I won’t bore you with details of something that a lot of people watched a year ago, so I’ll try and keep this relatively short.
This has been on the plan to watch list for a long time. Mainly, I tend to check out every show that Studio Bones releases because I think they’re a great studio. Sadly, I’ve been somewhat disappointed by their more popular and latest showings. This is not to say that they don’t do fantastic work with their animation and production values, I personally think they get too long winded when they do longer projects. So, Xam’d, seemed to have the right formula for success, at least due to my past experience.
Boy, did this one succeed.
The premise is that there is a war going on between the northern and southern continents, but about what is not really given heavy focus. 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.
In the background of the war and ritual, is a blooming seed about relationships. From the main character’s, Akiyuki and Haru, 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.
When I watched this, I really didn’t care as much about what was going on with the war, as it was backdrop to the characters, which were well fleshed out and extremely well written. The dialogue was great, and the final scenes note perfect in capturing feelings of love, longing, and loss.
If you can get your hands on this, I highly recommend it, and it gets a solid 9/10 here.
Highlights: Great animation, fantastic relationships, really great character development.
Faults: The war, and its purpose are a bit confusing and probably the weakest part of the vehicle.