www.rahxephon.com BONES/Fuji TV/Bandai Visual, 2002 ADV Films (Projected Release Date: Mid-2003) Directed by Yutaka Izubuchi (Mobile Police Patlabor, Gundam: Char's Counterattack). Rated 15+ for violence, slight nudity and mature situations. by areaseven (http://areaseven.net/) Ayato Kamina lived a normal life as a student in Tokyo. But when an attack by invaders levels most of the city, he is led by a mysterious girl named Reika Mishima to RahXephon, a giant purple mecha (think EVA-01 with a more human-like face and wings on its head). When RahXephon hatches from its egg, Ayato, along with TERRA agent Haruka Shitow, takes the mecha leaves the city, to find out that Tokyo is shrouded in a time-reducing shield known as Jupiter. He also learns that "Tokyo Jupiter" is run by the MU, a blue-blooded alien race. Ayato reluctantly joins TERRA to help rid the Earth of the MU. Story: A- Many people will say that RahXephon is an Evangelion clone. But despite a few similarities, RahXephon is very different. Unlike EVA's Shinji Ikari, Ayato is not a wuss who wants to run away. Reika and pink-haired songbird Quon may somewhat resemble Rei Ayanami, but they are a lot more human. As RahXephon is very story-driven, the pace is slow in the beginning, but you'll get hooked after the first four episodes. Animation: A+ BONES, the studio behind the Escaflowne movie, delivers with excellent digital 2D and 3D eye candy. That and some excellent character designs make this anime a winner. Soundtrack: A Ichiko Hashimoto supplies an outstanding musical score for this series. The opening theme, "Hemisphere" (produced by Yoko Kanno and performed by Maaya Sakamoto), absolutely rules. Sub vs. Dub RahXephon features Hiro Shimono as Ayato Kamina, Aya Hisakawa (Skuld in Ah! My Goddess, Ami/Sailor Mercury in Sailor Moon) as Haruka Shitow, Houko Kuwashima (Sango in Inu-Yasha, Natarle in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED) as Quon Kisaragi, Ayako Kawasumi (Melfina in Outlaw Star, Ruriko in Gate Keepers) as Megumi Shitow, Yuu Sugimoto as Elvy Hadhiyat, Fumiko Orikasa (Meia in Vandread, Azusa in Great Teacher Onizuka) as Kim Hotaru, Kouki Miyata (Daisaku in Real Bout High School) as Souichi Yagumo, Joji Nakata (Alucard in Hellsing, Folken in The Vision of Escaflowne) as Jin Kunugi, Mitsuru Miyamoto (Roger in The Big-O, Ayame in Fruits Basket) as Itsuki Kisaragi, Toshihiko Seki (Duo in Gundam Wing, Legato in Trigun) as Makoto Isshiki, Maaya Sakamoto (Hitomi in Escaflowne) as Reika Mishima, Yumi Kakazu (Dita in Vandread, Aya in Ceres, Celestial Legend) as Hiroko Asahina, Hirofumi Nojima as Mamoru Torigai, Yuu Asakawa (Motoko in Love Hina, Priss in Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040) as Shinobu Miwa, Houchu Otsuka (Collins in Gunsmith Cats) as Masayoshi Kuki, and Ichiko Hashimoto as Maya Kamina. ADV will be releasing this series as part of their anime channel next year. Hopefully, their dub will be better than Neon Genesis Evangelion. Here is their cast list (from Anime News Network): Chris Patton (Yushiro in Gasaraki, Takasugi in Martian Successor Nadesico) as Ayato Kamina, Monica Rial (Hyatt in Excel Saga, Miharu in Gasaraki) as Haruka Shitow, Kira Vincent-Davis (Ruri in Martian Successor Nadesico, Koharu in Princess Nine) as Quon Kisaragi, Hilary Haag (Nene in Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040, Menchi in Excel Saga) as Megumi Shitow, Christine M. Auten (Shino in Princess Nine, Kichijoji in Steel Angel Kurumi) as Elvy Hadhiyat, Tiffany Grant (Asuka in Neon Genesis Evangelion, Kumikumi in Excel Saga) as Kim Hotaru, Mark Laskowski (Iwata in Excel Saga) as Souichi Yagumo, John Gremillion (Gekigangar narrator in Martian Successor Nadesico, Nigel in Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040) as Jin Kunugi, Jay Hickman (Nabeshin in Excel Saga, Akatsuki in Martian Successor Nadesico) as Itsuki Kisaragi, Illich Guardiola (Nanbara in Excel Saga) as Makoto Isshiki, Kelly Manison (Naga in Slayers: The Motion Picture, Linna in Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040) as Sayoko Nanamori, Mandy Clark as Reika Mishima, John Swasey (Dr. Stingray in Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040) as Shogo Rikudou, Cynthia Martinez (Linna in Slayers: The Motion Picture, Hikaru in Princess Nine) as Hiroko Asahina, Vic Mignogna (Ikeda in Martian Successor Nadesico) as Mamoru Torigai, Mike Vance (U.S. President in Gasaraki) as Masayoshi Kuki, and Laura Chapman (Sylia in Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040, Chiren in Battle Angel) as Maya Kamina. The Bottom Line RahXephon is probably the #1 reason to subscribe to the Anime Channel next year.