RahXephon Orchestration 7: Crescendo (eps 24-26)
As hair-rippingly frustrating as that might sound, it's actually one of the show's great strengths. By omitting these details RahXephon gains an aura of wonderment and mystery that keeps the audience guessing right up until the final credits and beyond. You're asked to consider the what, how and why to reach a conclusion under your own steam, although the clues are all there if you have the patience enough to piece the puzzle together by yourself. Some may suggest this is a cynical, lazy method of film making, but Image 1 of 3. Click to enlarge
Image 1 of 3. Click to enlarge
Besides, RahXephon has more strings to its bow than a perplexingly intricate storyline. Even during the dizzying heights of its self-indulgent analysis RahXephon finds room for some good old reliable mech bashing action. Making good use of the unusual yet elegant designs of RahXephon's mecha and fluid computer-enhanced (no CGI models here) animation, the climatic battle scenes should live up to (if not surpass) your every expectation. And all this action isn't just there to appease the fans - it helps to make RahXephon a more balanced experience, preventing it from becoming overly analytical in its latter stages (something that should make Evangelion's critics happy).
This final volume brings the trepid romance between Ayato and his various female admires to the fore. I guess I never really thought of RahXephon as a romance, but when I begin to think back on the series as a whole I can better appreciate this particular element of the show. A million miles away from the cheery antics of Love Hina or Ranma 1/2, RahXephon's Image 2 of 3. Click to enlarge
Image 2 of 3. Click to enlarge
As events in Ayato's life begin to reach their climax, so does the world around him. Almost everyone our hero has come in to contact with over the course of the series has a part to play in the final stages of RahXephon, although some are more actively involved than others. There's no stone left unturned as each of their own individual little stories and relationships are concluded to some degree (many with predictably tragic results), although you may or may not care about the outcome depending on the characters involved. Some - especially the older, authoritative characters - have only been afforded the bare minimum Image 3 of 3. Click to enlarge
Image 3 of 3. Click to enlarge
One sidestory worth a mention, perhaps the most surreal of all, ends in such a ridiculously over the top fashion that you can only presume that the writers and directors were playing it for kicks. It's like a culmination of every unexpected plot twist, revelation and back stabbing all rolled up in to one gloriously outrageous scene. You just know the scriptwriters are hiding somewhere, giggling behind their cusped hands as they imagine some poor sap of a film student trying in vain to make sense of it all. It's tremendous fun for the casual viewer, however, and should be enjoyed for the ridiculous spectacle that it is.
Despite falling short of the mark in a few areas this is a satisfying conclusion to a good series. It might not have lived up to its early promise, but RahXephon is a show that deserves to be recognised outside of its comparisons to a certain Hideaki Anno animation.
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