Posted by: Ji-L87 | July 22, 2008

Impressions: Xam’d: Lost Memories

Seems this one has generated quite a stir without me ever hearing about it, which may have something to do with it currently being released as a “rental” (for money$) on the Playstation Network and I’m not sure if it’s ever going to be aired as a normal anime. The different versions I’ve been able to find as torrents are pretty much the same in quality: bland. Not the best rip ever but I guess it works. It’s hard to take good screencaps though~ orz

(Screencaps are at the bottom btw)

But on to the the show itself. It’s labeled as a kind of sci-fi action series and it’s animated by BONES, which explains the many similarities to Eureka SeveN’s drawing style, but for some reason I’m reminded about Mononoke Hime too.


A bad comparison chart I made rather quickly of images I could find on the computer

But we’ll get to the animation & visuals later, let’s have a look on the story for now…

…or let’s not. I’m not sure what it is about, just that there’s some kind of war/conflict going on and the skies are heavily patrolled by weird looking…um…”aircrafts”. There’s also some kind of creepy religious/tribe/sect-looking person with a hat that feeds strange things to strange, pale children. YES.
Well, I guess that’ll be explained over time…somewhat.
You see, there might be a bit of a problem here as this show feels like it’s either going to be utterly awesome or an utterly non-engaging action-fest that you don’t follow because you don’t know what’s going on and you really don’t care. I’ll either win or flop.
That’s usually the problems with these shows with more unusual design and story, they have a tendency to end up quite weird and most people just give up trying to understand them.

I do hope however that Xam’d doesn’t end up like that as it actually seems more promising than I ever could imagine from the single official artwork I’ve seen.
And now we get to the fun stuff: the visuals.
It’s stunning. Well, many shows today are quite well made but it…feels unusually well made. The animation itself reminds me partly of Cowboy Bebop, and that isn’t bad at all. There’s actually a lot of animation going on in this episode. It maybe isn’t all that smooth but it’s much and it is there, giving life to the characters. It reeks of quality. Now, the first episode(s) are always prone to have better animation than the rest but I really really really hope that it doesn’t drop just yet, I want more of this.

Backgrounds, also very well made. Full of details and sort of gritty and dirty. It all fits together very well but I can’t remember what they remind me of. :/
As far as audio goes, I’ll say that the BGM is very fitting. I’m not sure if it is to my liking but fitting none the less. Seiyuus isn’t my field so I’ll just say that I found the voices good and move on to the OP and ED. The OP sequence is quite well animated and fits very good to the song SHUT UP AND EXPLODE, which I’ve got mixed feelings for. On the other hand, I find the song in the ED sequence, Vacancy, to be more my cup of tea. The panning shots are nice, sure, but I absolutely love the last part with the red-haired girl on the flying…thing…it’s very well done.

All these things added together, Xam’d has been very good with setting the mood in most of the scenes in this episode. I especially liked the beginning, it drew me in quickly and got me to continuously wonder about what was going to happen next.

If there’s one problem I can think of, it’s the “white beast” that one of the main characters will get transformed into. I’m not sure I like that. The design itself reminds me of what I didn’t like about Gunbuster 2, and it’s probably the execution of this part that will decide it for me. Unless the story flunks out first.

Either way, I look forward to the next episode…and I hope that those who rip this of their PS3’s will be able to improve the overall quality next time 🙂

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Responses

  1. You made the right point. The eps are being made at this point specifically for the PSN network as exclusive material for Sony.

    That is Xam’d from what I know.

    As for me, from the preview it feelt a bit like FLCL or whatever the title is..

    So… ah what the fuck I don´t know what to type so bye :p

  2. Thanks for making the review! I’ll post the link in my blog.

    Regards,
    – Sergio


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