Xam'd: Lost Memories (Bnen no zamudo)-Collection 02 (Blu-ray) (2008)

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Released 7-Apr-2011

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Anime Featurette-Clean Opening and Closing Animations
Featurette-Original On-Air Opening and Closing Animations
Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2008
Running Time 325:00
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Masayuki Miyaji
Atsushi Abe
Blake Shepard
Yko Sanpei
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring None Given
Case ?
RPI $64.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None Japanese DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

Xam'd: Lost Memories Collection 2 comprises the final 13 episodes of this 2008 anime series. My review of the first 13 Episodes can be found here. It is impossible to say anything about the plot of the second half of the series without at least some spoilers so those who are curious about the show should perhaps skip to the conclusion knowing that the animation, Blu-ray visuals and sound are just as good as the first Collection.

When Collection 1 finished matters were getting extremely tense. Our hero Akiyuki had been reunited with his soul-mate Haru on their homeland, Sentan Island. The peaceful tte--tte didn't last very long. Torchbearer for Haru, Furuichi had revealed his dark secret - that he has also been infected with the haruko and is becoming Xam'd. A fight for the love of Haru begin! Indeed, Episode 14 of the series is occupied almost entirely with the titanic battle between the two Xam'd. At the conclusion their lives are changed forever. Contrary to the back of the Blu-ray case, however, that part of the story is swiftly left behind.

Whilst the first 13 episodes of the series struggled hard to bring all the characters together, the next 13 throw them out once more to the winds. After the big battle Akiyuki is left with the face of his Xam'd, unable to remember his name. He wanders aimlessly before being picked up by slave traders and finds himself a servant and companion to a lonely old lady in a far off town. Haru struggles with her responsibility as a defender of the island, particularly when it involves her younger sister and the two military/scientists plotting to create a super weapon - the conflicted former scientist and the ruthless Commander Kakisu.

Having survived a crash landing the crew of the postal ship Zanbani are becalmed and restless. Meanwhile, Nakiami is on her own journey to return to her home town of Tessik Village. The reception is not quite what she expected when her sister explains plans to launch an assault on the Northern Government. As the battles intensify all roads begin to lead to the Quickening Chamber.

What's the Quickening Chamber? Either I got muddled or the script writers did, for this story, which had developed along the lines of a battle between north and south, suddenly became a challenge to control the ascension of a new thousand year Hiruken Emperor. Perhaps for this reason the continuation of the present series was, to my mind, not as satisfying as the setup in the first half. Into the mix came several more Xam'd and the motivations of the characters and the meaning of the show became a good deal less transparent. No doubt the anime devotees might get more from it. Still, there were some high points of characterisation and a few battle scenes caught the attention.

Taken as a whole Xam'd Lost Memories is not really an action anime series. There are big battles and mecha to be found and there are also love stories of sorts tangled through the relationships. In the end, it is more of a series about destiny and sacrifice.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

In my review of the first season I pointed out that this was a high-quality anime series which was transferred well to Blu-ray. The same can be said of the second part of the collection. Xam'd Collection 2 comes to Blu-ray in a 1.78:1 transfer consistent with its original television aspect ratio. It shares the good qualities of the first part including bright, clear colours and nice clean lines. The animation itself is not intricately detailed however it is pleasing to watch and conveys the emotions of the characters.

As with the earlier Blu-ray there are no technical problems with the transfer.

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

Audio

In the earlier review I pointed out that the series had a DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack in both Japanese and English. The second collection shares this audio specification.

Once again it is a question of personal preference as to whether you listen to the English or the Japanese track. This collection features more children's voices than the earlier collection which I found to be slightly grating in the English track. The Japanese performer of Nakiami gives her a deeper, sexier, tone and I'm still not sure as to whether the English language actor performing Commander Kakisu is brilliantly laconic in delivering his lines or simply lazy. And don't get me started on the Willy Wonka-like voice of the leader of the Followers! As said, personal choice.

As with the earlier part the music is by Michuro Ohshima. In my earlier review I pointed out that the opening song for the show is Shut Up and Explode by Japanese electronica/rock duo Boom Boom Satellites. I failed to mention the closing song by Kylee, more of a traditional love song.

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

Extras

There are no real extras with the set. It does include the following :

Once again, these are really only for the mad enthusiasts.

R4 vs R1

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

The Blu-ray version available in this Region is the same as the Region A version.

Summary

After 26 Episodes of Xam'd the ending was satisfying in wrapping up the loose ends and yet disappointing in that the build up suggested that the characters were perhaps going to unite in a bold venture and yet their stories remained disparate.

Maybe it only worried me?

The Blu-ray is good both in sound and vision terms but there are no real extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Trevor Darge (read my bio)
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Review Equipment
DVDCambridge 650BD (All Regions), using HDMI output
DisplaySony VPL-VW80 Projector on 110" Screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer SC-LX 81 7.1
SpeakersAaron ATS-5 7.1

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