Xam’D: Lost Memories

The first in a handful of ‘short and crappy’ reviews I will put out just because I want to clear the backlog of things I said I’d review.

Akiyuki Takehara leads a peaceful, normal life on Sentan Island, blissfully unaware of the issues that plague the wider world- at least, until the day a bus explosion changes everything. Transformed into a creature known only as Xam’D after a mysterious gem embeds itself in his arm, Akiyuki’s only hope of controlling this power lies with a mysterious girl named Nakiami, but her insistence that he joins her on the postal ship Zanbani will catapult him out of his backwater and thrust both him and his closest friends into events that will shape their entire world.

Time and again, Studio Bones has proven to us that they can make slick, stylish and consistently enjoyable series, and with Xam’D, it seemed as if they were gearing up to make the spiritual successor to the captivating Eureka Seven.

Unfortunately, at only half the length of its sister series, Xam’D didn’t have as much to explore its world and inhabitants as much as much as would have been optimal, but nonetheless, it manages to pack a lot into its 26 episode run. Starting at the remote Sentan Island where everything kicks off, the series soon expands its scope, somehow fitting in the adventures of Akiyuki, his friends, the members of the postal ship, Nakiami and her people and even the members of the military. Even though the series is thus forced to proceed at a brisk pace overall, it manages to capture all of the action in assured strokes, fitting in plenty of memorable moments that bring all of the characters and the events that befall them to life.

Unsurprisingly, when it comes to the visuals, Xam’D sports the typical Studio Bones style, with clean lines and an effortless blending of the prosaic and the fantastic. Background music comprises of a solid selection of tracks, with a typically catchy opening theme.

Final Thoughts

Even though it’s been a while since I watched it (hence the rushed and inferior quality of the review), Xam’D proves its strength and staying power with a series of evocative and powerful scenes that remain in my memory even now. Studio Bones have struck gold again with a series that combines epic storylines with surprising character depth and development. Long may they continue to deliver series of such quality.

Tier: Gold-

“I just kept selecting the villain option at every dialogue screen!”

A drug den is uncovered.

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One Response to Xam’D: Lost Memories

  1. Machi says:

    Been a while since I watched this but I really wasn’t as impressed with it. The oddest thing about this series which I disliked the most was really its “build ups” which tend to deflate when the event actually occurs – e.g. Akiyuki’s fight with his friend who also had Xam’d or the General when he died. It just never reached the climax which the build ups prior to the event seemed to promise.

    I also felt the second half to be particularly lacking not from deviating from Akiyuki but rather how sudden certain events transpired – without much investment in fleshing things out or just making you care as much. Particularly the death of the camera man – whose name eludes me due how long it has been – he’s had such few screen time and description or development that I’m not at all moved by his death. Or Kujireika’s sudden power trip – again we see flashes of her prior but nothing too special other than she has had the tendency rather than someone Nakiyami loved. Episode count seemed to be lacking oddly enough just because things didn’t feel fleshed out or more things could have been explored.

    The ongoing war in the series also never reached heights of being what war is. Instead the war was relegated to the background as all these personal relationships and adventures took the foreground. Which to me was more of a blow because if anything the whole war – which had an eerie ring to the fresh memories of the middle eastern wars – should certainly have warranted more importance than the adventure of Akiyuki. Akiyuki and his friends and family didn’t develop because of war but rather in-spite of it – this to me was the biggest flaw – this would be a huge difference from say a an fantasy series that also had major war like Now and Then Here and There where characters developed and were shaped because of war.

    Overall I wasn’t exactly wowed by this series I felt rather disappointed more often than not – since it had so much promise yet never achieved it.

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