Seriously, Go Rewatch Xam’d

Xam’d is an interesting show, and having finished recently, I know a lot of people aren’t quite sure what to think of it. Throughout the series, the story seemed to come in piece-meal, characters’ motives appeared ambiguous, and there just wasn’t a lot of information to go on from episode to episode. It was like the vital parts of the story were being dropped into the pond off-screen and we were simply watching the ripples.

But this is why I’m telling you to rewatch Xam’d, or at the very least the first episode. The second too, if you’re feeling daring.

I know it seems odd to say that if you maybe didn’t like a show that you should first watch through the whole thing and then watch it again, but what I’m telling you is that a lot of what we might call vagueries in Xam’d turn out to be anything but in retrospect. It is only because we have so little information at the beginning that everything about Xam’d seems so hazy.

With all of the character introductions in episode 1, those brief first encounters with the cast of the show, they at first hardly seem like people. You get bits of information in regards to who they are, but it’s still very difficult to form any opinion on them. But go watch them again, and you’ll see that their first appearances speak volumes about the characters. In episode one, when Ishuu is calling for someone to wake up Nakiami and tell her to get going, Nakiami’s already at the hangar ready to leave. Prior to that moment we see Nakiami silently ordering Akushiba to wake up and then immediately changing her clothes in the same room. It’s mainly in hindsight that one realizes that this hints strongly at not only Nakiami’s attitude but also her relationship with Ishuu.

There’s also other, smaller things.

Just look at the yellow rings.

Or the Opening.

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10 thoughts on “Seriously, Go Rewatch Xam’d

  1. I like you choice of pictures for the article. A service shot but not.

    I myself was interested in Xam’d but Narutaki and I only watched up to episode 2. Maybe I will just plow on without him and watch this series.

    On the other hand it seems like it will almost certainly get licensed for DVD at some point in time and I don’t feel like shelling out for a PS3.

    Still you repiqued my interest.

    – Hisui

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  2. More srsly;

    Yes, rewatching is important. The show at first already seemed like chock full of implications and curious details tucked away into the folds of, as you put it, vagueries, that a rewatch seemed only natural. And many of us did like digitalboy. But that isn’t quite the same as what you propose.

    But some of us who followed the show off PSN can attest that rewatching is difficult. What would actually happen (as I imagine) is that some of us would just watch the same episode multiple times, back to back. (We want to get the most out of our $4 after all.) Or download it and watch it there. The re-run rewatch marathon will be difficult, especially since this show’s production value is only ill represented with anything less than how it was originally served–high-def and 5.1 audio.

    I’m afraid it will be a long wait ahead to see Xam’d on Blu-Ray.

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  3. While I agree that rewatching a show in retrospect allows you to pick up some of the more subtle parts of the relationships between the characters, that wasn’t the only problem which the show had, namely the very poor pacing (especially near the end) and the concurrent plots which seem to lead to nowhere only to be resolved in 15 minutes (like the one involving Harus little sister)

    The show also did a poor job of portraying the world of Xam’d in general, such as the complete lack of info about the north and their humanform weapons (not to mention the rebel faction which Raigo and Ishu (re)joined near the end. Where did that come from?)

    I think It would have been better served as a 52ep show instead of a 26 and given more time to flesh out.

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  4. Yes, it is worth re-watching at least the first episode because, among other things, it features the same book excerpt that Isshu reads in the last episode, highlighting one of the central themes in Xam’d.

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  5. I really need to watch more of this. I watched… the first episode. I really liked it, but, you know, things happen. (specifically, I couldn’t find the next episodes, because the fansubbing for this at the time was random as shit.)

    I like the synchronicity, by the way — I just finished this brilliant novel, Dhalgren, by Samuel Delany, which ends on an incomplete sentence… which is completed by the first line of the novel.

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  6. I was really enjoying watching the opening become clearer and clearer as the series went on, and then really falling into place right at the end. I love it when series do that. Dennou Coil was pretty good for that, too.

    > The show also did a poor job of portraying the world of Xam’d in general

    No, it did not. All the things you mentioned were quite clearly very deliberate. You may not have enjoyed what they did, but it was not a “poor job”, it was a very intentional artistic choice. The show was built entirely around confusion and chaos, and you were never MEANT to understand all the little background details.

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