RahXephon - Orchestration 5: Synaesthesia Review
Terror reigns over Tokyo as Ayato and Quon find themselves being hunted by friends and foe between the two worlds. Still coming to terms with his new found heritage, Ayato must focus on what lies ahead. The Dolems' power source is yet to be revealed and even those close to him cannot escape the cruel, twisted fate that will befall them in volume five of RahXephon.
We're back to having three episodes on a DVD but this time they just happen to be part of an excellent story that is self contained within the series. Episodes 17-19 follow a single arc that deals with Ayato travelling to Tokyo Jupiter in the most emotional instalment of the saga thus far.
Revelations, so many of them. This bloody show should have been called "Revelations". This time the action heats up, as we follow Elvy and Haruka following Ayato and Quon in the new Vermillion fighter, as ordered by TERRA. Here we see Elvy's loyalty shine through as she allows nothing to get in between her and the mission she has been given, but the episodes here are primarily devoted to Quon, Ayato and his relationship toward his mother, not to mention a little insight into the Mulian race.
It had been hinted at in the past so it isn't a great shock when we find out that the Mulian people are blue blooded. What is interesting however is that there are a few shocks to be had upon the discovery that some of the more unlikely candidates are not what we initially thought them to be, so now the series becomes rife with paranoia. Ayato begins to break away from those closest to him which naturally sees Haruka becoming despondent. Futagami is still running around like a man on a mission and still we don't know what his exact game is, meanwhile Helena is taking over the TERRA headquarters, giving orders left right and centre.
Volume 5 saves the best 'til last in the most surprising ending to grace the series' run, surprising that is unless you've read the synopsis on the back of the DVD cover. It doesn't give away names but by mentioning that a friend is involved in a shocking turn of events, makes the viewer's mind work quicker and it becomes very easy to figure out. When the climactic event happens it is still a powerful moment as you're left to take in the action and do nothing more than feel pity for Ayato, his friends and their futile attempts.
There's too much of interest going on in these three episodes and because of this I am cutting things short. I do not wish to spoil this series with major plot discussion but I must say that the series is becoming more dramatic than ever with some edge of the seat moments that guarantee to whet the appetite for the next volume.
This volume contains the following three episodes that contain some spoilers:
Seventeenth Movement: Return to the Labyrinth - Ground Zero
Ayato and Quon make their way to Tokyo Jupiter in the RahXephon. Meanwhile Elvy and Haruka are in hot pursuit as they take the Vermillion toward the same destination, in an attempt to bring the escapees home.
Eighteenth Movement: The Bond of Blue Blood - The Memory of a Lost City
Ayato becomes emotionally stressed as he searches within himself for answers. He is reunited with his best friends, Asahina and Torigai before facing his mother who he is finding harder to accept.
Nineteenth Movement: Blue Friend - Ticket to Nowhere
Ayato and Asahina are forced to become fugitives but deep down Ayato knows that they cannot keep on the run forever. The two grow closer until a terrifying encounter separates them.
The RahXephon graces the cover of Volume 5 while inside the case we get the obligatory collector's booklet. Curiously the drawing of Vermilion is painted grey and we get the usual character files and lovely Dolem designs. Also included are translation notes and short interviews with Junkhi Higashi (Art Director), Kazutaka Minatare (Artistic Concept), actors Hirofumi Nojima (Torigai), Yumi Kakazu (Asahina), Yuu Sugimoto (Elvy), Fumioki (Jean Patrick Shapplin), Kae Araki (Cathy Macmahon) and Hiroshi Matsumoto (Donny Wong). Finally interviews with producers, Masahiko Minami and Katsuharu Nagata, are also included.
No complaints, it's the same high standard as previous volumes with sharp, well defined artwork and strong colours, with characters featuring thick outlines that appear a little soft during close ups but are naturally this way. I find it hard to continually talk about this aspect as by now it's pretty obvious how good the presentation is.
The usual choice of Japanese 2.0 and English 5.1 is present and they are no different to previous volumes. This volume does feature a lot of action in its closing episode that might well make good use of the 5.1 set up on offer.
Clean Opening/Clean Closing
These are going to be milked forever. Once more these credit sequences make their unblemished appearance on DVD. By now I'm sure very few still watch them.
Interview with Hiroki Kanno (Character Design)
It's rare that ADV give us Japanese interviews on their discs, in preference of using their own voice actors for many. This time we have a ten minute interview with Hiroki Kanno which is a decent addition to the extras roster. Hiroki appears to be very camera shy and the set up concentrates on near profile shots. He talks about his first project through to his latest one in a rapid succession of questions that are all too brief.
This runs for just over four minutes and features design work for clothing accessories that appeared in this volume, running very much like a fashion show to the main opening theme.
Original Japanese Artwork
A little over one minute's worth of original character designs. These are very elegant and quite far removed from their finalized counterparts.
Trailers for the following ADV releases: Zaion, Angelic Layer, Final Fantasy: Unlimited and Pre-Tear.
RahXephon is getting hot and heavy. With only two volumes to go things are going to get explosive I imagine as the story comes together. There are so many characters with different agendas and plot developments that are thickening like marmite when you've accidentally put it in the fridge. Volume 6 is not far away, stay tuned for more RahXephon goodness.
Last updated: 19/04/2018 12:03:14