Studio : Toei Animation
Licenced by : FUNimation
Also involved : ADV Films
Length : 12 Episodes
Year : 2005
Genre : Science-Fiction - Mystery - Action
This series is based on a game by Squaresoft and Namco. The first game related to this is Xenogears, the story of which occurs a couple hundreds of thousand years after Xenosaga.
The story starts a couple thousand years after humans have left the Earth. Technology is now very advanced, cyborgs that have human emotions, wireless network everywhere in the universe, huge robots ( gears ), advanced weaponry, warp gates, everything. However, humans are also faced with a new enemy: the Gnosis. The Gnosis are an alien life form. Little is known about them and their intentions. The hardest part about fighting them is that most objects can't even touch them. This means that laser beams, bullets, bombs, etc go through them without doing any damage. More advanced weapons are being developed, however.
One of these weapons, named KOS-MOS, lies within the ship Woglinde. The story begins when Woglinde just discovered an ancient relic known as Zohar. Mysterious to all, Zohar was going to be transferred to the headquarters of the Federation. Shion, the head of the R&D division of an organization called Vector, encountered a little girl when she took a look at the Zohar. Mysterious to her, the girl left an impression on her as well.
While on their way back, the fleet Woglinde was in got attacked by the Gnosis. It turned out that the Gnosis' objective was the Zohar. Shion encountered a physical contact with one of the Gnosis. A physical contact with a Gnosis usually means certain death in a matter of seconds. Luckily for her, KOS-MOS awakens and came to Shion's rescue. KOS-MOS has a technology caled "The Hilbert Effect" that materialises all the Gnosis, allowing them to be attacked by normal means. Trained for combat, KOS-MOS single handedly cleared an escape path for Shion and Allen, her subordinate.
However, though the battle was concluded, the entire fleet of Woglinde was wiped out, and Zohar was lost. Shion and KOS-MOS are trapped in the middle of nowhere, while a deeper mystery awaits to be discovered.
Additional Notes: This anime was originally licensed by ADV films, but ARMS Corporation transfered its distribution license to FUNimation Entertainment in mid 2008.
Added : 2005-10-30
Synopsis by : Nightcrawler
Last update : 2009-01-01
Last update details : Seiyuu modified
Score : 6.25
Number of reviews : 4
ED1 : In This Serenity
2017-06-13 -- Episode(s) 1-12 by ~AA~. BT Link
2014-08-19 -- Episode(s) 1-12 by ColdFusion. BT Link
2005-04-28 -- Episode(s) 12 by C1anime. BT Link
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Posted by : sssl0202
Posted on : 2007-04-19
Xenosaga is an anime based on the game of the same title. The game is divided into 3 games (supposed to be 6 but ended up reduced to 3) and the 12 episode anime is based on the first one.
The anime did a fairly great job at converting the game. In many aspects, they did a superior job than the game by being able to maintaining the mood better, because it isn't broken by gameplay. Most of the message from the game also did transfer to anime very well and smoothly. If you like both anime and games and are wondering which version tells the story better, I'd recommend the anime for its more entertaining method of telling the same story. Due to many left out parts of the story, I'd recommend the game if you want to experience the story in better detail and in a more serious mood. That doesn't mean anime doesn't treat the story seriously, because it does, but the anime is the more exciting version. The game does have many silent moment to make the game feel very blue. Which is large reason why anime is more entertaining version in my opinion.
However, due to length of the series, many of the fine details of the games are left out, as well as events. Also, it is bit of a shame, but Lt. Virgil ended up playing the role of 2 characters of the game by himself in order to to leave out extra events of the game. This is unfortunate because of the importance of Virgil character in the game and it really hinders the overall story. It doesn't make huge dent, but it does change quite a bit of perspective and relations between characters, and it leaves out one character from the game.
Overall, to those who enjoy rather complicated storytelling that uses plenty of religious references similar to Evangelion, then you should give Xenosaga a try. It is a bit disappointing if you want to know the full story because you will need to play the 2nd and 3rd game to find out the rest, but if you are willing to be satisfied with cliffhangers or if you are willing to find rest of the story through game if it interests you enough, then by all means do watch Xenosaga. It is an anime worthy of your attention.
Posted by : p0505716
Posted on : 2005-11-05
I felt that the animation followed the game quite faithfully, especially the starting. But this should be expected from this kind of genre, both anime and game genre that is.
I felt the pacing was a bit too fast, but this is probably due to the fact that I played the game, which took me about 60 hours to complete because I try my best to complete everything in a single task. The anime seemed very rushed to me, especially towards the last four episodes. They didn't try to clarify as many agendas, which the game left to the player, to figure out as I hoped for... almost no extra scenes (at least I didn't notice any) and there was no epilogue. The producers probably didn't want to reveal anything from the sequel game though.
I found the opening song seriously irritating. Forgive me if you found it nice, but it was so loud and didn't really match the opening animation... they should have gotten some band like L'Arc~en~Ciel to do their music. Smooth and full of meaning which can be interpreted differently. Most anime based on games have establshed bands to do their soundtrack... Xenosaga is just weird.
The graphics were incredible, and plot was interesting. The pacing could have been better but we can't ask for too much. As far as OSTs are concerned, the anime could have done better. If you have the time and are interested in the game, I recommend this anime. Otherwise, there are much better anime to be found and seen.
Posted by : PolyGuru
Posted on : 2005-04-22
When I started watching this series, I had high hopes for it as I felt it had a good story, hence my disappointment after watching the final episode. While I still think that somewhere in the Xenosaga universe there is a good story, the execution of this story and the telling of it failed miserably.
This series had a 12 episode format which was just too short a run as it left so many things unexplained, not least being Kos-Mos, Shion and their relationship, and Nephilim. I would have liked to know more about each of them. I also felt that the story arc was never completely concluded.
Graphics wise they tried to blend 2D and 3D but it never meshed together with always one or the other seeming to be out of place. Soundtrack is forgettable.
The action sequences could be improved upon further especially the mech action. Why is it that the mechs just stand there or move in a straight line only to be destroyed? They might as well have painted a big red dot on it that says shoot me!
Only watch this if you are a die hard fan of the Xenosaga universe, like Kos-Mos, have time on your hands or are just simply curious.
Posted by : Yebyosh
Posted on : 2005-03-29
Huge space battles against an unknown alien force, cyborgs and androids with big guns and flashy moves, a maniacal insane clone running around plotting evil deeds. Welcome to the world of Xenosaga, another anime adapted from a console Role Playing Game (RPG).
The opening of the anime is a very haunting theme which promises of a saga of epic proportions. It reminded me of the opening themes of space operas of old, along with the cinematic sequences of character portraits displaying their chracteristic emotion. Helping to spice it up are some displays of battle. Equally haunting but more melodramatic instead is the ending theme. "In this Serenity" brings sadness and hope to the forefront whenever it is played as the background music as well for certain scene. This song is amazingly quite flexible in its use.
Graphically, the 2D parts ( characters and most of the objects and backgrounds ) look good at times with its crisp lines and distinct colours. Most of the designs involve cherumbim shapes for young teens or younger while older adults adopt the standard anime hero stature. Sometimes thick lips abound... Bad animation also appears to be evident for the intermediate frames. The mechas are flat in shading and lacking of textures. Their designs also look simplistic ( the Gnosis look like Play-doh dolls ).
The 3D portions while competant, falls several notches when they try to mesh it with the 2D. Such effects definitely come off worse than intended. Alone they might look good, but paired with the 2D, both look to be worse than they are.
Storywise, the plot flows quite well at the begininng, new questions are revealed just as older ones get answered. More and more mystery revealed as the series progress... Is Shion more than she seems...? Characters that look young actually being older than they look. The typical whose side is this character on... Of course there is also the event in the past, 14 years ago, that connects major characters together...
However the story all seems rushed at the last half of the series. A lot of previous events ( let us call them events "A" ) are thrown at you to justify the reasons for certain happenings ( say "B" ). The reasons and causes for A are of course unknown but you have to accept A to allow for B to exist. So pretty much this series becomes a test of faith, especially with things just happening that allow a convenient "super" force to constantly come to the party's rescue. Straining the situation is the multitudes of names of unknown factions and acronyms being tossed around. I am pretty sure that for the game, these names and terms are explained with great detail ( via background information scenes, resource books, etc ) but for the series, they are just mentioned and just like what is said earlier, you just have to accept them for their motives as is, so as to allow the story some continuity.
Mechanics wise, there are some parts that demand suspension of disbelief. It seems that Shion is some sort of a super being herself. A Gnosis would take 10 times the time to 'petrify' her as it would take it to do that to another human. She can also while standing behind a sprinting KOS-MOS, outrun the latter to impose herself between KOS-MOS and the target. No one seem to question these feats. Also why do the Gnosis like to stand around as a crowd and get killed without any resistance? They seem to fight pretty well as individuals... Their deaths seem pretty 'cheap' as well, they just disappear into sparkles.
Bright spots do liven this series though. A most hilarious scene ( depends on your kind of expectations, I suppose ) would be a battle that shows off over-the-top moves found in the Xenosaga console game itself. Those moves are pretty ridiculous in execution but in the scenario here, they actually fitted well and provided great laughter.
As befitting a high fantasy science fiction space show, there is a lot of flash and bang in the other action scenes as well. Also KOS-MOS is an interesting android ( and hawt!!! :P ) Certainly she is lacking of personality but it is her programming and background that makes her interesting. Who is her real maker? What exactly is her program and objectives? Why is she so protective of Shion? What are her real capabilities? Again... KOS-MOS is hot!!! :P
Unfortunately, there are too many unanswered questions left at the end of the series. Many of the questions posed above remain unanswered in whole or in parts. Those looking for detail and completeness likely will find this incomplete since the ending hints of a sequel in large bold capital letters.
I am pretty sure the game itself is more complete but for those who are uninterested in getting the console and game to play it, the anime as taken in a "just watch, no questions" light, can entertain as well despite its flaws.
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