As scientists explore a new form of energy on the moon, an experiment gone awry brings the lead scientist's life crashing to a halt. In a freak accident, his daughter Kurau is engulfed in the energy and becomes the mysterious entity known as Rynax; a pairing that endows her with new superhuman abilities and a new personality. Years later, Kurau is using her unique powers to make a living as a bounty hunter, but the corporation has not given up on this new form of energy and will stop at nothing to find her. Now, Kurau must protect not only herself, but her Rynax "pair" named Christmas, a soul mate more precious to her than life itself. Can Kurau and Christmas find peace for themselves and the Rynax?
In the world of Daikuuriku, all children are born female; but once they become a young adult, they may choose which sex they will become. In this world which is at war with itself, the women of Simalacrum find themselves charged with the task of piloting the ancient machines known as Simoun in hopes of turning the tide of war. Though originally simple ceremonial machines, the most gifted of pilots can turn the glowing "ri maajon" of their rituals onto their enemies and obliterate them from the skies using these Simoun. However, it takes a special bond between two highly gifted girls to successfully pilot a Simoun. With the toll of blood and pain that these previously innocent girls are taking, how many will be able to carry on, even knowing that they are the only real thing standing between freedom and subjugation of their land?
Kurau Phantom Memory is set in a futuristic version of this world, and Simoun is set in a rather more fantastic world of its own. Surface deep, both are visual and aural exceptions to the norm. They both boast exceptional use of both traditional animation and computer graphics layered over velvety sumptuous soundtracks. However the two series really find their stride in a deeper exploration of the meaning of self in relation to others, especially one's soul mate. These two very different approaches to an ages old philosophical conundrum are answered in subtly different ways, and yet both are certain to leave your heart warmed right around the cockle region.
Six years ago, a catastrophic event ravaged Tokyo. Amaha Masune was found at ground zero, physically unscathed, but without memories and with a child in her arms. Returning to Tokyo for the first time since the disaster, the slightly clumsy but cheerful Masune just wants make a new life and to raise her daughter without interference from the Child Welfare Agency. But unsolved murders are being committed all over Tokyo and a near-miss reveals her identity as the bearer of the Witchblade, a mysterious weapon linked to the disaster 6 years before, that seems to have a mind of its own. Giving in to the Witchblade seems dangerous, but when the powerful Dohji Corporation agrees to guarantee her a life together with her daughter if she works for them, can Masune pass up the chance?
In spite of the descriptions and (Witchblade's, in particular) advertisement images suggesting the two are very much action series, deceptively enough the titles are actually character-focused stories of family and love. The sci-fi elements are never satisfyingly explained, and the pacing would put off those looking for non-stop flashy action/boobs/lesbianism. The averages of the two being at around the 7.5/10 mark is probably down to them attracting the wrong crowd; those not interested in the bonds of love shared by a mother & daughter and two 'sisters'. Both are highly recommended to those who value characterization above everything else.