The opening and closing songs to Xam'd: Lost Memories will haunt you with their awesomeness until the day you die. Unfortunately that day may be sooner rather than later after you come to realize that you just shat away 13 precious hours of your life (sticking with the show that the songs in question were attached to instead of just Limewiring the tunes and listening to them as often as you like without forcing yourself to watch the writers and director try to turn what could have been a fun series into another boring and derivative Evangelion clone that wants you to think that it's about 150Xs deeper than it actually is), and finally give in to suicide before you fall for watching yet another crappy show and piss away any more time.
Not that Xam'd is horrible — it's not. Not really. It's just that it has such an UNBELIEVABLY high animation budget, some kick ass music, some decent characters, and fantastic character designs.... But in the end I just didn't care. I just wanted it over with. Yeah, it starts out with a BANG, but it slowly begins to deflate from there like your overused and under appreciated blow-up doll that you keep under your bed in your room in your mom's basement in the hope that she'll never find it and call you a "dirty, dirty boy!" again in front of your Aunt Teresa and her "life partner" Marge like the time you snickered while watching Basic Instinct with them on "movie night". It's a total shame, because GODDAMN does it start off with tremendous promise... I was really hoping for another Eureka 7, RahXephon, or Darker Than Black from famed Studio Bones... Instead we got another Wolf's Rain — a show with one of the greatest beginnings, yet flattest endings ever produced... But whatever. Let me tell you a little about the show called Xam'd...
By the images released by Studio Bones before this thing even aired I would have sworn that the chick with the long brown hair featured was the lead and had some sort of super powers, and that she fought goofy-looking humanoid aliens in a comedic tale along the lines of Project A-Ko. Instead we got a dramatic narrative about a well-meaning — but kind of a slacker — boy named Akiyuki who in the first episode gets blown up in a suicide bomb attack on his tiny island home (Sentan Island), only to find that because of the mystical properties of the explosive released in his general area at the time he is now doomed to spend the rest of his days as a Xam'd (a goofy-looking humanoid thing with hyper strength and big-ass powers, but a shortened life span if he lets his newfound abilities rage out of control and consume him by turning him into stone). Wait, let me back up a little bit.
So there's this boy named Akiyuki, his parents are separated, he's a goofy slacker, one of his best friends is secretly in love with him (it's the brown-haired girl... thank Christ), and he does his best to float on through life like a lump of crap through the sewers... But then the fragile peace that's held the world together for a few years now is shattered and war comes to his small island home. The armies of the North bring with them hostile "Humanforms" (giant, biomechanical creatures with asstons of destructive powers and lasers and shit), and the armies of the South come to occupy Sentan Island under the banner of "saving those who can't save themselves." Oh, and some albino, suicide, cult-following, douchebag bombers start setting off their spiritual bombs in the hopes of impregnating luckless humans in the area with seeds of the Xam'd in the hopes of... Shit if I know.
Honestly, that's the main problem with this show, they raise tons of interesting questions about morality, ends and means, and memories, but they fail to answer even one of these questions with a real response... But I digress. Okay, so Akiyuki is caught in a retarded religious explosion, and he becomes a Xam'd. Then, while using his new body to save the girl who likes him (whatever the fuck her name was) he goes a little overboard with his rage and finds that he's quickly turning to stone. Then the mysterious Ayanami Rei girl shows up (Nakiami), and whisks him away on her mini-plane (which looks like a mix of Nausicaa's Mehve and Spike Spiegel's Swordfish) to the postal airship that she works on... Yeah, they really threw everything and the kitchen sink and the whole septic system at the wall to see what weirdness would stick. Anyway, Nakiami's a mystic from the Northlands and knows what's ailing Akiyuki, and she heals him (reverting him to his human-form), and kinda-sorta teaches him to deal with being a Xam'd and how NOT to turn to stone when he fights. Oh, then the hot brunette of a captain of the postal ship (in the hottest "fuck me" boots ever) allows the lad to stay as long as he doesn't rape the children or something... Honestly, the reasons for most of the characters doing what they do are always so vague. I also had to keep checking to see if I skipped an episode or two in my viewings because the story seems to constantly jump forward in time leaving what feels like gaping plot holes with nary an explanation as to why we just missed what felt like some important storytelling between the end of the last episode and the start of the next... *Sigh*
Anyway, we're then led on a wild ride with some really good twists (for example, characters who you thought were going to be together until the end split up and end up having giant, divergent stories that just barely tie back together in the end), but like I said earlier, things start to fall apart a little past the halfway mark and they never try to fix them. Really, instead of following up on them, these promising twists are all but forgotten soon enough, and in lieu of sticking with the plot that we'd rather be chasing we're FORCED to meet up with and feel some totally bogus and hammed up sympathy for the suicide bombers' religious group. The religious cult's pathetic attempts to drag some compassion out of the viewer are so forced and contrived... And their reasons for setting all those potential Xam'ds loose on the world (and killing thousands of innocent bystanders in the process) are so.... well, unexplained. Okay, in the last few episodes we're told that they're doing it in order to stop the evil prince of the Northlands who's a royal douchebag because... Well, that must have been talked about during one of the unexplained time slips seeing as this prince wasn't mentioned before that point in the story (the floaty dust-bunny thingy cameo doesn't count seeing as it had NOTHING to do with anything, and we had no idea that the crazy hallucination was real, let alone a "prince" character that we hadn't been told of previously), and once Akiyuki stops the royal dipshit from attacking ALL of the scrote-sucking soldiers from both sides of the war in the giant end battle (by giving the inhuman prince his own name — whatever the fuck that means... I think they just saw Neverending Story one too many times just before the final deadline on this puppy) he's gone from the plot for good. Never to be heard from again. Really now, he's the big bad who's only talked about for five minutes before he arrives on the scene, and he disappears in less than 15 minutes of storytime later... What the fuck!?!
Oh, and should I forget about Akiyuki's horny friend's little sister who becomes a military science project herself and then... well, is then cured really quickly before doing any major damage to either her sister and her friends or the enemy soldiers she's sent into the battlefield to kill. Nothing comes of that either. Oh, and let's not forget about Akiyuki's bad-ass dad and his relationship with the Southern military commander of Sentan Island who kills little boys for fun... We shouldn't forget about their rivalry even though the writers did (well, this one just ended completely unsatisfactorily... No real closure at all, and it had a BIG chunk of storyline dedicated to it). Once again, nothing ever comes of it. Nothing comes of HALF the shit that we're made to think is important, and the other half of the shit that happens just makes you shake your head in disbelief... Like why would Akiyuki's bad-ass doctor dad try and heal the albino bitch who (he thinks) killed his son in the kamikaze bus explosion in the beginning? Why does Akiyuki forget who he is and get trapped in his Xam'd mask for about 5 episodes? And why is that crazy, zany old lady with the "mad cow" the best character in this whole fucked up show? I..... DON'T...... KNOOOOOOOOOW...... For the love of GOD, I DON'T KNOOOOOOOOOOOW!!!!!! Goddamn! She was just such a batty old broad it was awesome!
I'm just so fucking sad here... The first few episodes were truly amazing and really beautiful to behold. It even looked like the spiritual aspects of the plot would keep me enticed through to the end... But alas, it looks like Retard Tsukitami was then handed the reigns to the project and, well, you know what happens when he's in charge. Such a waste. Seriously, you WILL fall in love with the opening episodes of this show. They are gorgeous. You will watch them and think, "Pfffft! Rossman, you're so full of shit! This show is the GREATEST SHOW EVER MADE! Go back to watching your Bible Black, loser!"... But soon ye too will know the pain of disappointment that I have suffered. Then you will know that I have suffered in a vain attempt to keep YOU from suffering, and you will come back to me on bended knee with a faceful of dirt and tears. "Nay!" you will decree! "Listen to the teachings of the Rossman! For he hath seen the terrible depressing terror that is upon us, and though he tried to forewarn the masses we just would not listen... And we have wasted 13 hours of our lives on below average crap that believed it was the prophesied son of the once great Evangelion, though instead it was tangible fear and pain and a Cleveland Steamer upon our souls that we will not soon forget!"
Oh, and I won't even bring up the abortion of storytelling that is the last 30 seconds of this whole thing... I just won't do it.
Okay, darlin', what the fuck-diddly-uck was goin' on in this here Japanese anime? It was confusin' but fun for a while, then it just got all preachy-like, and dumb.
So those white-haired cult-followin' freaks want to "eliminate chaos" from the world.... by settin' off explosions in public places.... Jesus, this is why Ah fucking HATE terrorists. They're so stupid and easily brainwashed. They can never see the complete irony of their moronic ideals and satanic actions. And this here show tried its darndest to actually make us feel pity for the evil douchebags. If that's how Japan really feels 'bout terrorists then Ah think we need ta nuke 'em again. That'll shut 'em up.
The Rossman made me watch that Evangelion show a while ago, and that's all this Xam'd thing felt like it was tryin' to do: It just tries to out Evangelion Evangelion.... Doesn't quite make it, sugah. All the drama and questions feel like we're bein' force fed the Japs' points of view about everythin'. And the biggest question of all (Why?) is only breezed over in the 2nd to last episode... An' we never even see or hear of that crazy Emperor guy again after that last dreamscape scene where he "gets a name"... Was he banished into the light like mah Granny Marlene in front of that oncoming semi? He just go on vacation? And no, it's not open to interpretation, it's called "Lazy Storytelling," sugah. You always need to answer your main question as a common courtessy to your audience. This show was a might confusing in the end, but in an aggravatin' way, not in an interesting character study way like it sho' 'nuff tries to be.
Yup, it's that time of year again... The time when the Rossman gets some hideous blackmail material on me and uses it in order to make me watch terrible Japanimation. I feel just like Joel and the Bots.......
Okay, so he wants a review from me on this Xam'd thing? Fine. It sucked. It was a godawful waste of time... And I'm not just saying that to piss the Rossman off; HE hated it too. Why he chooses to watch crap like this all the time when it's nearly all bad is beyond me. Anyway, I've said my piece, I'm done, and I'm going to do my best to make sure that the Rossman never catches me in the ladies' restroom with any kind of battery operated equipment ever again. Honest to GOD, how does HE not get in trouble for being in that room in the first place, but I get busted for playing with my DS during "company time"?! This place is so unfair...