It received both an English and Japanese dub. The English dub was done by ADV Films in Texas, meaning every game voice actor was replaced, although it's not like the games have consistent voice actors to begin with anyway.
The series is an adaptation of the first Xenosaga video game Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht. Given the nature of the anime, it works best as a supplement to Episode I and should not be replaced by Episode I; some points that the game explained poorly or did not explain at all are revealed in the anime.
The anime is about 4 hours in length while the game Episode I contains 7 hours of cutscenes.
The series is based on Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht, with several changes to the storyline, including omissions:
- Jr., Ziggy, and MOMO Mizrahi's first appearances in Episode I
- Andrew Cherenkov's backstory and the Cathedral Ship
- Miyuki Itsumi is completely removed
Some points that the game explained poorly or did not explain at all are revealed in the anime. For example, in the game, Albedo comes across as mentally insane initially with uncertain motives. In the series, it becomes apparent that Albedo has abandonment issues (among other things) that enhance his character development. These issues make a return and are explored more fully in Episode II.
One character who did not receive any additional development to his character was Luis Virgil, who was kept alive for nine episodes in the place of Andrew Cherenkov. Despite being alive and traveling with the main characters, no new information about Virgil came out in the anime. He was portrayed as an edgy, sarcastic and trigger-happy man, just like he was in the game. Virgil is killed in the Kukai Foundation Gnosis attack.
Another major difference is the role of the Kirschwassers. Before the destruction of the Woglinde, Shion Uzuki befriends one of Albedo Piazzolla's "personal assistant" Realians, the Kirschwassers. While in Episode I they serve in a minor role working for Albedo, the anime focuses on only one. This Kirschwasser was impersonating a 100-Series while on the Woglinde in order to escape Albedo, but was recaptured and set to work against Shion, who had befriended her earlier. The ending of the anime has the Kirschwasser in the control room of Proto Merkabah, setting it to self-destruct mode, where she dies. In the game, however, KOS-MOS does this and escapes unharmed.
The Encephalon dive is changed. Jin Uzuki, Shion's brother and a major character in Xenosaga Episode II: Jenseits von Gut und Böse, can be seen in it. Febronia and Cecily and Cathe do not appear in the Encephalon dive.
The final confrontation with Albedo on the Proto Merkabah is changed, removing the Sophie Peithos boss entirely, in favor of Albedo and Kirsch in E.S. Simeon.
- Awakening - The Woglinde attack.
- Imminent Defeat - The Woglinde attack.
- Chance Encounter - The Elsa.
- Jaws of Death - The Elsa.
- Heteromorphic - The Elsa is rescued by the Durandal.
- Anchorage - Kukai Foundation.
- Encephalon - Encephalon.
- Memories - Encephalon.
- The Song - Attack on the Kukai Foundation.
- The Weapon - Planning to save MOMO on the Proto Merkabah.
- Delusion - Saving MOMO on the Proto Merkabah.
- KOS-MOS - Proto Merkabah finale.
Xenosaga: The Animation Original Soundtrack is the soundtrack of the anime, primarily composed by Kosuke Yamashita.
- Mysterious World
- Xenosaga Main Title
- Battle Start
- Shion Uzuki
- Battle Strategy Conference
- Battle Signs
- Realian's Sorrow
- KOS-MOS Activating
- Ruined Streets
- Fierce Battle
- Life and Death
- Gnosis Approaching
- KOS-MOS's Emotions
- Beautiful Foundation
- At Rest
- Desperate Situation
- Spirit's Place
- Urgent Departure
- A Secret Volition
- I'm on Mid-Vacation
- Giant Warship Battle
- The Enigmatic Zohar
- Endless Battle
- Hymn of Nephilim
- Threatening Power
- Shining Hope
- Blue Planet ~ Endless Journey
- in this serenity
In This Serenity lyrics Edit
The ending theme is "in this serenity" by Mayumi Gojo.
Shimmering so bright
Guiding light divine
Flow along the sea
Of fading stardust
Reminisce the touch
Of all the hands used to clutch
We'll be long
Lost in the past
Left to emancipate
We play among the clouds
In the pitch blackness of night
Our voices ascend to the stars
There's a will to overcome
Though we stumble and frown
In this serenity
We ask the starry sky
The reason to keep our cruise
While we suffer and struggle till end
Though darkness may prevail
Alighted heart shall avail
In this serenity
Xenosaga: The Animation received a 6.5/10 on MyAnimeList.
If the viewer is a Xenosaga player or fan, they will probably get more out of the anime (which skips a lot of the games' exposition out of necessity) than someone unfamiliar with the basic plot. However, it's precisely these fans and gamers who might have a few issues with the new designs and compressed storyline.
The anime was criticized for some "quality" (poor animation in certain areas).