Anime Meta-Review




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Title Info

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

I believe this movie is derided by many, which is a shame because it is not that bad. The central plot is the fairly familiar `horror in space' bit, although it mixes in some other familiar threads as sub-plots. The ship, with about 12 crew, is on a 40 year round trip to survey a promising planet. The company people come from branches all over the world, which means they don't know each other well. In addition they all must have some reason why they would be willing to spend 40 years in cryogenic suspension. And then, of course, things go wrong, it seems they might have picked up something while travelling, plus it seems possible that at least some-one on the crew are not who they claim to be. On top of that the pet cat of one traveller is acting very strange...

A cast of twelve may seem like a lot, but don't worry...the numbers are fairly quickly reduced. One of the biggest problems with this movie is that its plot puts it squarely in competition with `aliens' against which it has no chance. It is also hampered by some problems in writing and direction, which leaves quite a lot of it a bit flat. The dialog, the atmosphere and the attempts at claustrophobic horror in space simply don't have the punch the creators must have hoped for. Theres also some dodgy science, both in general (which is an accepted error for sci-fi) but also in the detail (such as cutting through a door with a flame thrower, or computers chatting to each other in English). Still, while it certainly isn't a classic, and isn't a serious challenger for aliens (but then what is?) it is quite a watchable anime. Some of the characters, while hampered by the dialogue and running time, are certainly interesting enough, especially the captain.

It is also the first anime I have seen with an Australian crew member who gets a fairly major role. Sadly this is an early dub (by the much derided Carl Macek) so the accent is a bit too much. This can also be seen in many of the other characters, who are a bit over the top and occassionally difficult to hear. There is one sequence where a character sobs into her arm while talking, and I have no idea what she was saying. There certainly are times you would like sub-titles even if it is in your own language. The animation is fairly good, albeit a bit flat and showing limits when complex motion is required. The technical detail is good, but most of it is simply background rather than stuff that interacts with the story. The furry villain is illogical and the other villain is pretty badly designed (being ambiguous here to avoid spoilers). Certainly the animation is sufficiently watchable.

The folk at THEM wish to differ, considering this a movie with no re-deeming features, poor artwork and characters made pointless by the high body count. Indeed their review doesn't even care enough to avoid dropping spoilers. It would be nice to have a third review to get a majority, but none of my other sources has a review for this title.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:21 WST 2009