Back in 2008 animation studio Bones released a 26 episode series entitled Xam’d: Lost Memories for the Playstation Network. I’ve no idea how popular this release was her in America when it was released back then (my guess is that it was largely ignored) but after that initial release Xam’d dropped completely off of American radar for the next two years. In Japan, there was a television broadcast of the program as well as an eventual home video release, but nothing else here stateside for a show that was premiered on the Playstation Network first in America.
North American Anime distributor Section23 Films has just announced that it has picked up the rights for Xam’d and will be releasing it on Blu-ray and DVD on September 21st. The first box set will cost $59.98 ($69.98 for the Blu-ray edition) but has a running length of 325 minutes — a good bulk of the series. The show is the spiritual sequel to Bones’ previous work Eureka Seven from 2005 and is also very much influenced by Hayao Miyazaki’s Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind from 1984. The animation by Bones is gorgeous and the soundtrack by Full Metal Alchemist and Godzilla veteran Michiru Oshima is impeccable. The story itself has issues and I really feel that if the series had been allowed to run for 50 episodes it would have become a modern classic.
At 26 episodes the narrative feels a little claustrophobic and is a little slow at times but it has scenes which easily places it among my other favorite series. Despite an action-packed opening, this show is wrongly described as an ‘action’ series and is really much more cerebral often times making the viewer fill in some gaps in the storyline where it seems they just didn’t have the amount of time in the series to flesh out in a more fulfilling manner.
Ultimately, this show is not without its flaws but it has been a story that has stayed with me since I first watched it in 2008 and even succeeded in being quite haunting at times. Worth owning. Again, the first set is out on September 21st.