Anime Meta-Review




By Date




Title Info

  • type: movie
  • grade: worthy
  • made: 1995
  • Review created: Recently, but I didn't record the date.
  • mod: none

A confusing, dated but still impressive short movie. The story opens with a young guy dealing with a double tragedy. It seems that a girl he greatly admired, and possibly loved, got married. Later, when he was getting a lift home, there was a terrible accident killing the young husband, which she blamed him for, and which she then killed herself over. As can be guessed he's a bit messed up, but at least one young girl stands by him. Mind you they've got rather more immediate troubles. It seems that, possibly on an alternate world, there are humans who are bound to the elemental and quasi elemental spirits of earth. Normally they keep the forces of the elements in check, but it seems that war has flared between the various elemental clans. And, naturally enough, this happens right on top of them. Mind you, with the sort of destruction these guys can, and do, cause just about everyone in Tokyo is directly involved. Even with that they become even more directly involved when they find a potent element warrior perched atop the remnants of the girls house. He seizes her, and slices open the guy, before moving on to set his plans in motion. Meanwhile some other warriors, too late to stop him, find the youth's wounds have regenerated indicating he possesses potent elementalor powers. Will he be able to master these powers, and himself, before the enemies plans are completed?

Yeah, I know it's yet another movie where young guy discovers his superior powers and must save his girl...but this one has some interesting twists. To start with the world seems to be wonderfully designed. Seems to be because it all flows by fairly fast and you've got to sort of run with it. In any case there's a real sense of history to the characters, factions and the basis for the war itself. Likewise the world (which looks like a seriously trashed Tokyo) is wonderful with things like castles build into the sides of ruined skyscrapers or islands over submerged cities. There's also a relatively large cast, many of whom seem interesting. The powers themselves are also great, there's all sorts of combined elements such as flora (between water and earth) and steel (earth and fire I assume) to make things more interesting. There's really a sense of great depth behind the design of how this all works. Although given the running time it remains only a suggestion. In addition, while the compressed time line again limits it, the series does try to do some character drama and actually has a couple of good character scenes. I get the feeling that this might be the result of a brutal manga compression.

But, at the end of the day, the heart and soul of this anime is the action. And while the animation is old the wonderful design, imaginative powers and effects and awesome sense of scale still works well. The action is all very `cool' too, lots of flowing cloaks, swords and good looking special attacks. And the magic is attractively represented and impressive to watch. The sense of scale, even though they clearly can't animate as much as they would like to, is still well suggested. Likewise the physical action, while limited because attacks are generally magical, is well done. There's also a decent amount of blood and a real sense of menace and danger, to give a quite mature feeling to the anime. Even better all these aspects, character, action and magic, show some signs of originality and style. The voices, and characters themselves, are well done and I didn't really notice the music.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:17 WST 2009