Thursday, August 07, 2008

"Xam'd" if you do, "Xam'd" if you don't

Subject: Noir
That show that Studio Bones was hyping back in the spring as "better than Star Wars", Bounen no Xamdou, is finally out. In fact, from what I can gather, it's been released in North America first under the title "Xam'd Lost Memories". And via a "Playstation exclusive", at that.

So while it's not legit for me to be taking a peek at the 720p fansubs that magically appear on my harddrive, I figured I'd see if it was, in fact, "all that". And, y'know, it's pretty neat!

At first glance, it's kind of a mashup of Eureka 7 and Laputa, Castle in the Sky (at first I was thinking Last Exile...), but with a little sprinkling of something like Rahxephon, for a little bit of that big organic monster flavor. The designs are very strong and detailed, and the world they are in promises to have a number of well-envisioned nooks and crannies to uncover.

The characters are, to the most part, very well animated. I say "for the most part", because they're really skimping on the 'tweens in this one. There's great key poses and motion followthrough on different levels, and an excellent grasp of gravity and weight in the motion, as well as a sufficient bit of that great "spark of life" I like so much. But the skimping-out really shows a lot of the time, and it amplifies the mediocre cuts where maybe a less-skilled animator is taking a turn.

But when there's a good animator, like in the action scenes (of course), it's got a great natural feel and flow, and dead-on timing.

The characters and performances in general are still a little thin, but I like the potential. There's going to be a number of mild annoyances in many of them, but on the whole, considering it's going to be Yet Another Schoolkid Saves The World show, it's not off to a bad start. I guess I should actually make an effort to find out how to get ahold of this legitimately; I think it'll be worth the money.

(...not the "buy a Playstation 3 just to watch it money", of course...)

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