Anime Meta-Review


Neo Tokyo


By Date




Title Info

  • alias: Manie Manie: Labyrinth Tale
  • type: movie
  • grade: weird
  • made: unknown
  • Review created: A while ago, i'll revise it eventually.
  • mod: none

More `art' animation in the style of `Robot Carnival' and `Memories'. Thus you have the requisite three stories by three different directors. The stories are pretty different, but they all try and use focus and atmosphere to make up for their short duration and general lack of story. The three stories are `Labyrinth', `Running Man' and `The order to stop construction'. The first is the most arty and dreamlike while the second is largely based around one idea and the effects needed to carry it off. The third is probably the best of the bunch, being an interesting vision of technology run mad in some high tech automated factory turned into machine hell.

To be honest they don't seem to hang together very well. Whereas `robot carnival' has a general theme, and `Memories' some similarity in style, these are very different pieces. Going from the dream-like `labyrinth' into the very detailed `running man' is very strange. Likewise from the limited character work, and repeated action of `running man' into the more balanced TOTSC. Like all these vignette collections you have to really be interested in anime as an art form, rather than simply a story medium, to be interested enough to enjoy the variation. And while TOTSC is pretty interesting, the other two are difficult to recommend. And as a collection it is ultimately unsuccessful.

One of the reasons for this difficulty is that these atmosphere and style pieces tend to rely heavily on the quality of the animation. This is both as a vehicle for style, a generator of atmosphere and to give a sense of impressiveness that makes up for the lack of story and character. And this tape is showing some signs of dating, which robs quite a lot of its power. Likewise the difference between the components is further amplified by the differences in the level of animation. `Labyrinth' is full of (probably intentional) simple forms, repeated sequences and abstracted animation. `running man' has some really impressive effects work, but the supporting animation seems fairly simple. TOTSC is, once again, the best but even it is more interesting than awesome by todays standards. And it's skill simply serves to taint the memory of the earlier portions. This is probably one for the hard core anime fan, especially those who know the individual directors.

None of the sites I source from has a review of this title.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:22 WST 2009