Xam'd: Lost Memories

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Akiyuki in his Xam'd form and Haru.

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 Zamned) 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 Play Station 3 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.

Tropes used in Xam'd: Lost Memories include:
  • Action Girl - Nakiami/Ishuu.
  • Adults Are Useless - Averted: They kick ASS in this series.
  • Alien Blood - Glowing, green blood.
  • Always Someone Better - Raigyo.
  • Anime First
  • Badass Normal - Nakiami. No questions.
    • Not to mention Haru and Ishuu. Hell, even Akiyuki's parents qualify!
      • Hell, almost anyone who's not a Xam'd qualifies as this.
  • Beam Spam - As the most powerful Living Weapon in the series, the Hiruken Emperor takes the Humanforms' Frickin' Laser Beams Up to Eleven. By the end of the series, Akiyuki is also capable of pulling off a more limited version.
  • Beware the Nice Ones - Ahm: Usually a kind and good natured guy, acting as father figure to most of the crew. But don't ever attack his ship, lest you feel the wrath of his cannon.
  • BFG - Ishuu's Weapon of Choice.
  • Big Guy - Ahm.
  • Bittersweet Ending
  • Blessed with Suck: Congratulations, you're a Xam'd! You've got Super Strength, Voluntary Shapeshifting, inhuman agility, and enough biological weaponry to demolish a city. Damn shame that you can't use any of it for more than a few seconds without running the risk of suffering Loss of Identity / going Ax Crazy / getting Taken for Granite / all three in no particular order. Oh, and there's an ungodly powerful Eldritch Abomination who wants to pick a fight with you. Good luck with that.
  • 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."
  • Body Horror - Furuichi's Xam'd form, but most of the Organic Technology probably falls under this, especially anything to do with the Hiruko.
  • Body Motifs - Lots of emphasis on eyes.
  • Bratty Half-Pint - Yango comes off as this when he's first introduced.
  • The Captain - Ishuu.
  • Catch a Falling Star - Haru to the rescue!
  • Clothing Damage - Which oddly repairs itself when the Xam'd return to normal.
  • Combined Energy Attack - Something of this sort was used against the Northern Emperor. It worked... Possibly. Maybe it was the name-giving.
  • Cool Airship - The Zanbani and the Northern and Southern military ships. The Beat Kayaks, meanwhile, combine this with Cool Bike.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu? - Subverted; the Captain's attempt at killing the Emperor with a regular bomb is a miserable failure that only leads to Raigyo dying... and the Eldritch Abomination in question waking up.
  • Distant Finale
  • Dress Hits Floor - Kujireika's reaction to being cornered by several ASP Suits, right before going One-Winged Angel on their collective backsides.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him - Raigyo
  • Eldritch Abomination - The Hiruken Emperor
  • Emotionless Girl - Nakiami, appears such at first introduction but is shown to subvert it as the show goes on.
  • Empathy Doll Shot - Haru finds a mangled teddy-bear during the clean-up of the ruins in Episode 5.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas - Kakisu loves his Missing Mom, who we meet later on. She plays an important part in getting the plot back on the road after Akiyuki's Heroic BSOD, and ironically everyone (except her) thinks her son dies in the Battle of Barador]]
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness - The Diamond Tower.
  • Expy: Nakiami's resemblance to Nausicaa from Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind and San from Princess Mononoke.
    • 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.
  • Facial Markings - Nakiami along with most the Tessik people share similar purple tattoos on their faces.
  • Falling Into the Cockpit - Though they received more prior instruction than most examples of this trope, facing off agains a huge and very intimidating (at first) Xam'd was not what Haru and Furuichi likely expected their first live training session in an ASP Suit to involve.
  • Fauxlosophic Narration - Actually, they pull it off pretty well in the series.
  • Fantastic Racism - The South considers Tessiks Acceptable Targets due to the war and the creepy Humanform technology.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry - Nakiami and her sleeves.
  • 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 bizarre 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
  • 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.
  • Grave Marking Scene
  • Groin Attack
  • Heroic Sacrifice - Nakiami seals herself within the Quickening Chamber, knowing well 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.
  • High-Speed Missile Dodge
  • Important Haircut - This show loves this trope: Haru and Raigyo.
  • 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. No one seems to find that the least bit unusual. Then again, in the UK 16-year-olds can join the military (though they do generally get more training (several months) before going into a real battle, especially if they're operating complex and expensive equipment).
  • Instrumentality
  • Ironic Echo:

Nakiami: (to Yango) Your parents would want you to value your life.
Yango: (to Nakiami) You need to value yourself even more!