Xam'd: Lost Memories Collection
tranquil island life is about to come to an end. Unaware of the bombers
drifting overhead, he races to the school bus and lets a strange
white-haired girl take his place in front of him. Little does he know,
this random act of kindness is about to have dramatic and far flung
consequences, for himself and his friends. The girl detonates a device
which destroys the bus, and turns Akiyuki into a biological weapon. When
monsters land all over the island, it’s up to Akiyuki to transform into
the powerful Xam’d and protect his friends from harm.
sounds like a passable enough premise for some anime action, but studio
Bones, the creators of Fullmetal Alchemist and Eureka Seven, aren’t done
there. You see, Xam’d fools you into thinking it’s going to be about
giant mecha action and superhero antics- it’s not. In the first episode
Akiyuki is nearly turned to stone ( a by-product of the Hiroku seed
implanted in his arm) and has to be rescued from this fate by a
mysterious young girl named Nakiami. From there he is taken onboard the
Zanbani, a postal delivery ship run by a disjointed crew. Despite his
best efforts, Akiyuki doesn’t return to his beloved Sentan island for
quite some time.
expecting lots of mecha action may be disappointed, because Xam’d
reveals more about family dynamics and character interaction than how to
dismember a deadly monster- although there’s quite a bit of that as
well. We don’t see much of Akiyuki, fully powered up as Xam’d, at all-
which is just fine. When he finally faces his friends, after they’ve
ended up on opposing sides in an escalating conflict, Akiyuki still has
a human face; he’s still capable of showing pain and remorse.
characters are all wonderfully flawed, from Ishu, the reclusive captain
of the airship, to Akiyuki’s love interest Haru, who has to juggle her
feelings for the protagonist with her newfound duty as a soldier.
new episode, you feel like you’re being reunited with an oddball family.
None of them seem to get along very well, yet in the most desperate
moments we see how much they really care about one another.
stays on-task throughout the thirteen episodes, and keeps its momentum
right up until the final cliff-hanger.
This is a
world fully fleshed out and realised, thanks to some great character
designs by Kenji Mizuhata. The little details like the instruments
aboard the airship through to the retro-look school bus and all the
weapon and vehicle designs really serve to draw us in to the world of
Xam’d. The animation looks very smooth and clean, with a luscious
palette for the backdrops. Sound design is also superb, with everything
from gunshots to the roars and whoops of flying ships sounding
convincing. Michiru Oshima’s soundtrack is for the most part mesmerising,
but some of the recurring tracks can get a little repetitive later in
an alternate opening and ending doesn’t sound like great value, these
are definitely worth the watch. Both songs and animation sequences are
the ones that originally went to air, and are superior to what we see on
after an anime fix but you like your action offset by a good dose of
character development and interaction, Xam’d is for you. It’s engaging,
beautiful and exciting.