RahXephon: Harmonic Convergence – Anime Review

Japanese Title: RahXephon: Pluralitas Concentio

 

Related: RahXephon (full version)

Similar: Ghost in the Shell

Ergo Proxy

 

Watched in: Japanese & English

Genre: Science Fiction Action Drama Romance

Length: 1 hr. 56 min. movie

 

Positives:

  • Comparable production quality to the series.
  • Several new scenes.

Negatives:

  • Shorter length removes the depth of detail in the series.
  • Without detail, many plot points seem unfinished and vague.

RahXephon: Harmonic Convergence is a perfect example in what happens when a complex story is crammed into too short a runtime. In my RahXephon review, I note how every scene has small details that go to explaining the characters and events – no scene was wasted. So, how did anyone consider it possible to condense nine hours into two without losing coherence? I am reminded of a fantasy epic novel adapted into a two-hour movie by Hollywood. That isn’t to suggest Harmonic Convergence is bad, but when compared alongside RahXephon, one can’t help question its value.

The core is the same. Enemy agent Haruka throws Ayato’s life in turmoil when she reveals the truth of his world. His life has been a lie and now he must to fight the aliens led by his mother, the god-like machine RahXephon his weapon. The key events are present, but with most in-between scenes cut for time, these events don’t flow together in harmony. An early case: after Ayato wakes to the truth, he is forced to pilot RahXephon. In the series, he is reluctant to cooperate with these strangers, distrustful of everyone. In the movie, it skips all that and he readily agrees to fight, which is incongruous with his character.

If the series never existed, I would look at Harmonic Convergence and think, “That movie has a great idea rushed to execution. With a longer runtime, I’m sure it could be something superb.” Harmonic Convergence looks like a first draft of a sci-fi novel before details are added and lore explained. To make the movie successful, they should have started the story anew; keep the lore, the idea the same, distil RahXephon down to its essence, but change the events to fit feature length, unreliant on a full series to explain everything.

RahXephon: Harmonic Convergence, ultimately, is for fans, as several new scenes give extra insight into the series. It is a much better effort than the Gundam summary movies, at least. Do not start with the movie, for it will reveal many twists without the worthy foreshadowing found in the series. Watch RahXephon instead.

Art – High

With most footage taken from the series, the art is the same high quality. Of course, a shorter runtime reduces visual variety.

Sound – High

Same quality acting and music; however, most storytelling through sound moments were sacrificed. Credits track ‘Tune the Rainbow’ is beautiful.

Story – Medium

It’s the same story as RahXephon, except without the detail that explains everything. For a concept as complex as this, detail is needed.

Overall Quality – Medium

Recommendation: For fans of RahXephon interested in extra scenes, most before the invasion. Not worth it for anyone else; either watch the series or skip the franchise. The details are too important to the story.

(Request reviews here. Find out more about the rating system here.)

 

Awards: (hover mouse over each award to see descriptions; click award for more recipients)

Positive: None

Negative: None

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