Ok kids, time for the weekly roundup of Anime that I have recently watched.
Spriggan – Called a cross between James Bond and Raiders of the Lost Ark, Spriggan is the story of a secret group of people, ARCAM and their ultimate warriors, the Spriggan, out to defend the Earth and humanity. The are defending the Earth from, of course, another secret group who happen to be a rogue US Government agency, led by a psychic mutant teenager. The object: Gain control of Noah’s Ark. Ok, well, what can I say. This movie was pretty much a disaster. The action sequences were decent, the animation was good as well, but the plot itself was horrible. Events seemed to happen because the plot needed them to. There was almost no character development at all. It just didn’t fit together at all. It was like a Hollywood blockbuster where the special effects were the main concern, while the plot as secondary. Like Armageddon. Only Spriggan doesn’t have Bruce Willis. You decide if that is good or bad.
Ah! My Goddess The Movie – Completely different from just about everything else Trent has loaned me. This is basically a love story wrapped in the guise of a war in heaven between a ‘God’ who wants to destroy the status quo and those who want to keep it. Actually, I was surprised at how good this movie is. The animation is great, the story is compelling and it has quite a bit of humor. The only downside is that the movie is actually a follow on to the Ah! My Goddess TV show and, as such, I missed a lot of the subtext of the character interactions that the show would have provided. However, that doesn’t detract from the story being told in the movie, it would only add another level. Kind of like watching The Wrath of Khan without having seen Star Trek at all. Still a good movie, but better with knowing the characters. I’d recommend this one.
Ninja Scroll – Yikes, where to begin. Hmm, lets start by looking at the rating. Uh huh, not rated (since it was never released in the US). But the DVD box does give some helpful hints as to what the movie contains: “For mature audiences (check). Contains violence (check), brief nudity (check), and adult situations (check). Parental discretion is advised”. Emphasis mine. Having read that again, I see that the warnings, if anything, actually understate the situation. For instance, “Contains violence”. Yes it does. But they completely forgot to mention the buckets and buckets ‘o blood that are spilled throughout this movie. I mean, I’m surprised the animators had enough red ink to draw all that. Wowzers. Maybe they were channeling Sam Peckinpah. I’m not a big fan of blood, but this was so over the top it didn’t bother me. So, “Brief nudity”. Yup. A bit longer than brief with a sex scene thrown in for no apparent reason. “Adult situations”, well, yes. By this I guess they mean the rape scene and the pseudo-bondage scene. Uh, those are adult situations. I’m not sure parental discretion covers it. I think they should have said: “Lock up the kids and put the pets to bed”. Having said all that. This is still a good movie. Its basically the lone wolf Samurai with a tough, cool exterior that hides a heart of gold vs. the forces of evil that want to overthrow the government of Japan. Demons, samurai, ninjas. Its got it all. The story, while somewhat confusing, is still interesting enough to keep you going. I’d recommend this one as well. Did I mention the blood?
Twilight of the Dark Master – I’m not sure what to make of this one. The story concerns a good vs. evil fight, where the last Guardian for man must fight the last Demon on Earth. Its gory, but not quite as bad as Ninja Scroll. The big downside for me was the length. It clocks in at less than 50 minutes and it felt like I was watching the Cliff’s Notes for a longer movie. Absolutely no character development or explanations as to the plot points. Everything happens just to get the story to the final battle. The ending left me wondering, why didn’t he do that earlier? Why wait? I’m not sure I’d recommend this one.
Coming up next week: Record of Lodoss Wars ,Blood the Last Vampire and more Neon Genesis.