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Title Info

  • type: movie
  • grade: weird
  • people: CLAMP
  • Other elements of this title:
    • This title may offend the sensitive.
    • This title is a sequel that extends a previous series.
  • dur: 120
  • made: unknown
  • Review created: Thu Dec 7 22:37:36 EST 2000
  • mod: none

This movie is the dramatic conclusion to the manga, of the same name by CLAMP. Thus it is a really easy one to review. It works like this, if you've read the manga to the end you almost certainly want to see this. If you adore high powered magical battles and brutal violence in modern day tokyo you'll like this. If you love story and character, you'll probably hate it as much as I did.

The story opens with a youth named Kamui being told he has the power to decide the fate of his world. Since his mother tells him in a fairly dramatic fashion (incidentally becoming the first fatality) he has reason to take it seriously. However the only thing he really cares about is protecting his best friend and his childhood sweetheart. Mind you, if he truly wanted to protect them he should move to antarctica or something. This is because his arrival in tokyo marks the starting gun in a battle between the seven dragons of heaven, the seven dragons of earth and the two sister dream-weavers who lead each side. In practice this turns out to mean 2 sides of seven super-powered people, who all look interesting, although there is no point in becoming too attached to them. It also seems that the two he swore to protect also have a part to play in this battle for the fate of the world. A fact which does not bode well for their long term happiness.

And then there's the summarised version that runs like this. Interesting characters messily exterminate each other, and large section of Tokyo until Kamui can get his act together to end the movie. However, and this is at the heart of the movie, they look very cool while doing so.

In other words, for a softy like me who treasures story and character this was a cruel torture. People i've just met, who seem loaded with backstory and character, get to have a little character moment before exiting the screen. And the violence is graphic, heartless and cruel. Perhaps if you've read the manga you know these people better, or can understand why this all happens. But for a viewer there's simply not enough `substance' to explain all these events. And, the biggest joke, is that in the end the battle of the dragons doesn't actually mean anything at all.

Mind you, as mentioned, it looks very pretty. While it still shows CLAMPS shoujo sense of style this is cinematic anime. Many of the spell effects, the originality of some of the magic and the action itself is incredibly stylish. Likewise there's a lot of quite arty `dream' or atmosphere shots which are also well done. And when the time comes for building's to go boom the budget exists to do that well. It must be said that the concept of a `mystic' battle going on underneath the surface of mundane life is pretty cool Something brought out quite well by the crosses between mundane normalcy and the super-powered bouts. Meanwhile sound and voice are as good as one would expect of modern theatre quality animation.

And, once again, it also shows CLAMPS weaknesses pretty clearly. Logic and character are secondary to effect and art. The change in Kamui's best friend is sudden and defies reason. The battles are cool but careless, surely people in such danger would be working together. Likewise one woman learns that, when trying to stop a speeding train, you preferably do not do so while standing in front of it. Meanwhile Kamui's inability to do anything, and shallow character, makes him remarkably difficult to sympathise with. And while the animation is beatiful the choppy editing and arty scenes often breaks the sense of reality that such high quality production could provide.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:27 WST 2009