Bounen no Zamudo

Title:Bounen no Zamudo
Xam'd: Lost Memories
亡念のザムド (Japanese)
Keywords: , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - BONES
Akiyuki, the main character of the animated series, lives on Sentan Island, a land that has preserved its status as a free and peaceful island in a world consumed by fighting between the Northern and Southern Governments. All of this changes when Akiyuki boards a bus along with a mysterious white-haired girl who transforms his arm with the lost memories and power of Xam'd.

As Xam'd, Akiyuki goes on a rampage and is saved when a foreign girl with red hair named "Nakiami" calms him down, taking him back to her postal vessel. Akiyuki now must gain control of his powers and use them against the Northern Government's latest weapons, known as "Humanforms". Travelling the world on a postal vessel, Akiyuki hopes to return home one day, but until then he befriends other passengers on the boat.

Exclusively available title to PlayStation Store's video download service for the PlayStation 3 (PS3) and PSP consoles. (summary from ANIDB)

Animation by BONES.
26 Episodes.

3:50min Opening Song AMV - YouTube Video
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Rent 8 8 8 7 7 7 Ggultra2764 [series:1872#1552]
Xam'd: Lost Memories was a series in which I wasn't sure how to make out its developments. The series seemingly threw out quite a bit of material it was diving into which included youth dealing with war, religious persecution and hypocrisy, war between nations, maintaining one's self, government corruption and trying to gain acceptance from others. It looked as if the series was trying to juggle around these themes yet it doesn't consistently deliver at effectively conveying any meaningful message that the audience could relate with. The series quite frequently gets in the habit of tossing around plot twists to try keeping its audience hooked. Sometimes, the series does deliver enough foreshadowing and focus on these events to come where they make sense and it could hook me in. At other points, Xam'd fails to provide enough foreshadowing to a character or element to the series and it makes said developments look sloppily put together and not make much sense considering either we don't know enough about said character/ element (Midori, Furuichi, a later event with Akiyuki in the second half) or the actions of said character contradict how the series had portrayed them in earlier episodes (Kakisu). Not to mention this series has enough plot holes for me to nitpick about such as how one loses their sense of self when they become a Xam'd and what leads them to harden into a statue when weapons aren't used against them.

The one major area I would have to praise Xam'd for was its efforts to provide depth to a large cast of characters. While this focus is far from perfect as a good number of secondary and supporting characters don't get much explored about them until later episodes in a haphazard way, the series does do well in exploring the developments faced by its main characters with Akiyuki, Nakiami and Haru. These three characters find themselves dealing with their own personal journeys to face thanks to the complicated mess of war, military corruption and being entangled with the Xam'd with the three gradually working up the resolve to defy those around them to do what they believe is right from the personal experiences they had.

The visual presentation to Xam'd is a decent one featuring clean and smooth visual details with its visuals with a variety of great-looking scenery shots from the small town setting of Akiyuki's homeland of Sentan Island to vast skies over the ocean while in flight to icy mountaintops. Animation in the series is quite fluid at points during action sequences, particularly with later battles in the second half of Xam'd when the plot starts to pick up.

Overall, Xam'd proved to be quite a mixed bag for me where it looked as if the series often lost focus on what exactly it wished to do with the direction of its plot resulting in some sloppy plot direction and plot holes galore. While fairly entertaining and doing a decent job at fleshing out its prominent characters, this series does leave quite a bit to be desired.

Last updated Sunday, October 09 2011. Created Sunday, October 09 2011.
Watch 9 8 8 8 8 8 Dreamer [series:1872#2279]
Reading the synopsis, it didn't seemed that interesting but looking at some of the screenshots of the series, it looked pretty. I stepped into this one with mixed thoughts and not knowing what to expect.

Art, Animation and Character Design
The artwork is great. I liked it. It almost felt sorta like a Final Fantasy setting.... in that, there was a mix of "old world" mechanized things in a "new world" concept.... like flying ships and what not. The backgrounds were richly detailed and colorful. As for animation, at times it seemed really smooth but then more times than not, it seemed pretty choppy. Usually the choppiness doesn't bother me, but here, it was really noticable. With that said, I wonder if it was done intentionally. Sometimes, dropping a few frames gives an animation a particular feel.... an illusion of swift motions, quick jerks and "sudden" reactional movements.

It started off with a good "gregorian" style chant or almost "church-like" music. Something starting off like that almost lends a sense of something building up to a dramatic moment. The OP was almost an electric-alternative rockish type. Very catchy. The ED was equally as good. Almost a grundge style. However, throughout the anime, there was some soft pieces that really didn't do nothing for the episodes and hardly noticeable. Other times, there would be a dramatic piece that really didn't fit the scene at hand.

Series and Episode Story
Starting off, I was very confused. I had no idea what was going on, what these "Xam'd" were and what those giant "pod" looking creaters were. This went on for the first 4 episodes until it started explaining a few things which made it a little more less confusing. The plot was for the most part slow. With the subtle music in the background, it seemed to make it even more slow paced, and stayed that way up until about episode 14. Even then, it was marginally interesting as the battle between Akiyuki and Furuichi was pretty boring.... but oddly disturbing as Furuichi morphed grotesquely into various forms. As I sat through the series, even with all the guns, "pontential" for warfare, soldiers and what not, I got a sense of "placidness"... almost a "layed back" feel to what was going on in the anime..... as if nobody was serious about anything in the story. In other words, nothing in the episodes brought any sense of "excitement", "danger" or "mystery".... or any other emotion for that matter. Most of the character's don't get their backgrounds explored but rather are briefly introduced. There's also quite a bit of plot holes. Take for example in episode 21. Here Midori's father is trying to rescue her..... yet, we have no idea how he finds out she's in a bad situation. The last we knew was that he knew of her "working" for the "Far East Autonomy". At last, nearing the end of the series, it starts concluding things but in a lackluster fashion. Nevertheless, it was a decent ending, wrapping up things nicely. By the final episode, it becomes a tragedy.... a bittersweet ending.

Overall, the only real emotion I felt for this anime was a sense of confusion, followed by bordom then ending in a very mild excitement. In a nutshell..... disappointing.

Last updated Tuesday, March 03 2009. Created Tuesday, March 03 2009.
Unevaluated Jan-Chan [series:1872#967]
(seven episodes watched)

I am just enjoying this too much to just sit this one out. And if you found any enjoyment in Rahxephon, then you might want to check out this series too.

Both this series and RahXephon were created and animated BONES, and it shows. With a complex plot and a story filled with weird and strange events, Xam'd takes place on a distant world - at a time in which humans can be tainted (or infected) with something that makes them change into rampaging creatures.

And as a special treat, they even borrowed one of my favorite characters from Nausicaa (complete with her flying airwing) and put her in a leading role as some kind of mystical spiritualist and the romance interest of the main character.

In any event, I am hooked on this series and looking forward to the next episode.

Last updated Wednesday, October 01 2008. Created Tuesday, September 02 2008.
Unevaluated aoneish [series:1872#1615]
ep 1

awesome op and ed. very clean and very nice animation and art style. i came in not knowing what to expect and though it starts a lil bit slow and vague cause we're tossed into the middle of a cold war, it does end with a literal bang, and that's just enough to get me to the next episode.

Last updated Saturday, August 02 2008. Created Saturday, August 02 2008.

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