I just wanted to post my thoughts on RahXephon after my second viewing of the show.
I watched this fan subbed when it first came out and I just remember the ending confusing the hell out of me but liking everything else (like NGE). This time, I bought it and wow, what a treat. I didn't really need to, but there were some small details I missed this time around that I read about from DanielJr's fansite (BIG SPOILER ALERT: THAT SITE HAS MANY OF THEM): Nirai Kinai
Speaking of NGE, I wish people would relating it so much to RahXephon. When RahXephon was created, NGE was not held into mind-there wasn't an inspiration or a design copy or whatever people think. Sure they both have robots and both center on character interactions, but I think that's the strongest link you could argue for.
This second viewing has left me oddly....satisfied. Unlike other series where I feel the ending is lacking or missing something, if you piece the ENTIRE series together the ending makes complete sense and it resolves EVERYTHING. The layers of character interaction just amazes me-the director has designed almost all of the characters into this overall grand scheme of layers that he gives all the information for viewers to link. He strikes a balance between subtlety, mystery, and actually answering the damn questions. Many directors fail to do this, by not giving enough information, smacking the viewers over the head with the information, etc. Yutaka Izubuchi nailed the hammer with the head in this regard.
A big reason why I enjoyed the first viewing so much was because the music and visuals of this show just enchanted me...the second viewing was no less of a treat for me. Like, I can't think of a single criticism in this regard except maybe the side-kick pilots were kind of just....there. Which is fine, but I think integrating them a bit more with the other important characters (instead of just 1 support) would've been a better use for them.
I am super crushed that both the music director, Ichiko Hashimoto and Chief Director, Yutaka Izubuchi only have RahXephon as their major directive piece. Ms. Hashimoto was also the voice actress for Maya Kamina, and I kept thinking to myself every time I heard her character talking: "Why have I not heard her voice before? Why is this the first and ONLY time I've heard it?" Her voice was totally suited for the character, and it has a unique, oddly calming sound that is unlike any actress I've heard before. Why hasn't she picked up more roles? What's holding her back from being more involved with the anime industry? I would really, really like to see her do more work.
I have similar thoughts for the director-has he had no inspiration since RahXephon? Why hasn't he created a new excellent masterpiece for me to go ga-ga over? Or was RahXephon a one hit wonder that will have to satisfy me for the rest of all time? I hope he thinks of a new story and lands another directing job because I think he did a fantastic job with RahXephon.
Those were the two staff members that really left an impression upon me, but I think the entire staff in this series did a fantastic job. I was just really craving more from those 2 in particular.
Now to check out the OVA, manga, and movie to see if they come anywhere close to the series.