this series has its flaws. There is little time wasted on explanation or flashback, we’re just dropped right in to the center of a world war and expected to keep up. The most notable is the change of pace around the middle of the series. It’s like everyone at the studio went “Oh noz! We gotta end this soon! How are we going to do this man!?” Hence we have plot holes, poorly drawn out exposition, sub plots that never get proper attention, and characters that can often become inconsistent.

In essence, this anime is amazing. If you can get around the flaws, you will be taken for a ride by this gorgeous piece of animation. “OMG dude wtf! I have a life! Hurry!”

Art – (10/10) Sound – (8/10) Plot – (9/10) Enjoyment – (9/10)

Overall
9/10

Note: There will be some serious “wtf” moments.

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