NKO 3.0

Key Terms and Phrases

This page is dedicated to the key terms or phrases in the anime. Most of the RahXephon fan sites I've been to already have this page, but I'd also like to include it, and actually be as thorough as I can. Most of the information here is borrowed from the little booklets that the DVDs have, so no... this is not all in my head!

I didn't put in everything that were in the booklets, to be fair (if you want everything, just buy the regular DVDs, each of them have a good booklet of information with glossy paper and everything.) Since a lot of that information is just translation notes, I only kept the very core of the key terms, those that reflect a great deal in the story. Knowing these terms will greatly help you understand the anime a bit better, and maybe even appreciate it a little more. So if you just finished RahXephon and are kind of lost because of all the terms and phrases thrown at you, this page can serve as an excellent reference to you.


Xephon - The Chinese characters that make up this word in the sign for "Xephon Shrine" stand for "world sound". If you notice the structure of the word, it's similar to musical instruments such as "Xylophone" and "Saxophone", among others. The creators of the anime most likely had this mind when creating the name of the giant robot, and making it fit in the whole musical theme of the story.

Rah - In the world of the Mu as Churchward tells it, the word "Rah" represented the sun as well as their almighty deity. It was also the symbol for "the king of kings" and was used as a title by their kings. According to Churchward's writings, this is where the Egyptian god "Ra" originated. By putting this word together with "Xephon" we get the being as we know in the anime. The name connotes that the RahXephon is a being superior to any being, in other words, it's a god, more specifically, the god of time.

Manseibashi - Though Manseibashi is a real location, it is interesting to note that the "mansei" part literally means "10,000 worlds". Now, the way this integrates in the story, is that Ayato had 10,000 possibilities when he was to recreate the world. In other words, he could have recreated the world with the Mu governing it, or recreating it as though the Mulians never existed.

Ollin - This word means "change" or "movement" in Nahuatl. It is also the name of the Fifth Sun of the Mayan calendar that we live under until December 28, 2012. The way this word is used in the anime, is to distinguish those that will tune the world. There was a time when both Maya and Itsuki were "ollins", but having failed, the title moved to both Ayato and Quon.

Ixtli - This means "true face" in Nahuatl, and it is something an individual must attain, along with Yolteotl, in order to reach their version of spiritual enlightment. This also represents the soul of Xephon (Mishima), in which is represented as the person that the Ollin cares for the most.

Brother of Naacal - The Naacals were a priestly brotherhood, who were sent by the Mu to its colonies to teach sacred writings, religion, and the sciences. The tablets that Churchward allegedly based his writings on were called the Naacal tablets.

Yolteotl - This means "an artisan's heart", "a heart made divine", or "the heart of all" in Nahuatl. It is a heart that is thought to replace the human heart when the individual has become spiritually wise and enlightened. In other words, when the Ollin merges with his or her Xephon and become a god.

Yollotl - Meaning "heart", which also represents "memory".

Ixtli in Yollotl - This phrase means "face and heart" or "body and mind" in Nahuatl, which is the definition of a person as "a possessor of a face and a possessor of a heart".

Mamoru / Protect - Mamoru can be a name, but it is also a word meaning "to protect". This double meaning provides a great deal of irony to Mamoru's situation.

Nirai-Kanai - The name of the island that it "came from the roots and reached the gods". This is the name of the tropical island that most of the anime takes place. It's also the name of this site, if you haven't noticed. :P Nirai-Kanai is often spelled as one word (Niraikanai), but both ways are acceptable.

The Tale of the Bamboo Princess - This is a very old Japanese folk tale about a man who found a baby inside a bamboo princess and took her in as his own daughter. As the years passed by, the baby grew to be a very beautiful woman and many men came to seek her hand, but she denied all of them. Every time the bamboo princess (also known as Princess Kaguya) would look at the moon, she would weep knowing that she's not from this Earth. She told her parents that the people of the moon will come to take her away on the night of the next full moon. As much as the father rebelled by sending out warriors to protect her, the moon people took her away anyways. This is the tale that Rikudoh tells Haruka about when referring to his daughter Maya. A more detailed version of this story is in the booklet for DVD #4.

Names in front of houses - Commonly, Japanese houses and apartments are fitted with a plate in front of the house or on the door which lists the residents of that house. This is typically revised when somebody moves in or leaves the household, thus, taking the step of adding one's name to the listing has the connotation of a permanent stay. Rikudoh gave one of these plates to Ayato when he was to stay on his house on episode 5.

Urashimataro - This is a traditional Japanese folk tale. The hero, a fisher, rescues a turtle from a beating by a group of kids. In thanks, the turtle escorts the fisherman to the Sea Dragon's palace, where he is welcomed royally. After an extended stay, the fisherman decides to return, and as a parting gift he is given a treasure casket with strict instructions not to open it. Upon arriving back on the surface, he finds that decades in his absence. IN despair, he opens the casket and immediately ages to the match the passage of time. It's something like our own Rip Van Winkle story.

Washington Treaty - Of the many Washington Treaties in existence, this one appears to refer to the 1975 treaty dealing with the disposition of endangered species. The point being made is that, as a human, Ayato isn't subject to the rules of that treaty.

OOPART - Short for "Out Of Place Artifact". In archeology, refers to an object that is utterly inconsistent with the contest in which it is discovered; think of finding a toaster in the middle of Pompeii. In modern context, this is usually used by fringe groups talking about legendary objects. It fits RahXephon well as a means to describe any object of presumed Mulian origin.

"A city that overlooks the strait, prepared with an enclosure of a star." - Kim realizes later that when Quon said this, she was referring to Fort Goryokaku in Hakodate. This is because the city of Hakodate, Hokkaido, does overlook a strait an done of its landmarks is Fort Goryokaku, which is shaped like a star. If you watch closely as the very beginning of episode 6, they show an aerial view of Fort Goryokaku.

Mongolian Blue Spot - This is a bluish area of skin discoloration that many babies of Asiatic descent are born with near the base of their spines. This is kind of birthmark usually fades within a couple of years. Thus, when Ayato asks Megumi if she still has a Mongolian blue spot, it's somewhat like asking if she still wets her bed --he's intimating that she's still a baby.

Spirited Away - In ancient times in Japan, when a person disappeared, it was likely to be blamed on a sudden attack of wanderlust or an attack by bandits but instead attributed to kidnapping by malevolent supernatural entities. People who went missing in this fashion were said to have been "spirited away". Being "spirited forth" refers to the inverse of being spirited away, but this is not part of the traditional beliefs. In the anime, they talk about 2 girls who were "spirited forth", these two girls are Maya and Quon when they came through the small Shrine of Time that Ayato and Quon when through in episode 9.

"Fate of Katun" - The "katun" referred to in the title of this song is a Mayan unit of time equal to 7,200 days (almost 20 years).


That's all for now folks. If you're interested to know more, check out the little booklets inside the DVDs, or check out the RahXephon Bible. ADV did an awesome job on those.