「君との連弾2」国際合同アンソロジー 表紙イラスト | のりひよ [pixiv] http://www.pixiv.net/member_illust.php?mode=medium&illust_id=35247657
Really split on RX. I’m going to spoil it past the break, as well as probably spoiling another notable Mecha anime (you know the one).
This post is basically going to be a way for me to air my grievances with the last 5 or 6 episodes of the series. I really like most of the series up to that point; there’s certainly times when it veers a little bit too close to Eva, but the similarities are not inherently a bad thing, and, in fact, they lend the series an interesting context; it would be interesting to read parts of the series as a response to Eva-based viewer expectations, I think. I like most of the characters, too, and, to be honest, I would happily watch a whole half-season show where Quon just eats a nice picnic on a pleasant afternoon in a different place each episode.
However, we then get to the home stretch, as it were, and I have such a massive list of issues that I can only hope to remember most of them right now. I’m going to bullet point them, since that’s basically how I’ve organised them in my head, and just stream of conciousness this shit, to some degree.
Megumi! What the fuck was even the point of developing her character at all if it’s literally going to culminate in ‘I did fancy you but now I decided I don’t any more! Peace!’? She was one of my favourite characters, too, but my frustration with how they handled her plays in to my biggest grievance, which I’ll touch on in a little bit.
Was it really necessary to ape Eva so closely towards the end? I couldn’t believe my eyes when I was watching it; Bahbem (I’ll touch on that shit shortly, too), the big spreading wings of light in the ‘definitely not Second Impact’ Re-tuning, the Vermillions being ‘harnessed Dolems’ (not that I didn’t see that coming from a mile off, mind); these are just a few of the frustrating comparisons I can make. It hewed so closely to it’s elder cousin’s formula that it very much did start to detract from it in the end, which I was hoping wouldn’t have come to pass.
Mystery for the sake of mystery. Obviously this is kind of a universal ‘trope’ for a lot of anime, but I’ve never seen it taken so far before. That wouldn’t in itself be a bad thing, but in RX, there’s never any payoff for, nor is it ever truly earned; things like Quon’s dialogue (mostly with herself), which is just completely full of seemingly mysterious and meaningful language, that in the end comes to nothing whatsoever. Another significant example of this Itsuki, and the fact that he’s Ayato’s brother; that revelation serves literally no purpose whatsoever, except to make the viewer’s head tie itself in knots, an end which adds nothing whatsoever to the experience in the broad scheme of things. Contrast with, again, Eva; there’s an awful lot of ‘intrigue’ built up in NGE, in particular surrounding the likes of Gendo and Kaji, but it’s all for a purpose — there’s actual payoff to the mystery surrounding things, and everything does come together in the end, which is perhaps the most impressive piece of work that Anno’s done. The mystery in Eva is such, all these years later, people can and do speculate on certain aspects, and can come to fruitful conclusions, whilst also having plenty of satisfying, concrete answers to the things that truly matter. RX provides neither of these things.
Bahbem is the worst deus ex machina I’ve seen in a long, long time. They fall victim to their own ‘mystery’ BS, as I talked about just above, when it comes to Bahbem, and in the end he is just used as a very cheap ‘get out of jail free card’ to avoid coming up with a genuinely interesting explanation; instead, we just get ‘Bahbem did it’, and for so many different things, from Sayoko, to all of the grand events taking place.
I really feel like there was more I was annoyed about, but I’ll write this part and that’ll be that, for now: Haruka! The single most annoying thing about RX, for me, was the fact that Ayato and Haruka’s ‘relationship’ completely broke my suspension of disbelief. They were 14 years old; Ayato is now 17, and Haruka is 29; Ayato is 3 years older, and, time being 5x slower inside (or 5x faster inside), Haruka is 15 years older. 15 years in a hell of a long time to get over a teenage relationship, but she hasn’t done that one bit at all. The way she’s written has her stuck in the mindset of her 14-year-old self, of ‘true love is eternal’, and other such unrealistic nonsense; it may seem strange to complain about ‘realism’ in a show about a huge clay robot man, but we’re otherwise presented with human beings whose actions and emotions are consistent with those of their real-life counterparts. I could understand her having some kind of confused feelings towards him, but she should also be ready to accept that she effectively did not exist, as far as his memory is concerned; if she really cared that much then she would let him be, given that she may as well have never existed, to him, prior to her entrance at the beginning of the series. I also find the notion that Ayato would have developed romantic affection for her in the time since he left Tokyo Jupiter highly unrealistic, especially considering that she acts as a mentor, in a sense, and almost as a surrogate mother figure, in the face of his separation from his real mother. Most annoyingly, though, as I touched upon above, is the fact that Megumi’s whole character arc is constructed entirely for the purpose of her ‘signing off’ on their relationship, when, frankly, an Ayato and Megumi relationship would have been a much, much more realistic prospect, given the way the two of them are portrayed for most of the series (though I’m no shipper, most of the time). It’s very frustrating to have one of my favourite characters effectively wasted to serve one of my least favourite aspects of the series.
Well, that’s it, in short. Like I said, I’m very torn; I did really enjoy, say, the first 19 episodes, but my feelings have been really soured by the ending. Were I to score this on a 5-star scale, I would having a dilemma about whether to score this series a 4, or whether to knock off a star for the last 5 episodes.
To end on a positive note, I think the music in the series is top-notch, even if it (and many other aspects of the show’s presentation, really) very much dates the show to the early 2000s period that it was made in. I guess that’s to be expected when it’s themes are so heavily rooted in music, though. I’ve a number of favourite pieces from it, but, most of all, I have a soft spot for the discordant and unique battle theme, The Chariot.