RahXephon - Orchestration 3: Harmonic Convergence Review

Ayato was on the path to learning the truth behind the horrific invasions that have been led by the Mulians, trying to comprehend the boundaries between his world and the "real" world. The time for explanation is not yet upon us, and soon Ayato must continue his battle as the pilot of RahXephon. He also finds himself battling against his inner thoughts and dreams as images of Quon, Reika and Haruka begin to haunt him. As the series approaches the middle of its run, reality and fantasy become nightmare in a fusion that will soon lead to a bizarre twist of fate.


Volume 3 opens with RahXephon taking on another Dolem invader known as Larghetto, which has risen over the Pacific Ocean. Ayato has settled into his piloting duties, and accepts his role but the action takes a rest after this opening fight in favour of further developing several key characters.

The bulk of this volume deals with Quon and Commander, Jin Kunugi, a character we’ve not yet had the opportunity to get to know better until now. Previously the commander has proven to be an uncaring figure who showed little appreciation for those around him, but we learn through Futagami that he suffers from a tortured past having played a large part in the events which led to the current situation they all face. This is a welcome twist to the plot; a character whom I expected to stay fairly wooden has now become an interesting part of the series.

A lot of attention is focused on Quon both in her mental and physical state. She still remains very much a mystery and is perhaps the most interesting character in the series at this point. There is a history between her and Kunugi it would seem that has yet to be delved into deeper.

In the last volume it seemed as if Megumi harboured feelings for Yagumo, perhaps she still does but he is already taken by Kim, the girl we met in the previous volume. Now a triangle relationship is forming between Ayato, Haruka and Megumi though Megumi and Ayato insist they're just friends. At this point it is hard to say how this will end but it is just another part of this ongoing puzzle.


The standout on this DVD is episode eleven. Taking us to back to Tokyo after his encounter with Vivace, Ayato is suffering from a huge shock that has caused him to lapse into coma. As he sleeps inside RahXephon he dreams of being home with his friends and encounters Haruko under more adult circumstances. This episode is full of surreal moments that see Ayato struggle with his inner self, presented in a letterboxed ratio it has a glossy look to it at times, working well as a short-movie, then as it approaches its final moments things became creepier with the presence of a new Dolem whom RahXephon must destroy in a gleefully satisfying finale, in fact episode thirteen also finishes up on a fantastic RahXephon moment. This episode features some of the most gorgeous animation in the entire volume and ends proceedings on a memorable note.

Yet more characters are introduced to the series, thus creating several new plot threads making it hard to keep count of just how many there are. More of TERRA's tactical division is introduced. We see Gomi Masaru and Yomoda Youhei take charge during a number of scenes but the biggest introduction in this volume is in the shape of Ernst Von Bahbem. The elderly sponsor of TERRA, little is known about Bahbem as he works behind the scenes, keeping quiet but ever vigilant as to what is going on around him. His niece, Helena works as his secretary and has a past association with Isshiki Makoto and Kisaragi Itsuki. She is a seemingly cold person and we don’t have enough of an idea yet as to where she is leading.

Each character is now dealing with his or her own concerns and trying to find ways of bettering themselves, but they lack the faith within and fail to realise that they are simply normal people, albeit with huge responsibilities. Self turmoil is examined greatly in this volume and a further insight into the lives of these characters is gained.


RahXephon volume three contains the following episodes:

Tenth Movement: War in the Remembrance - Sonata of Reminiscence
It is the birthday of Commander Kunugi's daughter and he takes the day off work to go outside. He unexpectedly meets Futagami, who presses him about his past involvement in the great war. Meanwhile, Quon is having difficulties in finishing her piece of music. Her song is strange and Ayato tries to find whatever it is that's missing from it.

Eleventh Movement: Nightmare - Kyoja Circuit
During a struggle with another Dolem, Ayato is pulled through space and is critically injured. He arrives home again to discover his friends waiting for him. As he sleeps he dreams of Haruka and a strange presence that draws closer.

Twelfth Movement: Resonance - The Black Egg
Reika approaches Quon and soon Quon disappears. Ayato has much on his mind as he becomes more uncomfortable around Haruka - a result from his dreams and inner concerns.


The DVD

In the tradition of the previous volumes, we get another mini booklet with plenty of nice artwork and series notes.

Picture

The series continues to look great on DVD. I have no major complaints from the presentation that I haven't already covered in previous volume reviews.

Sound

The sound is equally good. The 5.1 mix packs more punch but I'll stick by the original language track. Acting wise I just prefer it, although Chris Patton is better in this volume, his emotional range seems to have gone up a notch.

Extras

Clean Opening
Totally skipped it but I'm guessing it is exactly the same as the previous clean openings.

Clean Closing
Yea I skipped this one too. Seen it all before.

Early Production Promo
This is a teaser of sorts. It features stills from the series and notes from the creator. It could well be a presentation for funds to get the series going or just something that the creators whipped up to entice fans.

Production Sketches
Another four minute feature that plays to the main theme song with artwork here featured in the final episodes present in this volume.

ADV Previews
Trailers for: Voices of A Distant Star, King of Bandit Jing, Full Metal Panic and Sonic the Hedgehog.


Overall

Patience is a key virtue with this series. It is getting close to its half way point and so far the episodes have consistently entertained. The story still has a long way to go but so far it remains captivating due to its broad range of characters and sense of mystery.

Film
8 out of 10
Video
9 out of 10
Audio
8 out of 10
Extras
3 out of 10
Overall

7

out of 10

Last updated: 19/04/2018 12:04:00

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