Xenosaga: The Animation (ゼノサーガ THE ANIMATION Zenosāga: Za Animēshon?) is a 12-episode Japanese anime television series by Toei Animation, which premiered on TV Asahi in Japan on January 5, 2005. The series is based on the PlayStation 2 game Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht. The anime series was picked up by ADV Films but, in 2008, the series, along with over 30 other ADV titles were transferred to Funimation Entertainment.
Xenosaga: The Animation is a largely faithful retelling of Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht. For more information on specifics related to the characters and events of the story, please see the game's article. This section will go over some of the key differences between the game and the animated series. In the US, the 12 episodes come in 3 volumes ("Enter the Gnosis," "Voices From the Past," and "Free Will"), It also comes in a 2 DVD Complete Collection Edition.
The twelve half-hour episodes cover the length of Xenosaga: Episode I's plot, remaining faithful to the game's content at key moments while significantly changing or removing other portions of the game's narrative. Of note, there exists an entire subplot in the game revolving around a character named Cherenkov, who travels with the main characters until his death on a large gnosis referred to as a Cathedral Ship. In the anime, Cherenkov is killed on the Woglinde towards the very beginning of the story. Conversely, Lt. Virgil, a character that died early on in the game, takes his place. Virgil, in turn, is killed by KOS-MOS in episode nine in a scene that closely mimics the manner in which he was killed in the game.
The series also features an appearance by Jin Uzuki, Shion's brother and a major character in Xenosaga Episode II: Jenseits von Gut und Böse. Though Jin is only seen in person in a cameo during the events of Episode I, his appearance and role in the anime is very accurate to the way he is portrayed in Episode II.
Another major difference is the role of 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, and befriended Shion while on board. When the Woglinde is attacked and nearly destroyed, she is recaptured. Kirschwasser also displays a grudge against MOMO, as the birth of the 100-series prototype resulted in the obsolescence of Kirschwasser and the rest of the 99-series Realians, resulting in her being emotionally abandoned. At the end of the anime Kirschwasser regains her trust in Shion, and after Albedo's defeat, she stays behind on the Proto Merkabah, where she is killed after initiating the self-destruct mechanism. In the game, this action was performed by KOS-MOS, who escapes unharmed.
- 覚醒, "Awakening"
- 轟沈, Gōchin, "Immediate sinking of a ship"
- 邂逅, "Chance Meeting"
- 死地, "Point of Death"
- 異形, "Fantastic"
- 投錨, "Dropping Anchor"
- エンセフェロン, "Encephalon"
- 記憶, "Memory"
- 歌声, "Singing Voice"
- 兵器, "Weapon"
- 妄執, "Delusion"
Of note are the use of the Zohar Emulators in the title card; each one contains a Hebrew numeral which denotes the episode's number.
- Shion Uzuki -- Stephanie Wittels/Ai Maeda
- KOS-MOS -- Luci Christian/Mariko Suzuki
- Allen Ridgeley -- Blake Shepard/Hiroaki Hirata
- MOMO -- Brittney Karbowski/Rumi Shishido
- Jr. -- Greg Ayres/Eriko Kawasaki
- Ziggy -- Jason Douglas/Masashi Ebara
- chaos -- Clint Bickham/Soichiro Hoshi
- Jin Uzuki -- Christopher Ayres/Hideyuki Tanaka
- Louis Virgil -- Andrew Love/Masakazu Morita
- Kirschwasser -- Hilary Haag/Ryô Hirohashi
- Albedo Piazzolla -- John Gremillion/Kôichi Yamadera
- Captain Mathews -- Steve Fenley/Kenji Nomura
- Tony -- Chris Patton/Hiroaki Miura
- Hammer -- Josh Grelle/Yasuhiro Takato
- Mary Godwin -- Jessica Boone/Ryoko Shiraishi
- Juli Mizrahi -- Tiffany Grant/Naomi Shindou
- Margulis -- Andy McAvin/Taiten Kusunoki
- Pellegri -- Christine M. Auten/Wakana Yamazaki
- Wilhelm -- Vic Mignogna/Hikaru Midorikawa
- Nephilim -- Carrie Savage/Yumi Tôma
- Helmer -- James Faulkner/Tetsu Inada
- Togashi -- Scott Kilgore
- Andrew Cherenkov -- John Swasey/Hisao Egawa
- Captain Moriyama -- Charles C. Campbell
- Vanderkam -- George Manley
- Jonvelle -- Xero Reynolds
- Caspase -- Illich Guardiola
- Blonde Realian -- David Devaney Jr.
- Operator -- K.C. Jones
- Councilman -- Sean K. Thompson
- Councilwoman -- Carli Mosier
- 100-Series Observational Realian Units -- Mariela Ortiz
- "Funimation Picks Up Over Thirty ADV Titles". Anime News Network. 2008-07-04. Retrieved 2009-08-27.
- (Japanese) Official TV Asahi Xenosaga site
- (Japanese) Xenosaga TOEI ANIMATION
- (English) Funimation's Official Xenosaga Website
- Xenosaga: The Animation (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Xenosaga The Animation Vol.1 Enter The Gnosis Advance ReviewActive Anime