Get in the Other Simulwatch - RahXephon! [ep26-22/05]

orgun

Death Scythe
Episode 19

One of my favourite episodes, it's full of powerful drama and heartbreak and Asahina's story through this episode is terribly sad. I love the way the messages appear in the building lights, it's such an effective way of portraying Asahina's emotions as she fights Ayato (who's oblivious who he is fighting against) and the way the fight ends with Ayato in the room with a broken Asahina is very somber. There's more than meets the eye with the reporter and he was way too well informed to be just a reporter but the Bahbem Institute foil his plans at the end.
 

ActionFaust

Stand User
Episode 19
Gotta agree this has been a real highlight of the show with a devastating ending. The focus on Asahina lost in a strange world with only Ayato to rely on and Ayato who's tired of fighting and wants a peaceful life. Really liked the foreboding 1st half where they at least try to lead a somewhat normal life until it is shattered by the arrival of Asahina's Dolem. The use of building lights was a really neat way to add to the tragedy despite Ayato being too full of rage to notice.

Should be interesting to see how Ayato recovers from this. Also really intrigued by the reporter at this point as he's obviously wear too involved.
 

Professor Irony

CYBER FUNKER
Moderator
Ep17-18

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Want anything from McBonaruds?


Got distracted by SAC 2045 and that new Charlie Brooker special, but should catch up tomorrow.

In any case, Ayato's mother seems more attached to him than I expected, even if she seems hesitant to show him her true face, despite his demands. Given that she appears to be going to great lengths to nurture Ayato's abilities, it's almost as if the Mu are looking to him as a kind of messiah figure.

Without falling into the same trap as Code Geass R2, I wouldn't have minded seeing a bit more of life in Tokyo Jupiter though, now that the Mu's psychic control seems to be cracking - the little aside with Asahina struggling to remember things was interesting, but seems to have been a pretty minor plot thread for now. I'd also expected Elvy and Haruka to have more to do inside the city, but I suppose they haven't escaped yet.

Tosugai being a Mu agent was pretty shocking and hes a terrible boyfriend so I hope he doesnt get his way on anything going forward!
Having been mainly watching the English dub for the series, the scenes with Tosugai have taken on a particularly sinister overtone, in light of recent allegations, as he's played by the one and only Vic...
 

WMD

Stand User
Having been mainly watching the English dub for the series, the scenes with Tosugai have taken on a particularly sinister overtone, in light of recent allegations, as he's played by the one and only Vic...
Oh I feel that!

Episode 19
Hands down the best episode yet. Getting the epsiode from Asahinas point of view was really good. It made her emergence from Tokyo Jupiter much more impactful that Ayatos was imo. It was really telegraphed that they weren't going to see each other when Ayato went to fight but it being her Dolem and him killing her was pretty shocking and emotional. And her cries for help being written out across the city was really well done. Also the truth starting to be revealed about the reporter was a nice touch and makes so much sense!

Episode 20
Given what hes just gone through it makes sense that Ayato would just accept and trust Tosugai but man did it frustrate me that he didnt question his sudden appearance! Also theres been a real shake up at Terra. It really feels like pieces are moving across the board now! Though I have to say Harukas self pitying is starting to get annoying.
 
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orgun

Death Scythe
Episode 20

Another good episode Isshiki has got his way at TERRA and the sleazy git hits on Haruka!!! But completely agree that Ayato accepts Mamoru turning up far too easily. This episode displays a classic mecha trope of forecasting Donny's death at the start of the episode.

An interesting observation is the difference in the animators grasp of English as some of the details on the Vermillion either state Vermillion or Vermirion in different scenes sometimes in the same episode!
 

Professor Irony

CYBER FUNKER
Moderator
Ep19-20

Man, death flags all over the place. Asahina at least had a fair amount of screentime, but pour one out for Donny, whose name I think must have been barely mentioned before he met a nasty end. Saying that, even if it was a bit cliche, he did at least get enough time in the limelight to establish him as a sympathetic character. What’s it going to take to get rid of Isshiki though, a stake through the heart? Also I can’t see Mishima giving her name as Haruka not being significant...

It is interesting to see them establish the relationship between the Dolems and the Mu though. I think I’d always just assumed the Dolems were autonomous beasts like the angels in Eva, it had never occurred to me they might have a pilot, even though it was perhaps foreshadowed when Ayato’s mother notes the death of ‘Contralto’ in one of the previous episodes.

I have slightly lost track of who is working for whom at this point though; I’d assumed that Isshiki was serving the institute, but given that Helena intercepts the reporter, presumably that is not the case.

Would also note that, despite how heavily telegraphed a lot of the plot twists have been, we’re now within sight of the conclusion and I have genuinely no idea how this is all going to end...
 

WMD

Stand User
Would also note that, despite how heavily telegraphed a lot of the plot twists have been, we’re now within sight of the conclusion and I have genuinely no idea how this is all going to end...
It's certainly making it exciting though I think it's in part because I dont really know what it is most characters actually want. Haruka wants to protect Ayato and Tosugai wants to hurt him. But outside those 2 I'd struggle to really define what it is everyone else is hoping for.
 

WMD

Stand User
Episode 21

That was pretty intense! I guess the major plot point is the invasion plan where I'm guessing everything will come to a head! It seems like both sides are prepping Ayato for a role in the final confrontation. I wonder which side he'll end up helping?

Other than that poor Megumi is still getting a raw deal! Honestly after Tosugai saw the diary I thought Megumi was going to be done for so I'm a little relieved!
 

orgun

Death Scythe
Episode 21

So this episode really starts to set up the run to the finale as Isshiki reveals the big plan for the assault on Tokyo Jupiter (and explains what those glimpses of building sites were in previous episodes) and he's pretty confident about it as he expects it to be his final mission as commander and we also get lots of talk about the tuning of the world and the RahXephon reaching it's true form. For me this is where RahXephon starts to feel like Evangelion again with the hints and talk now becoming explicit with a clear end goal of humanity correcting itself/reaching some next stage of evolution.
 

WMD

Stand User
Epsiode 22

Well it wouldnt be a Rahxephon episode if Megumi didnt get her heart crushed. Poor girl and shes never done anything wrong!

I really enjoyed the various conversations going on the first half. Ayato and Jin especially though finding out Harukas and Megumis uncle is Ayatos Grandad is pretty odd and makes the girls liking him pretty incesty.

The second half really kicked things into gear and Ayatos rejection of the Rahxephon was pretty surprising though the art and animation through that sequence was really top notch!

Creepy Isshiki getting some much deserved comeuppance was very satisfying. Though it looks like hes made things much worse for everyone to deal with!
 

Professor Irony

CYBER FUNKER
Moderator
Ep21-22

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#redrawisshiki

Wow, that went some places.

Seems like there's a failure to acknowledge Chekov’s gun in that scene with Mamoru, to say nothing of Ritsuko's Sayoko's dangerous driving (someone should have gone over that cliff, dammit!), but there was probably enough drama going on in these episodes already. It's good to see Isshiki get his comeuppance at last, but at this rate, I'm not convinced Itsuki is a whole lot better.

I've suspected it for a while, but they also seem to be confirming that 'Mishima's form is that of Haruka as a teenager, making for an interesting contrast as Quon appears to accept instrumentality (heh), while Ayato roundly rejects it.

I'm glad though that, even at this late stage in the game, the series still finds the time for an occasional moment of mirth such as Haruka's drawing or the Commander putting the cat in the box. Much as it probably wouldn't have fitted, it was always very apparent to me that Evangelion offers no respite from its emotional wringer for basically its entire second half.
 

WMD

Stand User
Episode 23

Another cracking episode. I'm so glad that even with limited screen time that Commander Jin got real development as its makes his actions so much more impactful in this epsiode! What a boss move to protect the Rahxephon by creating a new Jupiter sphere around it and take out his old scumbag superior for good measure!

It was interesting to see a Mu question Ayatos "mum" over whether they were doing the right thing.
 

Professor Irony

CYBER FUNKER
Moderator
Ep23

Definitely feels like we’re heading for a conclusion now - Ayato’s decision to return to the RahXephon seems a little incidental though; perhaps it’s just because this one is very much Commander Jin’s show.

Also interesting that, with Mamoru's appearance in costume, they've made more explicit the link with Ancient Greek mythology - Mu is another name for Atlantis, so I did wonder if that was where they were going with that.
 

orgun

Death Scythe
Episodes 22 - 24

Isshiki's ego got the better the better of him and his plan came crashing down around him just as he thought he succeeded, serves him right for sacking Haruka (which was very funny at the same time). Episode 22 was a very reflective episode for many of the characters. Jin's guile in defeating the Dolem was awesome and showed why he was a great commander.

A lot was going on again in episode 24. It was absolutely fantastic to see Ayato and Haruka reveal their true feelings to each other and finally kiss and the reporter reveals his true identity. There were some interesting things going on with the Bahbem foundation and their fleet of mecha and their 'clone' pilots and the episode ended with a great cliffhanger with evolved RahXephon.

All these episodes continue that drip feed of information that keeps you hooked. I had kind of forgotten actually how little mecha action there is in this show, the story and character development are really strong and elevate it above being just another mecha show.
 

WMD

Stand User
Episode 24

I'll be honest and say I dont really buy Ayato being in love with Haruka. It feels like hes made a choice to progress the plot rather than actually care about her. Maybe it's because I'd much rather he fell in love with Megumi who's a nicer/better character all round and someone he's had actual normal conversations with! Poor Megumi. This show really has gone out of it's way to stitch her up.

Now it seems like the Institute and the Mu were working together the whole time. Will Ayato really do what they all think he has no choice over or will he carve out a new ending? Honestly have no idea!
 

Professor Irony

CYBER FUNKER
Moderator
Ep24

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Who are you and what have you done with Haruka’s headband.

Futagami: Commander Jin is still alive...

Everyone else: !

Futagami: ...Inside all of you.

Everyone else: ...

Oh Futagami, you’re a pistol.
 

Professor Irony

CYBER FUNKER
Moderator
Ep25

All credit to the writers here - we’re one episode from the end and I still have no idea how they’re going to wrap this up.

Mamoru’s demise wasn’t as cathartic as I’d hoped (told you he should have gone off that cliff), but Isshiki at least went out with a bit of style. I like that he managed to shoot the goon with the oddly specific character design (was she intended to be more significant?) before she could finish calling him ‘D for dead’. The reveal that the dummy pilots are clones of him was also kind of neat. Slightly unsure why the directors felt the need to establish that Sayoko was watching him shoot the security guard, but maybe we’ll come back to that. Miwa’s fate felt a bit needlessly cruel though, given that all we ever knew about her was her apparent moral objection to attacking civilians.

Speaking of character deaths, I didn't feel like Bahbem's had a lot of impact. Despite being relevant to the plot, I don't think his presence has felt significant enough for Isshiki killing him to mean much. It has at least finally occurred to me that Helena's earlier vision of him with what I assumed was her clone, was presumably a flashback-come-delusion; if she took on his mantle in a kind of low-level Norman Bates fashion, that would explain why she's running the foundation while wearing his suit. Presumably, Bahbem clutching The Wizard of Oz when he died is also relevant - perhaps Isshiki wanted to be brave, Itsuki wanted a brain and Helena wanted a heart...

With hindsight, I regret not screencapping that bit of onscreen, text too - might go back for that.

I'll be honest and say I dont really buy Ayato being in love with Haruka. It feels like hes made a choice to progress the plot rather than actually care about her.
Yeah, now that I stop to think about it, that's kind of how I feel about Ayato through the series in general. My suspicion is that a lot of RahXephon's appeal, for those who prefer it over Evangelion, is that it offers a similar kind of experience without the existential angst machine that is Shinji at the helm, but I don't feel like we've ever had the same strong sense of who Ayato is and what makes him tick. Not that he doesn't have moments where he definitely does seem like more than the sum of his parts, but without that, his decisions often do feel a bit arbitrary and, as you say, more about advancing the plot than saying something about him as a person.

I had kind of forgotten actually how little mecha action there is in this show, the story and character development are really strong and elevate it above being just another mecha show.
I was quite surprised by this too - it only occurred to me a few episodes ago that there really isn't an awful lot of combat on display. I'm sure that, in plenty of other cases, I'd have been complaining about that, so it really is a credit to the series that I'd barely even noticed.
 
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WMD

Stand User
Episode 25

People fall like dominoes in this episode! Maybe because so many fall that it's hard to fully appreciate what all those deaths mean. As Prof said they dont all feel as significant as they maybe should. Or maybe that's the point. That ultimately everyone is expendable and what they've done before doesn't matter all that much.

Something that definitely stood out, especially in the first half, was the use of colour in this episode. Having everything dulled and misted out made the use of bright lights and primary colours really stand out in the combat/voice effects of the Rahxephon.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding but the impression I got was that there are parallel worlds and the blue bloods are humans from another world. Quon and Ayato are the same person from each world and now have to choose whether to preserve the existing worlds or join in an Adam and Eve way to create a new reality? The part in bold is what I imagine the show would be called if it came out today.
 

orgun

Death Scythe
Episodes 25 & 26

Completely agree that some of the deaths don't particularly impactful and Bahbem's who hasn't had enough presence particularly felt like that but then the reveal in episode 26 that he passes from body to body and actually set this up thousands of years ago makes sense. Bahbem had set all the pieces in motion but it was down to the individuals involved and their will as to how it turned out and as stated by others in previous posts about Ayato's demeanor maybe there was just something a miss in his life that he could never put his finger on (we know his memories were manipulated) and it took a whole of mega events to happen before he had some realization about what he wanted.

I like the way the two episodes conclude the story with the all the destruction in episode 25 and then the tuning of the world and the reset that shows Ayato the correct age married to Haruka with baby Quon, and the epilogue of how Ayato met Haruka was a nice touch. I agree with Prof that it was incredible to go into a final episode where anything could happen. I think it ties up everything pretty well, there a few holes but nothing that spoils anything for me.

Still a great series and I've really enjoyed watching it again.
 

WMD

Stand User
Episode 26

Nice ending the fit the tone of the show and was nice to see Ayato finally get a good life. I don't really understand why his mum behaved the way she did though. What was she hoping the world would become? Although with the Earth being remade it kinda made all of the b stories redundant in the final epsiode as they had no effect on Ayatos decision.

Overall this was a good watch. The art and designs were great. And the animation often was too. The cast was varied and interesting and though the story was pretty vague when it was good it was amazing; the Hiroko episode being the stand out for me. I couldnt remember anything from when I first watched this years ago so was interesting to me that my lingering feeling of meh was put to bed.
 
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