Xenosaga: The Animation is an adaptation from the Xenosaga entries of the Xeno series on the Playstation 2 by Toei. This is an adaptation of the first part of the game, not the other 2 released titles. Similar to the games, the anime is set in the future in T.C 4767 where all of humanity has abandoned earth. There is an alien race called Gnosis that is at war with humanity.
In order humanity fight against the Gnosis, they created an artificial species known as “Realians” and also highly advanced androids. Kos-Mos is one such super machine.
The main story deals with not only the conflict with the Gnosis but also finding a new home for humanity. Unlike Xenoblade, which had an admittedly lighthearted and cheesy atmosphere at times, the anime adaption has a more somber tone but there are some elements of humor. The themes from the original series are very prevalent in the adaptation.
Xeno is well documented for its focus on elements borrowed from various religions and each episode is based off a number in Jewish. The cast are more morally complex and nuanced and have layers to them than the video games. However, they are downplayed because of the short runtime. There was some decent chemistry between the characters and the main cast were excellent and complemented each other.
The pacing was very fast and many story plot points were dropped in and brought all at once. Unfortunately, due to the 12-episode slot, you won’t be seeing much screen time for some of the characters and the show does its best to handle it, so you’re going to have to play the games to learn more about the cast. Some of the characters did stray far away from their original counterparts.
The voice cast from the Japanese version reprise their roles and does a pretty good job while the English cast was serviceable. The art direction was really good and the character designs were very appealing and unique. The shows visuals were nicely detailed. The background design of the world and the mechanical designs were very impressive.
The musical score of the anime is outstanding and one of the best things about the series is its high quality music. The animation hasn't aged that well and the quality was lacking and the CGI shots were really obvious. Some of the targets weren’t even moving as fluidly as they should and just stood there stiff.
The show was ok but could have been better and it is better to play the games to learn more about the characters.
It gets 3 out of 5 stars.
The anime is a decent companion to the video game series and it would be really cool to see Xenogears and Xenosaga be remastered for the next gen consoles.
Something to keep in mind: the Xeno entries could be really pricey and this anime is no different. If the next gen ports are going to have the entire Xenosaga games, they should also add in the anime as well on the disc as a bonus given the now growing popularity of Xenoblade. `