Xam'd: Lost Memories (2008 IMDb)

Categorization

Epic SF-fantasy by Bones. It seems to be aimed at a relatively general audience, considering its genre.

Subject

A 1940s-style bus full of high-school students on a mostly demilitarized vassal island is blown up in an apparent terrorist act against its empire. A weird piece of shrapnel from the explosion is embedded in one of the students. He has been xam'd and will now turn into a biometallic monster from time to time. It's not too bad. Pretty soon, he's helping out on an airship, delivering the mail.

Commentary

Mediocre mix of Miyazaki motifs—mostly Nausicaä (1984) and Castle in the Sky (1986)—and a family-friendly epic of war and madness, with the inherent body horror of the premiss toned way down. It's mostly shallow and poorly focused, but surprisingly, a few of the high-schoolers' parents are developed characters, and fan-service levels are low, so it's not a parade of stereotypes.

References here: Journey to Agartha (2011).

Japanese production animation series