The plotline of Xam'd, although pretty original and not very predictable, is not the strong point. I had no problems with the plot and really liked it, except for the fact that a clear explanation of why a war was being waged between the North and the South was never explained. Sometimes the episodes meanderd a bit during the first third of the series. Also, for those people who don't like slice of life type of stories might find the beginning a bit slow. However, since I do enjoy slice of life, I had no problems.
However in the last part, the director knows exactly what he wants to do. It isn't rushed like most endings now a days are, and it leaves a satisfying feeling when it ends.
Another thing that I really liked about Xam'd, was that there antagonists weren't some brainless screaming villains that had no real motives behind their actions, and they weren't the type of villains who were 'only doing evil because of their horrible past'. For example even though I hated the commander, I found myself pitying/sympathizing him in the end.
I can't be more specific than this, because I don't want to give the plot away.
The animation was fantastic. Especially the battle scenes. One movement just flowed into the next, and in my opinion looked kind of graceful. Also, the sceneries that were drawn each had their own feel in them that helped establish the mood, and each place evoked different emotions in you, and to some extent the characters as well. It was just flawless, it really brings animation to a whole different level.
Michiru Oshima has done it again. For those who don't know who Michiru Oshima is, she composed the music for Full Metal Alchemist.
I love the soundtrack, to the point where I actually have it on my iPod and frequently listen to it. It establishes the right mood for all the sceneries and has just the sound that Xam'd requires. If any other person composed the music, I'm almost positively sure that it wouldn't have the same impact and effect on the series.
The character designed slightly resembled Miyazaki's style of art. Also, Nakiami's character reminded me a bit of Nausicaa.
The characters in this show is what truly makes this anime a master piece. Each character is well developed and unique. The characters mature over time, and the relationships they establish with one another are strong and believable. The way they interact with one another provides entertaining results at times, due to their unique personalities.
Looking back, even Nakiami, who rarely exhibits emotions in the beginning of the series, and is kind of quiet, has her own feel that doesn't resemble anything like the traditional quiet apathetic girl you get in most animes.
Overall, this series was amazing. This is probably my favorite anime right now, and I have gone back to it several times, because it is a sheer pleasure to watch.