Rahxephon-Volume 3: Harmonic Convergence (2001)

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Released 10-Sep-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Anime Menu Animation & Audio
Music Video-Clean Opening (1:31)
Music Video-Clean Closing (1:30)
TV Spots-RahXephon Early Production Promo (2:36)
Gallery-production sketches (4:08)
Trailer-ADV Previews (3)
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 70:48 (Case: 75)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Yutaka Izubuchi
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring Hiro Shimono
Chris Patton
Aya Hisakawa
Monica Rial
Houko Kuwashima
Kira Vincent-Davis
Ayako Kawasumi
Hilary Haag
Jouji Nakata
John Gremillion
Yuu Sugimoto
Christine Auten
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $34.95 Music Ichiko Hashimoto


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures Yes
Subtitles English
English Titling
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, next episode teaser after closing credits

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    RahXephon, the series where mysteries don't get resolved — they get more involved! If you haven't read my review of the first volume, I recommend you start there. Then read my review of the second volume. You won't understand the series any better, but you'll have some context for what I'm going to say.

    This volume makes some advances in the storyline. They don't really clarify anything, though — if anything, they introduce some new confusion.

    Ayato is piloting the RahXephon for TERRA regularly, and doing rather well at it. So much so that Elvy is starting to feel that her squadron is more a backup to him than a primary attack force — she doesn't like that, and takes the opportunity to show Ayato that she's a hot pilot when she gets a chance at a video game arcade.

    The episodes on this disc are:

10 23:35 War in the Remembrance Sonata of Reminiscence The Commander takes the day off for his daughter's birthday; there's something unusual in the music Quon has been playing
11 23:37 Nightmare Kyoja Circuit Ayato returns to Tokyo Jupiter when a Dolem drags the RahXephon into null space
12 23:36 Resonance The Black Egg Quon goes missing after Reiko Mishima appears to her; Ayato seems distracted as a new Dolem attacks

    Down to three episodes this time — that's really mean! It would seem fairer to have four on each of the first three discs, rather than go five, four, three — don't you think? I've checked, though, and there are at least three episodes on all of the remaining discs (it doesn't go two, one, zero...)

    I've noted two titles for every episode above — one (shown on the left above) shows up in the English subtitles, while the other is burned into the titles. I cannot explain why there are two.

    The tenth episode lets us meet Commander Jin Kunugi, a man who has been something of an enigma (hmm, no surprise in this show!). We learn hints about his past when that annoying reporter (yeah, he's still around) questions him closely about how the war with the Mu started, and who gave the order to attack them. It's interesting to get a close-up of the commander's bird, and to realise that it appears in the closing credits.

    The eleventh episode is a trip into Ayato's mind. Or is it real? Or is it...? It's quite interesting that the RahXephon is referred to as a musical instrument.

    The twelfth episode does an excellent job of confusing things even more. Quon is unconscious, (SPOILER ALERT: highlight with mouse to read) having been involved (somehow) in bringing Ayato back last time. Reiko Mishima, who has previously only appeared to Ayato, appears to Quon; Quon behaves strangely (no change there), but she leaves her life module behind as she wanders off. I had almost concluded that Reiko was in Ayato's mind... And now another element appears: the Bähbem Foundation. They are strange, secretive, and menacing, which we need, seeing how clear everything else is...

    This is one series that you'll hate if you can't stand ambiguities and unresolved questions. I'm really hoping that things come together better later in the series, because right now I am getting increasingly confused.

    This is an exquisitely-drawn series with excellent music. I really wish I knew what was going on, though.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This DVD transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, not 16x9 enhanced. That's the intended aspect ratio for this series.

    The picture is sharp and clear, essentially in perfect focus. There's no film grain, and no low level noise.

    Colour is just as wonderful on this disc as on the previous ones. The foreground objects are coloured simply, mostly in swathes of single colours with one colour shading, but the colours used are well-chosen from an extensive palette. Backgrounds use more detailed shading, which is not an uncommon effect. There are some scenes with very bright backgrounds, but this is a deliberate effect, and does not detract from viewing.

    There are no noticeable film artefacts.

    There's no less aliasing on this disc than on the previous one, but aliasing has never been a problem on this series. There's no moiré or MPEG artefacts. If you single-frame the disc you can find some interleaving, but it's not visible at normal speed.

    We get the usual two sets of English subtitles (and no others). The first set is labelled as subtitling signs, but it covers songs, too. The second set subtitle the dialogue, as well. They are easy to read, and seem well-timed. I didn't pick up any errors, but it's hard to do so.

    The disc is single-sided and single layered. The single layer is ample for the meagre number of episodes.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The soundtrack is provided in English and Japanese, as is best for anime. The English soundtrack is Dolby Digital 5.1, at 448kbps, but the Japanese is only Dolby Digital 2.0, at 192kbps. This is the original Japanese track — there was no 5.1 made; the English dub was made as 5.1 by ADV, and they have done an excellent job of it.

    The English dialogue is well-acted, and there are no dialogue sync discrepancies with the animation (that takes work). The Japanese dialogue sounds fine, and I noticed fewer discrepancies in sync with the animation this time.

    The music, composed by Ichiko Hashimoto, is superb, and a highlight of the series — it has to be, given this series' focus on things musical.

    The English soundtrack offers some excellent surround sound at times. It gives the subwoofer plenty to chew on, too. The Japanese soundtrack is Dolby Digital 2.0, not surround encoded, so it provides no signal for surrounds or subwoofer, although bass management will send some sound to the sub if you have it enabled — this soundtrack is full-range.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu

    All of the menus are animated with music. They are easy to use.

Booklet

    This is a real booklet, not a folded piece of paper. Only 12 pages long this time, but still with some worthwhile content.

Clean Opening (1:31)

    The strange but beautiful opening (I love the song with its vocal gymnastics), without credits (or subtitles). Exactly the same as on the first two volumes. I do like this, but it's not an exciting extra the third time...

Clean Closing (1:30)

    The English language closing, without credits. Exactly the same as on the first two volumes. Can we have something fresh on the next volume?

RahXephon Early Production Promo (2:36)

    This is the most interesting extra. It looks like something the production team might have put together while looking for funding, or used as a teaser before release.

Gallery — Production sketches (4:08)

    A free-running montage of sketches of a variety of characters and things. The theme music (an extended mix of it) plays over it. Note that although this montage is the same length as the ones on the first two discs, it shows different sketches (it shows sketches particular to this volume, in fact).

Trailers — ADV Previews (4:02)

    Three trailers that run one after another (none of these appeared on the first two volumes, so this is an all-new extra):

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 1 version of this disc was released some months ago. As far as I can tell, both versions have the same features, the same (few) episodes, the same extras (except for the previews), and even the same cover artwork (although theirs looks a little more saturated). It sounds like the R1 transfer is at least as good as this one.

    You can probably be happy with either the R1 or the R4. I am happy to have bought the Region 4.

Summary

    Three more episodes in one of the most beautiful anime series I've seen, on a high quality DVD.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is excellent.

    The extras are a bit sparse.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Friday, September 26, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left, Centre, Right: Krix Euphonix; Rears: Krix KDX-M; Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

Other Reviews NONE
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