Akiyuki is an ordinary high school student who lives with his two best friends Haru and Furuichi on Sentan Island, a neutral zone while the North and South governments wage war. That is, until he gets caught in a terrorist bomb attack. The bomb itself comes in the form of a white haired girl, and the explosion implants a gem into Akiyuki's arm, which forcibly transforms him into a Xam'd, a humanoid creature. Nakiami, a mysterious and emotionless young woman, takes Akiyuki into her care in order to help him control his newfound power, forcing Akiyuki to leave his home and friends behind.Meanwhile, every day life is torn asunder in Sentan Island as the Mainsoul Military takes over to stop the Humanform Weapons from wreaking havoc, but unknown to most they are doing secret experiments involving the very monsters they're trying to stop. Haru and Furuichi have both joined the military, albeit for different reasons. While Furuichi wants to protect their island, Haru is hoping to reunite with Akiyuki.Xam'd: Lost Memories (Bounen no Xamdou) is produced by Studio BONES and shares some similarities to Eureka Seven, BONES's previous creation. It offers a deep and involved plot with detailed art and a rich setting.Notably, it first came available for download on the PS3 in North America, months before it became available in Japan- unfortunately, the translation was very sloppy as noted below. It is now also being broadcast by the Anime Network and distributed by Section 23 Films' Sentai Filmworks imprint in America.Has a character sheet that needs more love.Also has a WMG page now.
"Blind Idiot" Translation: Sony has always used bad translations, but Xam'd is one of their worst. Complete with typos, the context is often off, and sometimes an important term (even one that's the episode title) gets translated differently with each use, severing story connections. Not surprisingly, a frequent complaint for the series is that the plot is nonsensical.
"One more red mark (akaboshi) and I'll get disciplinary training." -> "Akaboshi's disciplinary committee's coming by again!"
"Don't be stupid. We purged those a long time ago." -> "Don't even joke about that. I don't want to be purged..."
"It's a 3 hour wait at the military hospital. You'd be long dead before the examination." -> "They always glare at you before examination."
The Furuichi-Akiyuki-Haru trio resembles the main characters from Kingdom Hearts.
The entire main cast appears to be primarily based on that of Eureka Seven. It's practically a 1:1 match-up.
Haru bears a striking resemblance to Shion Arita, who was Birdy Cephon Altera's alter ego in Birdy the Mighty: Decode.
Eye Scream: Ryuuzou (Akiyuki's dad) gets his eye slashed by Kakisu (we see relatively little detail, but from the amount of blood, the eyeball itself may have been cut open, if not in half(!)) near the series' end. Suffice to say, next time we see him, he has only one.
To add to this, the Humanform Weapons' Frickin' Laser Beams evoke this. They have special organs on their bodies, called "spores" that resemble eyes, which eject from the body and self-destruct, turning into powerful beams. Small Humanforms usually have 2, however, when we see a man missing his left eye transform into one, we see that the left spore is also missing. That's right, the spores that pop out and burn up to fire the Frickin' Laser Beams... are their EYES!
Falling into the Cockpit: Though they were formally recruited to pilot the ASP Suits, Haru and Furuichi qualify here as their first live training session is interrupted and they have to face off against a huge and mysterious Xam'd.
Finger Poke of Doom: The Hiruken Emperor's solution to being attacked by an enraged Kujireika. Given that said finger is about the size of an industrial girder, its effectiveness is quite understandable... though still not much less humiliating for its victim.
Foreign Language Theme: All of the opening and ending songs are entirely in English, though the openings feature pronunciation so thickly accented it's virtually impossible to understand without subtitles.
Frickin' Laser Beams: The (devastating) primary armament of the Humanform Weapons and sufficiently powerful Xam'd]].
Gainax Ending - Large portion of the world dedicated itself through centuries of ritualistic sacrifices to seal the Emperor's sorrow with a giant laser, but wait; Akyiku was sent on a journey to fight the Dark Emperor to save the day. And he did. The day was won. The wrath of the Emperor is forever silenced and peace can return to the land without having Nakiami seal herself for a millennium.. And then Nakiami seals herself which leads to Akyiku and The Emperor to be blasted by previously said laser. And apparently everybody survive, including Akiyuki who inexplicably resurrected himself 7 years post facto.
Gambit Pileup: After Episode 19 and the Hiruken Emperor's return, every single faction in the story swings their plans into action at once. The results are predictably messy.
Giant Flyer: A type of Humanform Weapon classifies as this. The one that looks like an airborne manta ray, that is.
Heroic Sacrifice: Nakiami seals herself within the Quickening Chamber, knowing that she will never see her friends and loved ones again, to sleep for 1000 years in order to offset the darkness of the Hiruken Emperor.
Improbable Age: The southern military recruits and trains 16 year olds to be military pilots of highly advanced and deadly mecha suits, apparently as routine. May be seen as plausible given that a war has just started (and some modern countries recruit at that age in peacetime), but they are also being sent out in the field with hardly any training.
Spell My Name with an "S": The name of the series has been variably spelled as "Xam'd" by the US PSN release and current official websites, "Xamdou" by the early official websites, "Zamned" by the Japanese eye catches and ending theme album cover, and "Zamudo" through direct romanization of the katakana used (as well as random kanji on the soundtrack's track listing).
Shout-Out: Nakiami's flying kayak (somewhat a cross between the Mehve and the Swordfish), the Worm Handlers, the airships and the religious tribes from the Nausicaa manga.
Technopath: The Mainsouls, ordinary humans who are trained in this ability in order to pilot the ASP Suits. Also comes in handy for, say, repairing a busted Beat Kayak when surrounded by drowsy Humanforms.