Right, so, anyways, I got around to watching the RahXephon movie last night. At first it started off from a different point of view, and with new animation, and I thought that it was gonna be pretty good. Instead, it quickly cut to simply using about 90% of it's animation from the TV series, edited and .. well in a sense it was condensed, but in practice it actually wasn't. What really happened was they simply cut huge gaping holes out between episodes and spliced in snippets between the big chunks they did use.
I can't have an objective opinion as to the continuity of the movie, because I can still remember the missing pieces in the series, and so people doing thing X or Y makes sense. But I think if I could be objective, I'd say that the movie was extremely confusing and the plot appeared to be rushed. The first 30 minutes of the movie seems to mostly be episode one in the series, and the first part of episode two. Then they take a hyper-warp trip, skipping ahead some number of episodes, using a minute or two from the occasional episode, before landing on another solid chunk of plot to attempt to grapple with.
This basically goes on through out the whole movie. Certain characters who were important in the series don't even exist in the movie. One character has been re-written almost completely. Another was similar, but the fate the character was supposed to endure never happens, and instead that character ends up doing something that one of the missing characters was supposed to do.
Then there was the ending. Those who protest that RahXephon isn't at all like Eva are obviously blind and lacking serious cognitive function. In Eva, the ending of the TV series was abstract to the point of making pretty much no sense. In RahXephon, the ending wasn't so abstract, but you still had to stretch yourself a bit in order to comprehend what was/had happened. In the Eva movie, the ending was an attempt to explain what really happened, to try to lift the layer of abstractness enough that people outside the mind of Hideki Anno could understand what he was trying to say. The RahXephon movie didn't have to explain what happened as hard - it was relatively clear, as long as you were able to keep the hundreds of plot threads in your head. However, in both Eva and Rah, the ending of the TV series and the ending of the movies are different.
Without going in to specific details, the ending of RahXephon the movie was somewhat bittersweet, where the ending of the TV series was, assuming I understand it correctly, more ideal and happy. However, even at that, the movie takes the bittersweetness and attempts to make it a happy ending as well. The only problem is that, like everything else of substance in the movie, it happens so quickly, and with such lack of explanation, that one is left no so much happy or sad, but mostly just puzzled as to what the details were of what one just saw.
Now, I admit, it may be that I'm reading far too much complexity in to something which was meant to be more simple, and that the intention was for the viewer to simply accept certain things that happened. But, somehow, something tugs at my insides. Compared to how I felt after seeing the end of Utena, the effect that RahXephon the Movie had on me is like the mild burbling of a pleasant stream, as opposed to the roar of a swiftly approaching waterfall. However, the effect is still there. But, really, I think it's not even the movie that's causing me to feel this way, specifically. It's more like the echo of what I felt watching the series. One person dies (is murdered) in a brutally ironic fashion, it left a scar on me during the TV series, and it happens during the movie as well. The impact is lessened, but the effect is still there.
So, overall, I'd say that you probably would want to watch the series over the movie, since I think the movie only made sense to me because I'd already seen the series. However, if you act now, the movie DOES come with a nice artbox, which was about 90% of why I got it in the first place.