I just recently watched this new anime because I was curious as to what type of anime could possibly make a debut on the Playstation Network. I watched it in HD and much to my surprise it exceed my already high expectations. Xam’d was a 2008 to 2009 series that lasted for 26 episodes produced by Bones. You should, however, be aware that the seasons do not stand alone. Season one ends on a cliff hanger, and if you only watch season two you will be beyond confused. The storyline of Xam’d is definitely not the show’s strongpoint.
One day the island’s tranquility is shattered, when Akiyuki, along with his best friends Haru and Furuichi, are caught up in an explosion on a school bus. The explosion produces a mysterious light which enters Akiyuki’s arm. With no time to understand what has happened, Akiyuki is transformed into a creature called “Xam’d”. Being from the creators of Eureka Seven, the strong and highly realistic characterization that defined that series is seen again in Xam’d. Also by shounen action standards, this series has some of the most genuine characters of the genre. Also, Xam’d is presented on Blu-ray with a 16:9 aspect ratio and full 1080p high definition with AVC encoding. Whether it was a result of Sentai Filmworks/Section 23’s transfer, or the native resolution, it’s worth noting that Xam’d looks really good.
If you are looking for a cute and fluffy anime, this is not for you. Xam’d is not afraid to break your heart by killing off a character they made you love, and in the end, not every character gets to live their happily ever after. Plus, some more new characters are introduced to spice up the story. The animation quality and the nice soundtrack remains at the same level. The settings are very exotic ranging from dreary smoke covered mountains to secluded tropical islands and the art style really brings each of the settings to life. The main issue is that everything is really vague, I constantly was stuck on issues such as “wait, who’s fighting who?”, “which side are they on?”, and “what the hell is his/her objective?”
If you like steampunk, mechs, and typical Japanese lover’s drama than you will like this series. It is not heavy on plot, but is heavy on action and from the start goes at 100 percent speed. I was suckered in by to the meticulous Korean animation and the opening song. Then it did a complete 180 on me. The problem is that at 26 episodes, this series feel too short, and the ending felt rather like a sudden bang.
This gets obnoxious, but perhaps what’s even worse are the other characters who are developed little if at all and end up feeling completely insignificant to the overall narrative. There are also a couple plot points that end up achieving this same aspect. So overall, I really liked this anime, it had all the elements to keep my eyes glued to the screen. The wonderful alternate 1940-50s era is a nice period to examine and I think that it is actually a series which breathes a whole load of fresh air into the anime scene and produces a masterpiece that is going to stick around for many years to come, despite its shortcomings. Not a perfect anime series, but a very well made one that should rank high on every anime fans list.