Previously on Xenosaga the Animation: This is the story of super handsome Allen Ridgeley, beautiful girls, and their animated adventures of love, lust… and Virgil is still alive.
Episode 8: Encephalon
We open… in Soul Society? What the hell?
Oh, this is Jin’s house. Jin, you may recall, is Shion’s brother. In both XS1 and XTA, Jin is only previously glimpsed briefly at the top of the adventure, when Shion is chastising him for caring about their parent’s memorial service. Now he’s… watching TV?
Actually, chaos snuck off at the end of the last episode to give Jin a call and request backup. … What?
Meanwhile, Shion is in the Virtual World.
This is all very familiar, but chaos and Allen won’t be joining her this time.
Dr. Khaki Dad.
And Nephilim is here to explain the plot. Note that this isn’t an unusual still, she’s actually doing that thing where you stop yourself on the slide, presumably to screw the next kid in line.
Junior, Ziggy, and MOMO are pretty much unchanged in the VR nightmare.
Let the good times roll!
Incidentally, in XS1, this scene has a lot of jump cuts that make it appropriately chaotic, but kind of difficult to see exactly what’s going on. Here, there’s no question, URTVs are gunning down civilians, and Negredo is the only one trying to keep the peace.
“Wanna talk about your past, Shion?” “No.”
But, still, no reason for anyone to lose their head.
Meanwhile, in reality, Kukai Foundation is under attack by a mysterious mech, and, with nothing else to do, Virgil volunteers to get out there and take care of it. He’s so useful, guys!
The threat is Pellegri in the E.S. Issachar, a mech of comparable power to Albedo’s E.S. Simeon. This whole bit is an invention of XTA, but the E.S. Issachar will show up in XS2. Incidentally, in the games, the mech has more of a “one-winged angel” motif, while here, that “wing part” is just a shield.
Pellegri tells the E.S. AI (?) to handle the combat while she remotely dives into the Virtual World to catch up with the main party.
But Virgil in his AGWS is not having this.
“Wanna watch your parents die? No? Too bad.”
At least the lighting is nice. Reminder: in XS1, the entire party is here for this.
Also, it’s slightly less bloody.
Shion takes it about as well as you’d expect, again.
And Junior gets to have his little flashback with Kiddy Albedo.
And then everybody reunites… hey, MOMO totally missed watching her dad dive off a tower. … I suppose I’m a sadist if I miss that scene.
Alright, gang, we ready for a glimpse of the future? What’s that? You want some kind of freaky world with a tree and kids playing and someone named Feb? Nah, not happening.
Here, through imagery, the link between the Zohar and U-DO is pretty plainly shown. Not that it explains the link, simply that there is one.
In explaining his URTV versus U-DO origins, Junior slides into that same confession that is saved for the absolute end of the game in XS1.
“Yes, I’m a mutant, and yes, it was my fault all my clone bros died. I was afraid! And now I’m having a break through! Your turn, Shion. No?”
KOS-MOS accessorizes with a scythe for her planet reaping here.
And Pellegri is here! I guess she wants to grab virtual MOMO.
Hacking in from all the way on Second Miltia, Jin is here, too!
Pellegri and Jin converse, and appear to have a shared past, but it’s not elaborated upon.
In the real world, Virgil nearly goes full kamikaze to lay the smackdown on E.S. Issachar. Guess its AI isn’t all that great, or Virgil is just that good.
Jin was playing a lot of Chrono Trigger while he was chilling back at home, so he and chaos dual tech up an Ice Sword attack. This is actually the first chaos displays any kind of mystic ability in XTA, and, given it’s a virtual space, you would be forgiven for assuming it’s as “canon” as Ziggy kicking a meteor.
It’s super effective!
“Job well done. Welp, see you in the sequel, chaos.”
Shion and company are never aware that Jin and chaos saved their collective asses, and proceed unabated. Pellegri retreats in both worlds.
Here’s where we get the “coffee scene” flashback of Shion and Kevin discussing what to say to KOS-MOS when she wakes up. In XS1, this scene takes place before she actually wakes up.
In XS1, Shion is really tense about disturbing the bot that she was just told would destroy her home planet, and here she’s just happy to be here. Okay?
Data retrieved, reunions all around.
And with the investigation closed, Virgil feels like his friends who died on the Woglinde can rest in peace. Happy end!
Episode 9: The Song
Next episode starts with that Kiddy Albedo flashback, but from Albedo’s perspective.
And Albedo apparently feels abandoned by Junior.
“Ugh, dreams are lame.”
“Now what can I do to cheer myself up?”
“Oh yes, choke a helpless Realian. That’s the stuff.”
Back on the Durandal, Junior is concerned about sensing Albedo.
Remember that time he went insane? It wasn’t good.
In XS1, Shion recalls the events of the Virtual World while resting on her bed. Here, we’ve got Shion taking the most chaste shower in anime history. It’s annoying. Not that I want to see our heroine naked, I’m just convinced they made a few frames of Shion in the shower for the previous “next episode preview”, and they never had any intention of panning below her earlobes. Naked pandering is more offensive to me than naked people. Note that this is Episode 9, which would be the start of the final box set…
And, brief aside while we’re on topic: each episode’s preview is biting on Neon Genesis Evangelion so hard, there’s pieces of Gendo in their teeth. Tense music plays, Shion narrates, random scenes flash by, and there’s some implication that the incoming threat du jour will kill everybody forever… even if it’s the second episode. Nothing (said) about fanservce, though, at least.
Allen and chaos get their little heart-to-heart while randomly watching Ziggy and MOMO frolic.
And then The Song of Nephilim (song) cuts in. Note that XTA apparently wasn’t allowed to use any music from the original game, so even The Song is a different kind of droning.
The gnosis are attacking the Kukai Foundation, and evacuation is going… hectically.
Allen would help with the evacuation, but he juuuuuuust missed the elevator. See ya later!
Virgil hops in his AGWS, and is ready to bust some gnosis heads.
Presumably in an effort to simulate the pyrefly effect of dead gnosis in XS1, gnosis kind of “vanish” when defeated in XTA. Unfortunately, this has less of an effect of making them seem unworldly, and more like they’re virtual constructs from, ironically, some kind of video game.
Shion and KOS-MOS have a brief sit down about saving lives and not, ya know, destroying planets.
Here’s a spot where XTA has a leg-up on XS1.
Ziggy can’t protect MOMO because he is literally saving three children at once. That is how you make an excuse for leaving your kidnap victim unguarded.
But she’s saved by…
Virgil! Aw, he’s come around on the whole “hates (and sometimes eats) all Realians” thing, and is now saving a Realian.
I think we’ve all learned a valuable lesson about prejudice. It’s what Feb would have wanted.
And then KOS-MOS let’s an X-Buster loose.
And Virgil dies.
Still the last thing on his mind.
Shion is a little upset. Incidentally, this practically makes Virgil’s death an accident: KOS-MOS didn’t wait for the all-clear, and now Virgil is dead as a result. Very different death from XS1’s “he was in my way.” Shion has the same reaction.
Episode 10: The Weapon
MOMO survived the fireworks, though.
But she’s immediately nabbed by Albedo in the Simeon.
Junior attempts to fight back in his AGWS, but he’s outclassed and soundly beaten.
Shion is still in shock, so she has the flashback to KOS-MOS’s disastrous first activation. In XS1, it’s Cherenkov that has this memory.
Bad time for everybody.
Rather than eating lead, XTA has Kevin take a KOS-MOS fist to the chest. Gotta admit, I prefer this method. More visceral.
Let’s have a teachable moment about not butchering our friends while standing in some twisted wreckage.
Alright, danger is past, let’s figure out our next move. Oh, wait, the gnosis are still here? Well, let’s stand around talking anyway.
At the news of MOMO’s kidnapping, one of the #100s decides to point out that MOMO is really important to the family.
And Junior reveals that he knew Sakura, Dr. Mizrahi’s biological, “real” daughter. XS2 shenanigans, again. Please look forward to it!
Ziggy feels bad, chaos is taking a nap.
Dammerung here. Anybody need some gnosis destroyed?
Meanwhile, MOMO meets up with Albedo’s other kidnap victim, #99, who actually has her own running “plot” in this series.
With no sign of ranting madman Mizrahi, these flashbacks make the guy seem more like a kindly grandpa.
“Are you strangling or hugging me?”
Now this is strangling.
Back to the Dammerung, Red Testament tells the “new” Blue Testament, “Welcome aboard!”
Because Miyuki is apparently nonexistent in this universe, Togashi (last seen in the opening episode) is Vector’s friendly representative.
Here’s a big crazy weapon for KOS-MOS, have a nice day!
Incidentally, XS1 Miyuki has that quick scene where she admits she has no idea what the weapon does. Here, Togashi confidently replies that he knows what the ammo does, and doesn’t offer any qualifiers. I don’t know why that bothers me.
Back to the freakshow.
Rather than tearing or slicing his own head off, Albedo just rifles it here. It’s also even more “cut away, imagine your own gore” than the game.
“Anyway, ride’s here, want I should start sucking out your brain now?”
This posing winds up being a lot less disturbing than in XS1.
Ever helpful, Allen explains exactly what this crazy weapon does while Shion stands around being all womanly.
There’s actually a fair amount of tension regarding giving this crazy power to KOS-MOS… or they may have just had an extra five minutes to fill in this episode. Regardless, we close it with KOS-MOS blasting cloaked space.
Episode 11: Delusion
The Song of Nephilm has been pre-combined with Proto Merkabah for expediency.
Ah, I guess Albedo was doing this so long, he had to sit down.
And #99 just chills and watches.
“Don’t get yourself killed. Get all of us killed.”
“Suicidal assault on an orbiting death station? Whatever you say, boss.”
“Hey, I got your girlfriend, and I’m going to destroy a planet. Ya wanna do something about it?”
Shion doesn’t think that’s cool!
Albedo doesn’t care.
So Shion becomes a combatant for the first time (in the “real” world), and boards an AGWS. chaos and Junior do the same. Ziggy and KOS-MOS will be fighting au natural.
Space battle, woo… moving on.
Don’t worry, #99, Albedo has time for two Realians.
So #99’s deal was that she was disguising herself as a #100 on the Woglinde to fit in and feel important or whatever… but she doesn’t have any of the anti-gnosis skills of a #100, so Albedo claims that she, and her lie, are responsible for the fall of the Woglinde.
She takes the news poorly.
And the heroes arrive, which makes Albedo a lil tiny bit serious.
In one of the weakest displays of a healing factor ever, Junior shoots off Albedo’s shoulder…
And it grows back. Really? Couldn’t take out a real body part?
Junior has his super-powered freak out in his AGWS this time, so it’s kind of unclear if the energy is coming from him or the mech. XTA has a problem with directly stating any of the good guys have weird powers.
“No, Junior, don’t do whatever it is you’re doing!”
And MOMO gets to get up and have her shining moment.
But #99, now totally depressed over Albedo’s assertions, decides to merge with the E.S. Simeon.
chaos is concerned that she’s resonating with the E.S.’s anima or some such thing.
But whatever is happening, something is going on with the Simeon.
Yep, she’s good and stuck in there.
Now that looks like a final boss fight.
How are they gonna get out of this one!?
Episode 12: KOS-MOS
Now we get a little bit about #99’s past. Guess she was a test subject after Mizrahi died.
But she was rescued by Albedo!
Though “rescued” might be a strong word…
So she escapes and disguises herself as a 100 on the Woglinde… and we know how that turned out.
The world looks on… hey, who’s that dude with Helmer? He’s silent, but looks important.
There’s a couple of quick scenes to establish the “stakes” of Second Miltia, a planet we’ve never seen, getting destroyed by Albedo. Babies will die!
And dudes with hoods!
MOMO wants to save the world, but she also doesn’t want to hurt her sister.
#99 is touched… but still pretty homicidal.
Pew pew pew.
KOS-MOS volunteers to tear the Simeon a new one, but Shion convinces her to hold off a little to save #99.
Then KOS-MOS gets eaten. It’s sad.
Hard to get an exact capture, but the team’s AGWS get blown to pieces, literally.
And the Proto Merkabah is just about ready to annihilate a planet.
Shion makes an impassioned plea to #99 about love and friendship and Bunnie.
Albedo is still in the modified Simeon… and it’s barfing on him?
Monster Simeon powers up for a big attack…
But a laser beam erupts from its chest.
It was KOS-MOS’s X-Buster… which didn’t kill any party members this time!
And she’s got #99!
#99 is reunited with Shion. Shion was the only person this whole adventure who showed that Realian kindness, so smiles all around. Let’s ignore the fact that the only other person she interacted with was Albedo…
An amusing side effect of this final battle being AGWS based is that everyone winds up in non-standard outfits for the finale.
Oh no, it’s going to crash!
In this case, #99 volunteers to stay behind and separate the Proto Merkabah. Sorry, KOS-MOS, you’ll have to find another way to contribute.
A convenient explosion means that #99 won’t have to spend all day debating the party.
Woosh, the Elsa flies out of there, and doesn’t give a second thought about waiting for #99.
And #99 successfully plays with the control panel or whatever and passes out and into Realian Heaven.
And our final embrace is between an upset MOMO and Shion. KOS-MOS is off chugging an e-tank.
Ah, here we go…
Crashing to the planet, you know how this goes.
“No, KOS-MOS, you can’t, it’s not emotionally earned!”
HER EYES ARE BLUE, GUYS!
Amusingly, we don’t get chaos’s “decision” here, but we do see him get off the bridge when things start getting dicey. I guess the people making XTA didn’t know if chaos was responsible for these angel wings, either, and hedged their bets by leaving some extra room for interpretation.
It’s a beautiful Second Miltia morning.
A moment of silence for that robot we met a couple hours back.
Whoa, okay, yes, you’re upset.
But KOS-MOS is fine! Just a little singed from reentry.
Jin cameo. Thanks for helping earlier!
Nobody tell the Realians we just sacrificed their older sister!
Yeah yeah, I’ll be back and all that.
Oh, guess the Simeon reverted back to its original form… because Albedo would need it in the sequel.
One last check-in with the Testaments.
Oh, Black Testament. That’s new. Not that he says or does anything…
Job well done, tiny shorts.
KOS-MOS vision! … When did everyone change?
LAST KNOWN PHOTO.
Alright, that’s it, folks. I thought about it some, and it finally occurred to me what was going on here: this is the story of Xenosaga Episode 1… relayed by Allen years after the fact. Think about: it skips all the combat (“I was never much of a fighter”), he gets some of the details wrong (“Was it Virgil or Cherenkov that died on the Woglinde, it has been a while…”), information we don’t learn until later episodes is smooshed in (“I think Jin helped?”), dungeons where he wasn’t present are skipped entirely (“Cathedral Ship what?”), and, naturally, Allen looks a lot more competent (“It was right about then that I suggested we talk to my buddy Assistant Scott about pulling data from KOS-MOS.”), and Shion comes off a lot more… hysterical (“Wow, yeah, she barely went two episodes without crying about something”).
So, congratulations, Xenosaga: The Animation, you’re the best Allen fanfic of an actual adventure I’ve ever seen.
Pretty lousy otherwise, though.
Next time on Xenosaga: Super Stoic Bros. 2.