Bonen no Xamdou – Episode 01

21 07 2008

SUMMARY

Members of a ship a flying lazily through the air, when they start getting tracked by Nothern ships.  Realizing their predicament, the crew start to fly towards the nearest Free Zone colony on Sentan Island.  Quiet-girl, Nakiami, flys ahead in her own pod.

On Sentan Island, Akiyuki Takehara overslept and is trying to rush to get ready for school.  In order to make it in time, he purposely forgets to take his father’s lunch.  However, his bike breaks before he can get away.  His mother catches him and forces him to take his father’s bento.  Meanwhile, Haru Nishimura and Furuichi Teraoka are practicing judo(?), with Haru easily taking out Furuichi.  The two finish and get prepared for school

Akiyuki decides to take a shortcut, and leaves his bike to jump over some fences.  Haru and Furuichi walk by and notice Akiyuki’s bike.  The two make bets on whether he can make it in time or not.  Akiyuki reaches his father’s place and wakes him up.  His father, a lazy bum of a doctor, tries to tell Akiyuki some words of wisdom but Akiyuki is gone.

Akiyuki races and manages to catch the bus in time.  An officer is making sure that all the students have armbands.  Akiyuki gets in line for boarding behind a white-haired girl w/o a school uniform and an armband.  Deciding to be nice, Akiyuki covers for her by lending her his armband and convincing the officer to let him on board. The girl thanks him  With everyone on board, the bus departs.

In Sentan military headquarters, they pick up on various ship approaching the island and take countermeasures.  The school bus arrives and everyone starts to get off the bus.  When the bus is nearly empty the white haired girl hits a detonator and the bus explodes.  After recovering, Akiyuki looks back at the bus to see what the hell happened.  He sees a light floating above the wreckage.  The light reacts and enters his right arm and Akiyuki writhes in pain.  Before he gets a chance to recover he sees the white haired girl stumbling in the wreckage.  He goes to help her, and finds that she’s bleeding yellow blood.  She apologizes for having done what she did, and says that only Akiyuki can “save the lost memory of Xamdou”.  With this, she touches his forehead, and almost immediatly, a mask engulfs his face.

Akiyuki begins to panic, but there’s nothing he can do.  He transforms into a white creature.  A military officer approaches the wreckage and spots the monster.  Haru, also trying to see what happened, spots it too.  The officer fires and the monster falls.  Haru hears a voice that sounds like Akiyuki inside her head saying that he doesn’t want to die.

Meanwhile, a ship flies over and drops something above the wreckage…

THOUGHTS

First and foremost…. best opening for an anime of the year so far.  I’ve seen it like 25 times, and I can’t get enough of it.

As for the episode itself, it was somewhat confusing… but now I want to know what the hell is going on.  The show has striking similarities to Eureka Seven, namely character designs and production quality.  I think I’d be better noting the differences between the two rather then the similarities.

Xamdou doesn’t have the same “hip” feel that Eureka Seven had, rather it’s more of a fantasy feel.  While Eureka Seven was more of a modern sci-fi, Xamdou appears to be steampunk.  As someone best put it, “A threesome between Nausicaa, Last Exile, and Eureka Seven”.

The best thing that Xamdou has going for it, is the character interactions.  They aren’t exaggerated, rather, they’re completely honest and realistic.  You don’t unnecessary drama coming from divorced parents, no sexual tensions between two close friends.  It’s how normal people would react to events that happened.

By blogging this, it means that I’ve dropped World Destruction. Also, Bonen no Xamdou has an english title: Xam’d: Lost Memories. However, I’ll keep referring to this show in it’s Japanese name. Why? Because I like that name better.

Overall, didn’t grab me the same what Eureka Seven’s 1st episode did, but it shows plenty of promise.

8.5/10

In case you didn’t notice, If I blog 1st episodes, I’ll post 30 pictures instead of the usual 20

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