After the “invisible” fifteenth episode of Rahxephon, the story returns to its main narrative after some time has passed; Elvy and the Vermilion are conspicuously absent, and the focus is still on the Bahbem children, now adults. Episode 16 is a dense episode, focusing on the delicately collapsing relationships of the main cast and culminating in a series of examinations of how the characters react to arguments and efforts to finally set the past lies aside. There is a constant tension between the expectations of maturity and openness that the younger cast have, and the ease with which adults – being positioned as authority figures – can lie, and need to lie. At its core, the episode’s actual progression of the story is minimal; it does not clarify anything about the conflict with Elvy, and its actual forward motion occurs entirely in the final scene. However, as a more self-contained episode, it shows in great detail the tiny events which all motivate the characters to move the plot on.
Episode 12 of Rahxephon concluded with Ayato failing to destroy the Dolem; it retreated, implying that it will return but also crucially showing its intelligence. Exactly how much TERRA and the human forces know about the Dolems is unclear; there is little shown in terms of knowledge about how to fight them for the most common strategy, be it one of complacency on Kunugi’s part or genuine ignorance, is “let the Rahxephon do it” – an interesting comparison to the clinical, scientific approach taken by NERV in Rahxephon‘s inspiration, Evangelion. NERV almost always know exactly how to destroy the enemy; the Angels have highly visible weak points or predictable attacks – but at the same time they have an unreliable robot and pilot, and frequently neither the manpower nor technology to properly exploit the weakness. TERRA is always one step behind in Rahxephon, yet this ineffectuality is counterbalanced by the extreme firepower advangate they have – the Rahxephon itself does not need to identify weaknesses in its enemies, it simply destroys them.