Guest Author - Lesley Aeschliman
RahXephon: Pluralitas Concentio is an anime film that is a movie adaptation of the RahXephon television anime series. The film was directed by Tomoki Kyoda, and was released in Japan on April 19, 2003.
The film opens with the main character, Ayato Kamina, as a middle school student. He and his classmate, Haruka Mishima, have a budding romantic relationship. However, while Haruka is away from Tokyo, a race called the Mu make an appearance, and envelop Tokyo into a giant hemisphere called the Absolute Barrier. Because of this event, Ayato and Haruka and separated, because the barrier prevents people from entering or leaving Tokyo.
Three years pass in the Absolute Barrier, and Ayato is now a high school student. He and his classmates have been taught that the world outside has been obliterated. One day, invaders from the outside attack, and Ayato is caught in the middle of it. During the confusion, a woman named Haruka approaches Ayato; she is on a mission to take Ayato outside the barrier and to teach him the truth.
As Haruka is trying to leave the barrier with Ayato, he is drawn to an image of a god called RahXephon, and he ends up aboard this mecha. After he defeats one of the Mu super-weapons, Ayato, Haruka, and the RahXephon end up outside of the barrier. The rest of the film focuses on revelations, plot twists, and a major battle near the end of the film.
I watched this film right after I watched the RahXephon television anime series. Because I was able to watch them so close together, I could tell where changes had happened in the story between the anime series and the film. There were some changes made that I thought strengthened the story, but there were other changes that I ultimately felt weakened the story. The worst part of the movie was the decreased role that the character of Quon plays in the story.
Ultimately, I thought that the first act of the film worked really well, and I preferred the ending of the film to the ending of the anime series. However, because some of the side stories and other plot points were removed in the movie, the middle portion of the film felt rather choppy. If you watch this film and aren't familiar with the story from the anime series, this section of the film could be rather confusing.
Overall, the animation in RahXephon: Pluralitas Concentio looks nice. The footage that is also from the anime series looks very good; however, the footage created specifically for the film doesn't look quite as good.
I would only recommend RahXephon: Pluralitas Concentio to anime viewers who already have familiarity with the RahXephon anime series. I say this primarily due to the jumpy and confusing nature of the middle portion of the film.