Xam'd Collection 1 Anime Blu-ray Review

An original story from BONES that was used as the launch piece for the PlayStation Network when it launched, enough so that it was available in the US prior to Japan, Xam'd is a twenty-six episode series that is going to make you work for it. A lot of BONES shows are like that, from Eureka Seven to Kurau Phantom Memory and Ghost Slayers Ayashi. While they have a lot of show that are very clean in nature, they do pull out some difficult ones that are so detailed and have such a vision that it doesn't help the viewer immerse themselves into it esily. Xam'd takes place in a world where we see two different governments in action against each other, apparently for quite some time, with many other places caught in the middle. The Northern Government is waging a war against the Southern Free Zone for undisclosed reasons and they aren't doing it anything near a clean way. What they utilize is something called humanform weapons, which are people who have been transformed into large mindless beasts that wreck carnage wherever they go. They're primal and powerful, very out of control. The show opens with an attack on a neutral island, Sentan Island, where a white haired terrorist causes an explosion on a high school bus that kills some and infects a young man named Akiyuki with a hiruko spirit. This spirit runs roughshod over Akiyuki'sbody with its primal needs and he starts to lose himself. What saves him is the arrival of Nakiami who scouted out the battle from the postal ship she operates out of. Something of a what you'd consider a spiritualist and naturalist, she manages to soothe his mind and eventually draws the hiruko to a calmer stage before she takes him away to help him learn how to maintain himself so that the hiruko doesn't dominate him. With this ability, he'll become something called a Xam'd. Unfortunately for Akiyuki, when Nakiami took him onto the postal ship and moved on, he's not able to get back to his home for at least six months. With Akiyuki on the ship, the show moves to show us the time spent learning about who he is and how to manage the Xam'd within him, to try and understand what it's seeking. There's a slow but decent bond formed between him and Nakiami, though there's an affection with a girl back home named Haru that he's intent on getting back to. The crew of the ship is fairly interesting and there's more going on there that's not delved into as the captain certainly has a more varied history to her and a larger mission that's unclear. Her crew is loyal to her and there's an interesting addition to it later in this set as another Xam'd from the past comes back into their lives. As Akiyuki's story of discovery takes place, the more interesting story plays out back on Sentan Island. Akiyuki's disappearance after the accident leaves a scar on his parents who were already separated from their own problems. The loss of their son leaves them out of touch with things, though Akiyuki's father focuses more on his private medical practice. Some of their tensions come out and it reveals a bit about his fathers past that gives clues as to more about the history of the world. Where it all becomes even more interesting is that Haru and Furuichi, who was Akiyuki's best friend, decide that because of the events of the ongoing war they end up enlisting in the military to help defend their home. Haru is more intent on joining so she can go look for Akiyuki while Furuichi gets fairly nationalistic and is intent on protecting everyone, though there is more to it.

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