Anime Meta-Review


Cockpit, The


By Date




Title Info

  • type: movie
  • grade: weird
  • people: Matsumoto
  • made: 1993
  • Review created: A while ago, i'll revise it eventually.
  • mod: none

This tape is regarded by many as a classic, not only in itself but as a celebration of the manga of Leiji Matsumoto. It was this derivation that made me think the tape was an older production, but in fact it is quite modern (1993) but is in the style of the manga from the 60's and 70's. And be sure to read the mail that told me that. Of course given that this manga is not part of the cultural heritage of most western fans it still means that the appearance may seem a bit odd.

It is actually composed of three stories taken from manga and animated by three different directors, all recognised masters in their own right. The stories are all war stories, from the german (in one) and japanese (twice) point of view. They are not guns'n'glory with a summary running something like noble betrayal, suicidal desperation and self-sacrificing futility. On the other hand there is a suggestion that we should look for positive qualities even in these circumstances, but I couldn't find that level of tolerance within myself. On the other hand I don't like the whole `nobility' bit, but those who do should also consider `Arcadia of my Youth' for a longer dose of something similar.

The retro appearance combines with the old-style writing to give a dated feel to the whole experience. It could be taken as a tribute to the skill of the animators that they do this so convincingly, but whether this translates to the modern anime fan is an interesting question. This is not helped by some of the minor characters being drawn in simplified style (suggested as early SD?) that just looks weird now. Of course it would be very interesting to see the source manga, but with these roots cut away it is no suprise that this anime is somewhat weakened. Still, capably directed, watchable and historically interesting. It is especially spooky if you remember old western war comics (although in the ones I remember the good guys always won).

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