As promised, the RahXephon OVA, Thatness and Thereness. Before you watch, I should point out this is not essential to understanding the series. In fact, this is probably the most confusing thing associated with RahXephon. It’s all about Quon and, if she didn’t boggle enough minds, today there are two of her!
This is in two clips. Just play the second when the first ends. My commentary for each clip runs under it, using a nifty time index, so you can see what I see, when I see it.
We begin with a metaphor, comparing waves to the passage of time. “Time repeats, splash, splash.” This idea is expanded to the beating of the heart and to the ends of all tales.
(0:45) Our first full image arrives and this is a good parallel. It’s clearly the same scene Ayato fixates on, but there’s no girl at all. In her place is an empty music stand. This is a perfect analogy, not only of the artistic nature of the instrumentalist, but also in how Ixtli will influence things.
(1:10) This is a clear distinction between Quon and Ayato. Ayato isn’t someone who will try to fill emptiness or reassemble words and books. Seeing the empty stand, Quon purposefully pursues this goal. A goal that includes reassembling fragments of time.
(1:31) We’ve gone into the worst of Neon Genesis Evangelion territory now. One of the central aspects of this OVA is Quon asking questions in a rhetorical sense, but having them answered by text on screen. As with Evangelion, the conversation continues as well, making the on screen text a willing partner in the discussion, despite the total lack of character.
(1:45) Quon commits to playing, regardless of what she’s supposed to play. Her commitment on this is absolute, even if it means the setting for her act is ruled by nothingness. She elaborates on this, tying this idea to her previous thoughts, then mentions “a tune like this,” giving us the opening credits.
(3:41) With her characteristic, “Ra-Ra,” a second voice actually emerges. Floating before Quon is, well, Quon. This Quon, however is an “excerpt” of the real Quon. This is her “guide, the password that will open the door.” This isn’t something Quon really wants to do since she is herself.
(5:30) Her eyes. That gaze, how its framed, how it blazes, there’s only one consistent shot that’s similar to it: the RahXephon’s Eyes of Truth. And this is coming from the except of Quon.
(5:55) There’s nothing written in the book of Quon’s heart, because she is hiding it. Her heart is locked, so she can’t see something important to who she is.
(6:32) This shot just looks like something from Evangelion, not RahXephon. I feel like someone’s trying to be like an earlier show, just because Quon is… special.
(8:34) Here’s the scene no one’s been waiting for! After Quon and the excerpt discuss memories and the use of text to manipulate those memories, the excerpt says the two of them are halves of a greater whole whose body can’t exist in their current state. To seal this division, the excerpt kisses Quon. This is 100% of your Quon on Quon action. Quon closes her eyes and accepts this, her parasol blows away. (Off hand, I can’t actually remember a scene in the series after this point where she has her parasol again.)
(8:47) The scene shifts, taking Quon and the excerpt to a room with a piano. They discuss the meaning of notes on a page and how hard it is for any of them to actually have meaning. They discuss the meaning behind opposite ends of a single experience, like the relationship between an instrumentalist and a listener.
(0:21) Quon begins to realize more, especially after a flurry of words on screen. She’s taken to a rich blue vista where she and the excerpt watch clouds in the sky. Quon apparently hides her consciousness by refusing the reality she faces. (Another interesting observation: Quon is much more intelligible after this OVA. A little.)
(0:52) ” ‘I want to be connected to the Ollin.’ ” That’s a profound thing for the excerpt to say. There’s an immediate thought about that statement which is actually wrong. Still, her desire runs deep, else she wouldn’t have reacted at all.
(1:16) One of the ten bajillion parasols must have hit Quon on the head. Also, pay attention to what the excerpt says: “We, who are separated, acknowledge each other by denying each other.”
(1:36) “Let us merge the one who defines and the one who is defined and regain the real me.” I didn’t want to say this before, but the excerpt doesn’t actually sound like Quon, does she? She sounds like someone else, she sounds like Ixtli. Something else important to note is that phrase I copied here. This is Quon’s plot, not just for the episode, but for the series. The explanation to that is something I’m not going to divulge here, but this is Quon’s motivation, especially in the endgame.
(2:36) Here’s something really important. The woman with the twins, two of them, identical in most every way. We’ve heard of twins before, or at least sisters, a pair who were spirited forth. One implied to be Quon, who is also Human Specimen #1.
(3:42) The walls have crumbled and the excerpt is afraid, wondering why Quon won’t accept her. The world around them seems to fall apart as well. Finally, after Quon says she will always remember herself now, she calls the excerpt over and holds her warmly. Then, much like Carrie White, Quon is covered in blood as the walls of reality continue to crumble. Would you think they crumble like a shell?
(4:07) Quon tells Dr. Itsuki that she was playing a sorrowful tune, “but it is the song of origins.”
(4:38) “Thank you… Ollin. Thank you… Itsuki.” Take from that what you will. Just remember how Dr. Itsuki reacts to questions regarding the Ollin. Remember also that he’s Haruka’s rebound guy. Then, Dr. Itsuki says something REALLY CREEPY: “Good night, Mother.”
What? That can’t be it, can it? There’s an explanation I’ve been looking for and this is the first point where it shows up. What I’ve been looking for, is the note of Quon and Dr. Itsuki’s actual relationship. These two are already screwed up enough as it is.
Aside from that, what do we know?
This is an encounter similar to another we’ll see several episodes from now. Note the blood that the constantly cracking world. There’s a pair of hints in that symbol alone, foreshadowing what Quon is capable of and what her role might be. Then we have mention of a third Ollin–but not so fast. Keep in mind there’s a link between Dr. Itsuki and Ayato, a link that makes Dr. Itsuki jealous of Ayato at virtually every turn. But instead of siblings (really, I don’t think any viewer buys that line on face value), their mother and son? I don’t know what to say here, I don’t have to full info and, I’m starting to expect that THIS IS THE REASON why this OVA has not been made available in North America. Once I know more on the mother issue, I’ll say more.