Xam’d: Lost Memories: Human and Humanform

Another week, another impressive episode of Xam’d, another justification for my torrid love affair with Haru. As if I really needed justification, but justification means I can explain it to people. Maybe, anyway.

Xam’d keeps shoving themes in my face; if I were really clever and not so eager to press the “publish” button so often, I mght think of them in the same post, but that might lead to really long and unwiedly posts, so either I have to wait until it pops in my head or the series makes it painfully clear for me. The theme that popped in my head this episode (which was probably stronger in previous episodes, but my mind works in weird ways) is that Xam’d, as a series, doesn’t seem to draw a line between what is “human” and what is “weapon”.

Here we have a world, a world that has developed some kind of biotechnology weapon that enables a human being to transform (through some arcane scientomagic, apparently) into a really big killing machine, while simultaneously allowing their human form to exist within the Humanform Weapon, as the bioengineered beasts are termed. It’s not clear how this process works–from watching Nakiami do her work, the human exists in a kind of soupy glowy mess inside the Humanform Weapon*, enabling her to extract them from the weapon itself before destroying the weapon, thereby saving the human “pilot” but destroying the weapon. Even when it comes to the more decidedly mechanical weapons that Haru and Furuichi** pilot, the line betwen man and machine is still blurred–they seem to use some kind of spinal/cranial uplink to allow them greater control over their units. While less drastic than actually becoming a weapon themselves, as the Humanform Weapons do, it definitely blurs the line between weapon and wielder.

The fact that there isn’t a clear line between the two is fairly simple for the cannon fodder units that pop up and are destroyed, but it becomes more critical where Akiyuki is concerned. Akiyuki is, of course, a Xam’d, and, while he may not quite know what he’s doing, it’s clear to Furuichi, at least, that, since he is a Xam’d, he is an enemy, and also that Akiyuki is no longer Akiyuki, but some other being, and possibly Akiyuki as he knew him is dead. It’s the dead opposite attitude to Haru’s outlook that, beneath the Xam’d exterior, Akiyuki is still the same Akiyuki that she’s known all her life, and she still needs to give him that armband back.

This all becomes poignantly clear when Toujirou calls Haru in simply to clarify what has happened to Akiyuki, referring to him as a “casualty” and other sinister hints that reveal that he no longer consideres Akiyuki (who is, very much, a human being at this point) to be human or even alive–instead, he is now another one of those menaces known as Xam’d that must be hunted down and destroyed, possibly without mercy. It’s rote business for Toujirou, who is more interested in his clipboard than Haru, and Haru, for all her conviction to the contrary, that Akiyuki is indeed a human being, can’t even begin to frame why she believes this.

Is Akiyuki still human? Is he now some kind of crazy possessed-by-Xam’d person who has the appearance and manner of his old self, but is fully Xam’d in thought? I’ll just whip out Occam’s Razor and state that, more likely, Akiyuki is still Akiyuki and Xam’d is still Xam’d, they’re just now both in the same person.*** And, although the Xam’d may be, in the end, just a weapon, in the end, it’s still going to be up to Akiyuki to decide how to use it. What’s that phrase I commonly hear? “Love the sinner, hate the sin”? In Xam’d terms, this would be “Love the human, hate the weapon”.


I don’t think we can hate the weapon, either. Fun.

(Is there some credit due to coburn here, after his comment on the last Xam’d post? I’m not sure, but here’s credit anyway!)

*I mustn’t say LCL, I mustn’t say LCL, I mustn’t…
*** Funny, this reminds me of this other series I’m watching right now

9 Responses to “Xam’d: Lost Memories: Human and Humanform”

  1. 1 bobofet 14 September 2008 at 1:54 am

    i actually thought the weapon was actually alive too and doesnt deserve to be killed. its just that they are lost and controlled by the human inside…

    i could be completely wrong :P

  2. 2 concretebadger 14 September 2008 at 7:02 am

    I recall feeling pretty sickened at that pregnant/marsupial humanform getting blasted to bits but props to the writers in Furuichi’s character development. He’s turned into a really nasty piece of work by now, which sums up quite effectively I think exactly what’s wrong with the conventional wisdom regarding what the humanforms actually are. I love to hate him.

    “…another justification for my torrid love affair with Haru. As if I really needed justification, but justification means I can explain it to people.”

    You don’t need to justify it. I understand. ^_^

    What I’m finding interesting at this point is that some humanform pilots seem to be doing it out of choice (one acted like some sort of tank commander on a suicide mission) while there are many others such as Akiyuki and (presumably) Kio’s mum and adoptived dad who are transformed without their knowledge or consent. I think. Like you, I’m just enjoying the experience and waiting for the inevitable rewatch to make the details clear in my mind.

  3. 3 Bruno 15 September 2008 at 9:41 am

    I’m still having trouble distinguishing between Humanform weapons and Xam’d, or just seeing if Xam’d is the superset of the two.

    What I’m seeing is two different kinds of Xam’d at the moment:
    a) The Humanform cannon fodder: these are alive, and were probably human once, BUT they have to be piloted. Probably they have lost all human reason. I don’t think the pilot is the actual weapon, since we saw one self-destruct from within. He was in a kind of cabin. Also, they’re fanatics, so we can assume they have enough crazed followers to create said weapons.
    b) The autonomous Xam’d: Akiyuki and Raigyo would be these. These obviously have the choice between operating as a human or as a Xam’d, but only if they manage to create a symbiotic relationship with the Hiruko. So, these are more human, than the cannon fodder version.

    Now that I’ve actually typed this, I’m starting to think that most cannon fodder type Humanforms are the ones that lost the battle with the Hiruko for symbiosis, but were cultivated under Northern supervision, thus preventing them from turning into stone (which seems to happen to Akiyuki and Raigyo).

    Makes me wonder what kind the Southern government is creating.

  4. 4 otou-san 15 September 2008 at 10:43 am

    I’m loving every minute of this stuff, even though it (again) reminds me in more than a passing way of the situation with the Coralians in E7.

    Furuichi is a good character. I think it happened a little fast, turning him into the guy to hate, but it’s not unrealistic. Everyone seems to think the way he does, and only Haru’s feelings have changed her mind. Combine that with his now-obvious jealousy, and he turned into a real dick real fast.

    One thing: can Haru hear Xam’d, or did she just hear Akiyuki that time (ep 2 or so)?

  5. 5 concretebadger 16 September 2008 at 1:54 pm

    @Bruno: nice work there. TBH I’m still a bit confused about the differences and similarities between a Xam’d and a regular humanform – there’s so much going on you end up worried that you’ll blink and miss something.

    @otou-san: I might be wrong on this, but I think Haru can hear the voice of any Xam’d, not just Akiyuki. I’m still unsure of whether she has some sort of ESP, or whether she’s just an emotionally sensitive person (I don’t think you’d need ESP to realise how pitiful that pregnant humanform was). Her empathy really is what I like most about her character.

  6. 6 lbrevis 16 September 2008 at 11:46 pm

    Somehow I never stopped to consider that the way the ASP suits are controlled is also a blurring of the line between human and weapon. I’m glad you pointed that out. Xam’d is by far my favorite show right now, they have me absolutely hooked and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

    Otou-san: I believe Haru can hear every Xam’d because she was able to hear Raigyo on the bridge. Remember Nakiami can hear Humanforms, and presumably Xam’d, so maybe their powers are related.

  7. 7 Aegys Shanpaktu 2 February 2013 at 1:02 am

    Haru may be a ‘Tamayobi’ (correct me if I spell it wrong) – the humans who can hear the voices of Humanforms. The pregnant Humanform was an experimental Xam’d. A Xam’d, as I infer, is similar to a Humanform but in a Xam’d’s case, the Hiruko chooses the human to form a bond with him/her… I have yet to fully grasp the Tessik philosophy and the reason for the existence of Xam’ds in the Northern Continent – Southern Continent universe shown in Xam’d : Lost Memories.

  8. 8 Aegys Shanpaktu 2 February 2013 at 1:03 am

    And one more thing… Can anyone give me an insight into the mysteries of the Ututu seeds and the Ongoro?

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September 2008

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