Xam’d: Lost Memories: More Like Lost Lovers

I actually watched Xam’d 7 last night, and then got lazy, and then stayed lazy all day.

Actually, I’m pretty sure what I noticed in 7 has probably already been noticed by those more observant than me, but I’m somewhat intrigued by what’s going on in this regard (because I am, after all, a sappy sentimentalist living vicariously through the romantic relationships of fictional characters, but that’s my prerogative and not yours), and also because it adds in a different layer to what I talked about earlier (the chaotic nature of Xam’d). This is, of course, the long distance relationship of Akiyuki and Haru.

It’s obvious back to the first episode that, under normal circumstances, both had a thing for the other. It was a fairly key moment in Haru’s early development (chasing after Akiyuki while he was berserk under the influence of Xam’d) and in Akiyuki’s (insisting that Akushiba run like the wind to deliver his personal letter to Haru explaining that he was, in fact, alive), but I only just now seemed to latch onto its significance. In a world essentialy gone chaotic (which the world in Xam’d has done, even if the series itself wasn’t mirroring that chaos), the two of them hold on to each other as a kind of grounding point in the chaotic nature of war. With whoever they’re warring with. I’m not sure anyone knows that, even the military leaders.

More importantly, as Akiyuki longs to talk to and be with Haru again, Haru, herself, is trying her hardest to get back in contact with him–by joining the military, allowing her to leave the island and search for him. It’s possible she could have just played the waiting game and waited patiently for Akiyuki to return, but instead she actively pursues him. We already know she’s quite handy in a fight, but she became determined to join the military after she learned he was safe. While Haru serves as a base for Akiyuki to ground himself in while traveling with Benika’s mailmen/warriors, Haru instead uses Akiyuki as an excuse to move forward. Akiyuki, forced into an unfamillar situation, wants things to return to normal as soon as possible; by contrast, Haru is actively pursuing the unfamiliar in order to get back the familiar. They both remain grounded in each other, but take drastically different approaches to the same grounding.

On top of grounding the characters themselves, it also offers an anchor point for the viewer: we may not exactly know what is going on, but those among us who are sympathetic to the characters themselves will find plenty to comprehend and enough to ground them in the series while the rest of the situation fits itself around the characters. With each episode, we discover a bit more about the world and its mythology, but we also discover a bit more about the characters: Haru crying when she notices the escaped Xam’d is “pregnant” and insisting that it’s not an enemy to Furuichi, Akiyuki killing a Humanform Weapon against Nakiami’s orders not to, since she wants to preserve the human life within. Both serve to illuminate both the world and the characters themselves, without forcing the hand too much.

I’d almost say that, more than the crazy action and the fighting against Humanform Weapons and whatever else is going on with conspiracies a-flying and general, uh, chaos (is someone keeping a running tally of the number of times I say “chaos” in relation to Xam’d? You might want to, I’m far too lazy to do so), what Xam’d will actually be about for the characters isn’t so much the resolution of the war so much as staying grounded in reality, in something solid and affirmable amidst the increasing entropy. The best way to do that (and what most soldiers sent away to war tend to do) is simply to ground oneself in love and affection–for a significant other, family in genral, or that pet dog you really love. As the world goes to hell, what matters to people is what they formerly took for granted: human relationships.

I’m entirely unsure how far this line of thought will be pursued, but it is delicious nonetheless. Knowing BONES, this group of individuals in particular within BONES, and the general pattern of modern anime (or even anime in general), relationships will probably play a fairly major part over the course of Xam’d.

Or, uh, they’ll all just shut up and explode, for the BAD END. If so, pre-emptive Haru ;___________;

5 Responses to “Xam’d: Lost Memories: More Like Lost Lovers”

  1. 1 coburn 31 August 2008 at 6:58 am

    I’m thinking that there’s a central conflict between human connections and moral action. You have to ground yourself in the people you know, but that doesn’t mean you won’t kill someone/thing you don’t. I’m not sure if being defined by our relationships is a “best way” to react to the chaos, or just the only way we can manage.

    Regardless, episode 7 was really good stuff.

  2. 2 OGT 31 August 2008 at 11:23 am

    I can see the morals vs. connections thing, but I don’t know what evidence has cropped up for that. I’m not even entirely sure what other way there is to react to the chaos that could be “better”–you either keep perspective on the situation, or you go ballistic and lose all shreds of your humanity.

  3. 3 coburn 31 August 2008 at 3:58 pm

    No real evidence at all for that one. I can just see our hero not thinking, getting caught in circumstance, and doing some bad killy things to save the girl in future. Biological mutant giants aside the military types doing the killing in this all seem quite human, just not humane. So, er, wars suck, stop being so human?

  4. 4 Ryan A 2 September 2008 at 4:47 pm

    It’s really just a matter of when the intensity will amp. Situationally, Xam’d is reminding me of Last Exile and E7, but it is starting differently with characters who were connected, and now are separated.

    The action elements are rad, and the mystical side is intriguing, but there is plenty of balance in the character development to integrate solid emotion.

    Well rounded basing we have going with Xam’d. Really enjoying it.

  1. 1 Xam’d: Lost Memories: Human and Humanform « Anime wa Bakuhatsu da! Trackback on 13 September 2008 at 11:36 pm

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I cannot understand those that take anime seriously, but I can love them, and I do. Out of my love I warn them to keep clear of this blog.

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August 2008

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