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Xabungle Graffiti

 

Review by Brian Shea

June 22, 2021

 

Summary

 

Shots fire in the desert wasteland of the planet Zola. A group of bandits called the Sand Rats, piloting small hovergy crafts battle a red Walker Machine. The Walker Machine soon tumbles and is wrecked. The explosions wake up the nearby unconscious Jiron Amos who realizes he is still alive. The Sand Rats continue to fight with the pilots of the disabled Walker Machine, exchanging shots and grenade blasts. Jiron gets himself onto the hovergy belonging to a girl named Rag and takes out the remaining pilots, asking for help from the boy Blume along the way. The other two Sand Rats, Dyke and Chill look their way through the remains of the Walker Machine to see what they can salvage. Meanwhile Rag and Blume go to check on Jiron, who had fallen off the hovergy. Jiron screams in pain when Blume touches his injured arm. Jiron asks for some water and they take off together. The group makes their way towards a settlement so they can bring Jiron to a doctor. Later, Rag chuckles over them getting Jiron medical attention without paying for it. Rag says if they evade the doctor for 3 days that will be the end of it. Rag asks Jiron if any of the nearby Walker Machines catches his eyes. A pair of Walker Machines fight each other while another Walker Machine, blue in color, the Xabungle, transforms from its vehicle mode and stops the fight. It is piloted by local mechanic Kotsett, who yells at the other Walker Machine pilots for disturbing things at local transporter Elchi Cargo's bazaar. Jiron says he'll steal the Xabungle on his own, although Rag tells the others she wants to help.

 

Elchi visits a play rehearsal of several dancers, led by director Plopopieff and his wife Lovely Rose. Elchi desires to spread culture throughout this planet. Rag and Blume run in, hoping to take Elchi hostage. Jiron and the other Sand Rats also arrive, but Elchi flees, saying if they want to Xabungle to take it themselves. Rag is angry at Elchi getting away and throwing a knife at her, and swears they'll steal the Xabungle. That night the Sand Rats and Jiron hide in the dark, and Jiron waits for an opportunity to sneak into Elchi's large landship the Iron Gear. The others sneak in to help and they get into the Xabungle, driving it off as an alarm starts going off. They immediately start getting fired upon by another Walker Machine. The Xabungle flees with Jiron piloting it and the Sand Rats get off. Several Walker Machines pursue and Jiron quickly finds himself surrounded. Jiron tosses aside a Walker Machine attacking him, but suddenly a second Xabungle appears right in front of him. It is piloted by Elchi, who tells Jiron he's done well for his first time, and asks where he learned it. Jiron says he needs to take revenge for his parents, who were killed 10 days ago. Elchi is surprised as it has been more than 3 days. We next get a shot of the outlaw Timp Sharon, who is described as Jiron's arch enemy. Timp is frustrated at Jiron stealing the Xabungle and dismissing the 3 day rule. He wonders if he'll come fight him. Meanwhile other Walker Machines try to stop the Xabungle but Elchi says she wants to hire Jiron. Elchi attacks her own hired men in their Walker Machines when they refuse to obey her. Timp appears, thinking this is his opportunity to take out Jiron, whom he calls a rule breaker. Jiron sees the symbol on Timp's Walker Machine and recognizes it as the Walker Machine involved in his parent's death. The Xabungle immediately rushes forward and starts punching Timp's Walker Machine in a fury. Jiron and Timp soon fall out of their Walker Machines, continuing the fight with their fists. Timp tells Jiron the Innocent, the ruling class, will notice if he keeps going against the rules and returns to his Walker Machine to flee.

 

Later, Jiron and the other Sand Rats take part in a battle on the mud sea, riding in the Xabungle and using a surf board. Jiron is then chased through a series of tunnels by the humanoid creatures the Hanawan. Back on the bridge of the Iron Gear, everyone laughs at Jiron's desire to get revenge for his parents, as it is well past the Innocent's 3 day rule. Elchi claims her father was also killed by Timp, but she feels the 3 day rule must be upheld. Jiron swears he won't stop despite their objections. Kotsett says regardless they are getting tired of the Innocent's rule. They make their way towards an Innocent dome and Rag brings up if they should launch an attack on it. The Iron Gear tries to land nearby only for electricity to flow through it, shocking everyone on board. Inside the dome, the Innocent officials Dowas and Biel realize the Iron Gear has shown up. Biel claims Jiron is just what their ruler, Arthur Rank, has been looking for. He wants to see if Jiron can make his way in. Biel tells Dowas to not interfere with what the Iron Gear is doing. Biel thinks to himself how their program for the revival of humankind is starting to enter its final stages. Jiron departs the Iron Gear on the Xabungle, carrying a number of weapons with him. He breaks the Xabungle into a pipe that lets him get close to the Innocent's dome. Suddenly some missiles shoot at him, blowing up part of the pipe. They have been fired by Timp, whom Jiron swears he'll get. Jiron blasts his way through a barrier at the tunnel's end. Jiron is surprised to find a town inside. He gets off the Xabungle and wanders around, seeing a spacecraft and then a small plane in the street. Timp watches from a roof above but falls off just as he's about to shoot Jiron. Dowas sends various robot guards after Jiron, despite it being against Biel's orders. Jiron jumps onto one of the craft used by the guards and makes his way towards Timp, shooting him. Jiron cries with joy that he has gotten revenge for his parents. The Innocent guards continue to fire at him and Jiron makes his way towards a large mechanical column, destroying it. Timp lays still on the ground but laughs to himself, wanting Jiron to think he's dead. Jiron makes his way back to the Xabungle and explosions go off from around the dome. The crew of the Iron Gear watch, wondering what they'll do now that Jiron has caused it to blow up. Dowas and Biel depart the dome; Biel thinking their domes will become like museums and they may want to hand things over to the civilians now. On the Iron Gear, Elchi is mad at Jiron, thinking the Iron Gear won't be able to do business with the Innocent anymore. Jiron says he's fine with any kind of life now, including listening to Elchi since he's gotten revenge. He passes out from a fever.

 

The Xabungle takes on the Purple Cat landship led by the villainous Gavlet Gablae. Teenage girl Maria Maria knocks Gavlet out with a rock, pleasing Elchi. Blume and Jiron lead an attack on another landship and get knocked out by the blast. Later, Elchi is riding a small craft through the woods, saying she left the Iron Gear after a fight with Rag and being annoyed at how much Jiron pays attention to her. A passed out Elchi is later found by a man named El Condor. We see a shot of El Condor dying in a fight to help protect Elchi and Elchi explains how she had to return to the Iron Gear. Elchi cries in Jiron's arms over him. Next, Rag explains how she left the ship as well and ended up in the hands of a breaker named Akon Akag. Jiron and Blume sneak onto Akon's landship and find Rag cooking. Rag yells at them and refuses to come along. Akon comes back, but Chill narrates that Akon faced a similar fate as Condor, so Rag returned to the Iron Gear. Chill narrates how Rag and Elchi still weren't on good terms. Rag and Elchi argue in Elchi's library. Later, on the deck of the Iron Gear, Jiron and the others spot missiles coming, which soon hit the ship. Another group of Innocent robot guards approach, having left the nearby dome to attack them. Elchi pulls out a white sheet to fly as a white flag to get them to stop. Kotsett and Fatman pull her down and Jiron comes to the bridge, keeping the Iron Gear moving forward. Blume and Dyke fire at the Innocent dome, eventually hitting it. Inside the dome a new Walker Machine, the Gallier is being transported to breakers Kid Horla and Geraba Geraba. The dome shakes as the Iron Gear breaks its way inside. Horla is shot at and flees, and Jiron and Rag spot the Gallier. Jiron gets into one of its parts and starts firing against the enemies pursuing him. Rag heads out in the second part of the Gallier and the two soon dock them together.

 

Later, Geraba eats inside the Iron Gear, mediating with Elchi and Blume. Outside, Jiron swiftly wipes out several enemy Walker Machines in the Gallier. Geraba fakes a stomachache and knocks out Elchi. From the ground Jiron and Rag are surprised to see an Innocent plane in the sky. A woman named Toron winks at Jiron, distracting him enough to enable her to punch him out so she can get her hands on a bazooka both of them wanted. The two of them agree to a fight; whoever wins gets the bazooka. The fight moves out into the street. Toron finishes beating on Jiron and leaves. We cut back to the Innocent plane, flying over a snowy landscape. Elchi is inside with Biel, who introduces himself to her. Chill narrates how later Biel is killed at the hands of Kashim and other Innocent due to him trying to save Elchi from him. She explains that Elchi is then subjected to brainwashing by the Innocent. In a dream-like sequence that is actually brainwashing imposed by the Innocent doctor Manet, Elchi runs through a flowery field and is attacked by the Iron Gear. Manet reports to Dowas and Biram, who says the Iron Gear will be coming to try and rescue her. Later, the Xabungle and Gallier walk through the snow, using a chain to try and detect any land mines. The two are quickly assailed by a group of enemy Walker Machines and are captured in a net. On the Iron Gear, Rag looks for Fatman and Kotsett while Fatman, in his room, rushes to take off a soldier's uniform he was wearing. The Xabungle and Gallier are brought to Timp's new landship and he gloats at them. He orders his men to fire upon the two Walker Machines, but they are able to avoid the shots. The Iron Gear arrives and launches its own attack. The Iron Gear transforms into its Walker Machine mode and the Xabungle and Gallier take part in the fighting, despite being still in a net. Timp decides to retreat.

 

In an observation room Elchi defeats an imaginary enemy with a knife while Dr. Manet and Biram talk about her outside. Meanwhile Fatman runs through the snow on his own hoping to save Elchi. Chill explains that Elchi will now appear as a member of the enemy. Elchi leads her own landship the Gear Gear against the Iron Gear, shocking Rag. The two landships battle in Walker Machine mode. Elchi is thrown off her ship. Chill announces round 2 and Elchi chases Jiron around with a sword in her hand a top the Gallier. Chill then presents another new segment on how to create a Xabungle. The Xabungle and Gallier gather various Walker Machine parts, putting them together and painting them to make them look like the actual Xabungle and Gallier. They put them atop a landship as a distraction. Elsewhere, Kotsett along with allies Medick and Kaldas Brune plan their route as they head towards an area called Yop. The Gallier and Xabungle head towards a series of Innocent domes looking for Innocent leader Arthur Rank. A group of enemy Walker Machines approach them. Arthur realizes there is a commotion outside the dome. His underling Kashim King comes to see him and tells him some civilians have broken in. This excites Arthur who wants to see them. Kashim thinks he is in danger. The Walker Machines make their way into the dome with Jiron and Rag getting help from Maria, Blume and another girl named Birin. The Gallier and Xabungle make their way up a snowy hill towards another dome. Kashim meanwhile leads Arthur down some hallways and splits off from him, thinking the civilians will end up killing Arthur for him. Instead Jiron and the others decide to rescue Arthur with the girls all enamored by his good looks. Jiron tells Arthur of how they have been attacked by the Innocent and that Kashim has nefarious plans he doesn't know about. Kashim orders both the civilians and Arthur killed. Rag, Maria and Birin figure out a way to let Arthur outside by putting him in a barrel; the Gallier then puts it into a giant crate. Innocent forces soon arrive and start attacking them. The Gallier and Xabungle get on a rocket powered sled device and take off from the dome, heading down the mountain. Kashim doesn't think Arthur will last long outside.

 

Numerous crafts depart the Innocent dome and pursue the Gallier and Xabungle. Arthur claims he's never been outside the dome, worrying Rag. They make their way back to the Iron Gear and Arthur's crate is blasted open. Kashim's men tell him Arthur is dead, despite having not confirmed it. Arthur meets everyone in Medick's medical room. Arthur claims not all Innocent are like Kashim and that the civilians are biologically modified humans meant to be able to survive on this planet. The Iron Gear makes its way to an abandoned city with a large tower. Arthur claims this is where his ancestors first touched down on Zola. They had founded the Innocent in an attempt to revive humanity on this planet. Elchi launches a third attack on the Iron Gear with her landship Carrying and the Iron Gear transforms into Walker Machine mode in order to fight back. The Iron Gear steps on the Carrying and Fatman rushes into it, grabbing Elchi and running off with her. We cut to Jiron peeing on a cactus, then another scene of Geraba working out in various new clothes. Fatman hugs himself, thinking of Elchi. Elchi wakes up on the Iron Gear, calling everyone her enemy. Arthur doesn't think there's anything they can do and at Maria's advice decides to lay down. Elchi is taken away by Medick. Kashim heads out on a plane with Biram, who tells him that Timp and Horla have been sent after the Iron Gear. Kashim is confident that even if the two of them fail, he still has a supply of missiles he can fire at the civilians. Timp and Horla lead their attack on the Iron Gear and its allied landships. Medick is stumped over Elchi's condition. Arthur is held in another room next door due to the outside air not being good for him. Arthur says he's figured out how to return Elchi to normal, by releasing the energy inside her into him. The breaker Greta Karas launches an attack on the Iron Gear and its allied forces in her Doran Walker Machine. Medick activates a device that connects Elchi and Arthur, with both of them struggling considerably. Jiron worries for them, but Arthur says to not stop. The device they've used blows up. Fatman cries over Elchi, who is passed out. Arthur appears crazed and tries to strangle Jiron. Arthur chases Jiron down a hall and is struck by an explosion from the outside. Arthur claims Elchi had Kashim's personality implanted onto her. He tells Jiron it is pointless to try and save him and he jumps out of the Iron Gear to his death. Jiron tears up over Arthur.

 

A large missile is about to be launched via an Innocent dome. Kashim orders Biram to fire it, even though it is from a museum. Rag wishes Blume luck as the Xabungle heads out, but she quickly realizes that neither he nor Dyke is piloting it. Jiron heads out on the Gallier with Chill and defeats an enemy Walker Machine. The Gallier falls into a large ditch and is attacked by Greta's Doran, but the Xabungle, piloted by Elchi shows up and defeats her. Jiron is excited to see Elchi is doing better. Kashim orders Biram to fire additional missiles, even though the large one is still on its way. A stray missile ends up defeating Greta. Horla and Timp's landships crash into each other and Horla is angry at Kashim for indiscriminately firing so many missiles where his allies are. Rag and Kotsett joyfully realize Elchi is back to normal. The large missile fired by Biram approaches. Biram is confident this will destroy Jiron and the others. Realizing they can't escape in time, Jiron brings the Gallier on top of the Iron Gear's deck and catches the missile! Horla orders his forces to fire at the missile to make it detonate. A shot hits the missile but it still doesn't explode. The Gallier runs off the Iron Gear and throws the missile at Horla's landship, blowing it up. Horla and Geraba escape the wreckage and Horla, who has a hole in his pants chases after Geraba to steal his. The Iron Gear heads to X Point, the dome where Kashim is at. Timp complains to Biram about their supplies. A number of Walker Machines head out from near the dome to fight off the Iron Gear. Missiles fly everywhere, including hitting some of the Innocent's own hired forces. Timp, Biram and Kashim all argue amongst each other. Jiron and Elchi lead their Walker Machine forces in the Gallier and Xabungle while Kotsett and Rag have the Iron Gear turn into Walker Machine mode and jump its way towards X Point.

 

Kashim and Biram fear the approaching Iron Gear while Timp decides to get into a Brockary Walker Machine and fight back. Elchi and Jiron come upon him. Jiron fights Timp while Elchi continues on into the dome. Biram tries to flee, only for Elchi to find him. Kashim readies missiles, planning to take out both Elchi and Biram. The blasts cause another large missile to topple onto Kashim and Biram, killing them. Elchi is blinded by the blast although Fatman pushes the Xabungle out of the way, saving her life. Timp gets his hands on Elchi and the Xabungle, but Jiron soon shows up. Rag, Blume and the others show up as well to help fight off Timp. Timp jumps out of the Brockary and runs, claiming he's indestructible. Later, the allied forces celebrate their victory outside. Chill is sad over Elchi leaving them, with Jiron having gone after her. Rag thinks Jiron is a dummy. The Xabungle makes its way through the wilderness, with Elchi telling herself that she doesn't want to be a burden to everyone. The Xabungle stops moving, causing her to wonder if it's out of gas. Some wolves howl in the distance. Elchi starts crying, but then realizes Jiron is coming after her in the Gallier. She restarts the Xabungle and flees. The Xabungle trips over some rocks and Elchi falls outside of the cockpit. Jiron dives with the Gallier, catching her. Jiron tells Elchi he can act as her limbs. He picks up Elchi and runs back towards the others, who run towards them in glee. Fatman appears and grabs Elchi out of Jiron's arms. Suddenly a hovergy appears, piloted by Arthur, who claims what he did before was just an act. Arthur says he can heal Elchi's eyes using Innocent technology and she jumps into his arms, taking off with him.

 

Commentary

 

Attempting to summarize a 50 episode television series through an 83-minute compilation movie is quite the herculean task and I can't say that the end result was that successful. Overall this movie comes off as a bit of a disjointed mess. So much content had to be cut that I struggle with how anyone who was watching this that was not already familiar with the series could make much sense of it. And if you've already seen the TV series there is little reason to watch this as the only notable addition is tacking on a happier ending where it is revealed that Arthur is alive and can return Elchi's sight. The biggest loser in the compilation is Katakam, who is removed entirely from the story (although he does appear in some clip footage played during the ending credits). While its members still exist, any reference to Salt are also removed, resulting in Jiron and the Iron Gear suddenly having this massive force of allies with no explanation whatsoever. Other characters like Kid Horla and Biel, while still appearing have drastically reduced roles. While capturing the overall conflict with the Innocent, the movie at many times brings in very short clips of events from the TV series with little context, such as brief clips of a battle on the Mud Sea and Jiron fleeing from the Hanawan. We also get short cuts to the times when Elchi and Rag left the Iron Gear although the storylines are gone through so quickly that I question why they were included at all. Probably oddest of all is the choice to include a random scene where Jiron pees on a cactus, although I assume this was done to help keep up the slapstick comedy that was so prevalent throughout the TV show. The editors also could have also done a better job with continuity. For example, at one point in the movie Maria has long hair despite appearing with short hair earlier on, which was easily avoidable if better attention had been paid to scene order (or better yet if that short clip involving Gavlet Gablae that had no real role in the storyline was cut). The movie has some other weird editing quirks such as frequently using eyecatches from the TV show for screen transitions. Around halfway through the movie newly animated shots of Chill start appearing with her providing brief narration of what has happened or is coming next. We also inconsistently have title shots appear for certain scenes. At one point in the movie we are even shown an uncolored key frame! Fans of the opening theme for the TV show will enjoy an extended play of the song (and an enhanced opening sequence) to kick off the movie and we also get a new song sung by MIO at the end of the movie. I can't say I'd recommend this movie to anyone as there's just not enough here for existing fans of the show and it doesn't cover the events of the show in a well handled enough manner to be worth watching for newcomers.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

2 out of 5 stars
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Xabungle Graffiti Xabungle Graffiti

 

Buy the collection (eps 1-50, Movie) on Blu-ray from Amazon
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