Anime Meta-Review




By Date




Title Info

  • type: movie
  • grade: watchable
  • genre: magic_war
  • made: 1998
  • Review created: Recently, but I didn't record the date.
  • mod: none

Ready from some action? Then Spriggan is here to deliver. In this version of our modern world it seems that all sorts of relics from previous cultures exist. And this isn't beads or necklaces, these are items of immense power and danger. So dangerous in fact that the previous civilization, which was catastrophically destroyed, left a message that the items of darkness should be destroyed. Enter the Arkham foundation that wants to do exactly that, and in particular a young, but super skilled operative (a spriggan) called Yu Ominae. This story focuses on the rediscovery of one of these relics, and a big one at that, the sort of item that could dominate the fate of the world. Unfortunately it seems that some organisation, with great power and no aversion to violence, wants the relic for its own. It's a spriggan's job to stop that happening, but given that they made the first move against Yu he's got more than enough reason to seek some revenge. Then again, Yu's not without some issues from his own past that will be awakened by the people and plays in this story.

That said, I don't like this much. Don't get me wrong, it's beautifully produced and acheives a certain epic scale, but the story is paper thin. It really is simply a stage for violence and some (admittedly wonderfully done) action animation. In addition while it starts off being violent and gritty it ends up safely in `magical warrior' territory with various super-human characters slugging it out in impressive but not totally believable combats. You really do start to feel for the, rather obvious, `extras' who go down in great numbers and great detail. Meanwhile the relic itself seems to have given the creators a free hand to try and blow our `awe and wonder' circuits. This leads to some impressive scenes, but some might find it just a little over the top. And the story, and dialogue, seems to be secondary to moving the story from action scene to scene. Still, I should not really criticise a movie too much simply for being very focused on what it wants to acheive. And if you are in the mood for an impressive ride, some nice action and an flashy and epic conclusion then you'll probably enjoy this film.

This is certainly helped by the production on this anime. This is cinematic release quality animation and it's really rather impressive. There's a lot of nice design work, both in the level of detail, originality and accuracy. Watching Yu assemble his weapons on arkhams private jet really does tell us a lot about the character. This is beautifully, and richly animated, both at the `person' level and in things like wide shots of the excavation. And then there's the action...which I must admit is very sweet and suprisingly ambitious. The degree of physical movements, the use of camera angles and techniques and the staging are all interesting and effective (albeit a touch different in look). The relic itself makes liberal use of computer animation, and some rather dodgy audio and visual filter effects, but it all works well enough. The voices, music and ambient sound are all as good as is expected from this level of production.

Those THEM have fairly spoiler rich review although whether there is a story to be spoiled is open to debate. They acknowledge that it is basically a `block-buster' action vehicle, and fairly enjoyable, but in the end give it only an average rating. Indeed the feel is similar from Lord Carnage who felt it was somewhat overhyped for something that is such a simple action vehicle. Once againe the review doesn't feel much need to protect the story, so spoilers abound.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:25 WST 2009