published in Empire No.64, Sydney
The primary strength of Rahxephon is its imaginative base from which it forges a distinctive take on sci-fi possibilities. Opening on a broken love affair between Kamina and Mishima separated in their high school years, the film radically shifts once the alien colony of Mu suddenly materializes over Tokyo and creates an alternative time-warped field, 'Jupiter Tokyo'. This domain houses the Mulians - copies of everyone on Earth, except for their tell-tale blue blood. Both Mu and Earth possess their own psychic-spiritual plane upon which resides the karmic spirits of Kamina and Mishima (obliquely revealed much later).
Rahxephon is amazingly dense - a single viewing is sure to not suffice. But the spatio-temporal patchwork of simultaneous dimensions and planes of existence is fabricated with poetic grandeur and adrenaline impact. Kamina 'synchronises' with the monumental psychic-robot entity Rahxephon, which he powers in eye-boggling aerial combat in the airspace of both Earth's Tokyo and Mu's Tokyo Jupiter.
All key sci-fi ingredients are intact, but here unleashed and left to hover in degravitational states. Sometimes the story floats on lyrical visual passages, other times it is decimated by hyper-abstracted explosions. Both modes are handled with stunning artistry that thrills even as one grapples with the narrative.