They’re the best Anime that 1992 has to offer! We counts down the best anime to come out this year, including the likes of Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: The Fading Light of Zeon, Dragon Ball Z Movie 06: Gekitotsu!! 100-oku Power no Senshi-tachi, Dragon Ball Z Movie 07: Kyokugen Battle!! Sandai Super Saiyajin, and more!
5: Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: The Fading Light of Zeon
English: Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: The Afterglow Of Zeon
Japanese: 機動戦士ガンダム0083 －ジオンの残光－
MAL Score: 6.66
U.C. 0083 – Three years after the end of the catastrophic One Year War, peace on Earth and the colonies is shattered by the presence of the Delaz Fleet, a rogue Zeon military group loyal to the ideals of the late dictator Gihren Zabi. Delaz Fleet`s ace pilot Anavel Gato, once hailed as “The Nightmare of Solomon”, infiltrates the Federation`s Torrington base in Australia and steals the nuclear-armed Gundam GP02A “Physalis” prototype. Rookie pilot Kou Uraki – with the aid of Anaheim Electronics engineer Nina Purpleton and the crew of the carrier Albion – pilots the Gundam GP01 “Zephyranthes” prototype in an attempt to recover the stolen Gundam unit and prevent another war from breaking out.
The storyline takes a few years after the Big war, and some remnants of the opposite Zeon faction and the infamous Zabi familly line , wich goes back to the very first gundam serie’s 1979-1980 and the following 3 films compilation and more.
The planet earth is still healing after a colony had been dropped on in the year U.C 79. and for about 13,14 years there has been more war in space that peace in the timeline between the Earth space Federation and the Zeon, and ofc in the midst of war there is that HIGH DEATHCOUNT what gundam is famous for and the flashy spacebattles, during all of that its mainly about the gundam and its kidoperator wich in real life i woulnd reccomend to see sooo much death!!!
For it art is looks right for the time , proffesional early 90’s handdrawn anime art, and they always have innovating designs for the mecha’s both heroes and villian’s, i have seen much much worse from other serie’s.
I wanted to put the genre of space opera a bit in here when the space battle begins, it always have some intense opera music bits but also during emotional scene’s, if u are used to older anime with stuff like this like i mean u know the drill.
The heroe’s always starting out as PUSSIES, hotheaded punks, unfortunatly wich was back than still very stereotypical for the time , u have to bear with it but kinda blows over because much more interesting charachters dropping by, and sending minor-ages pl into war is a bit of a grim concept wich in gundam is fucking normal…… yes it is.
the way how most movies end is when the enemy deploy’s it most cruel weapon with a battle that last 20 min or so, that really kept me going and i really liked this film, recommended for the weekends because of the runtime, wich i have no problems with.
I also do not understand the reason why anyone who has seen the main series, will want to watch this movie also.
This movie is around two hours of different scenes from the main series, combine together to form a movie. First time viewers who has not seen the main series, will struggle to understand what is going on as there is no continuity throughout the movie or any explanation on the plot.
Those who has already watched the main series (which was good by the way), why would you want to waste your time in watching a recap movie? No offence to other Gundam movies which condenses the series into movie format (see the original Gundam movie trilogy), when done well, could be a joy to watch. Not this movie though, every scene is about a min or so and the next min will be a total different scene from further up episodes from the series.
In summary, this movie is like the intro to the next episode at the end of each episode of a series. If you like watching that than you will enjoy this movie.
4: Dragon Ball Z Movie 06: Gekitotsu!! 100-oku Power no Senshi-tachi
English: Dragon Ball Z: The Return of Cooler
Japanese: ドラゴンボールZ 激突!!100億パワーの戦士たち
MAL Score: 6.81
A mysterious entity known as the “Big Gete Star” clings onto planet New Namek to absorb its energy, putting all Namekians in grave danger. Dende, Earth’s new guardian, learns about the prevailing situation in his homeland and quickly requests Gokuu Son and his friends for help.
Upon arrival in New Namek, they discover that the Namekians are held captive by powerful robots, whose leader turns out to be Cooler. He explains that the advanced technology of the Big Gete Star saved him from what otherwise would have been certain death. Alongside his mechanical army, Cooler proceeds to attack Gokuu and his friends to get rid of them once and for all.
This is again the same movie like the last movie Cooler’s Revenge except with one exception. This is the first debut film of Vegeta in the countless movies of this franchise as well as taking place on
new planet Namek.
Now for the most part the action is really good but it does suffer from a rather ridiculous explanation on cooler’s survival and why is it that cooler feels the need to take over planet namek is something that sounds so far-fetched to even begin with.
From the start of this movie you have apparently a planetary size star known as the Big Gete star which somehow revived cooler from the sun
giving cooler a an entirely new form in a mechanised body even more powerful than before. All and all this was very stupidly written indeed.
Whats more cooler has gain the power of controlling a host of mechanical machinery as well as creating an absurd army amount of metallic clones of
himself like he is Ultron from the avengers or something, he has a body that is very durable upon powerful impact and can also use a lock on system, Goku’s Instant transmission SOMEHOW even though we are not informed how that is even possible, He can repair his entire body from scratch from the big gete star system that detects any sign of damage on himself and he uses very fast artificial Regeneration like he is Tetsuo Shima from the anime Akira.
Yeah I think you get the point he is pretty much more ridiculously haxed than before! Not even both super saiyan goku and vegeta could match him.
Aside from that, we have other characters in the film joining goku and vegeta such as the usual kid gohan, krillin, piccolo but surprisingly also Yajirobe and Master Roshi who only offer the comedic moments but its nice to see master roshi as always but I definitely cannot stand that pig oolong for one second.
The animation was ok and music just wasn’t really anything that good.
This movie I felt had a pretty rushed ending for the most part and the dumb thing is I dunno why I didn’t mind it.
The only things I enjoyed were the fights and the fact that vegeta made his debut which is cool but all in all this film is just average like other films of the Dragon ball franchise I felt the weaker films were bio Broly, Lord Slug and curse of the blood rubies AAaahhHH
I cringe whenever I hear those names.
P.S I swear saying the Big Gete star almost sounds like I’m saying the spaghetti star which sounds weird to me for no reason.
Although I feel DBZ Movie 4: “Lord Slug” is the worst DBZ movie, DBZ Movie 6: Cooler’s Return AKA “Clash of of 10 Billion Powerful Warriors” is another one of the 3 truly awful DBZ movies. This is the movie I will be discussing today, before wrapping up my trilogy of reviews with DBZ Movie 11: Bio Broly.
The general consensus is that Cooler’s Return has the single worst plot of any DBZ movie. I fully agree with this conclusion. After being blasted into the Sun with a Kamehameha, A small fracture of Cooler’s skull including his eye has somehow managed to escape the Sun’s tremendous gravity and travel an unbelievable distance into deep interstellar space. In the void of interstellar space, the skull fragment collides with a super advanced alien computer chip, which is drifting way out in deep space because…reasons. This computer chip uses Cooler’s remaining brain (even though we can see VERY little if any brain survived) to construct a giant mass called the “Big Gete Star” out of astroids and self replicating nano-machines. This giant, grey blob called the Big Gete Star happened to be near the new Planet Namek, so Cooler took control of the Gete star and commanded it to attach on to Namek like a giant tumor and drain the planet’s energy. Even if we were to buy the bullshit about Cooler’s skull fragment escaping the Sun’s gravity, how in the HOLY FUCK did the skull fragment travel far enough to be near New Namek when it collided with the computer chip!!? New Namek wasn’t even located in the same quadrant of the Universe as Earth. If you were to divide the entire Universe into 4 giant chunks, this is another quadrant and probably BILLIONS of LIGHT YEARS away! In less than 1 year, Cooler’s skull fragment with no “warp drive” or teleportation managed to travel a couple Billion light years distance! Even by the idiotic standards of DBZ, that is fucking preposterous!!! At the same time Cooler’s blob attacks Namek, the Z fighters just happen to be on vacation there using a ship….even though it was an important plot point in the Future Saga that they had no idea where it was in the series and only Goku could travel there using “Instant Transmission”, which locks onto a Ki signature and teleports to that Ki source. The Z fighters then fight against Cooler and his clones in order to save New Namek.
Goku and Vegeta fight against an army of Mecha-Cooler clones and the rest of the Z fighters all fight against lame cyclops robots. I will give this movie credit for being the only DBZ movie in which our heroes must fight a massive army instead of a single powerful opponent. That was actually a kind of neat idea. I also give it credit for including more of the other Z fighters and giving them a tad of action instead of JUST getting their asses kicked in 2 minutes. Unfortunately, we don’t actually get to see the fight between the Cooler Army and Goku/Vegeta. I’m serious! The fucking movie fades to black and we see Goku and Vegeta tied up inside the Big Gete Star after presumably being beat up offscreen. Cooler attempts to drain their energy, but apparently they still have so much energy left that it overloads the computer’s systems and causes the Gete Star to explode along with all the Coolers. That’s really what happens! This is by far the STUPIDEST villain death in all of DBZ. It isn’t satisfying, it is completely anti-climactic, and it wasn’t even given any kind of foreshadowing or anything to make it acceptable.
Animation and music:
Like with Lord Slug, the animation and music are average here. They aren’t terrible, but not notable either. The only interesting sequence of animation in this movie is Cooler using nano-machines to regenerate parts of his body after repeatedly getting blown apart. That…actually looked kind of awesome! Other than that, I don’t really have any praise left.
Deciding which is worse between Lord Slug and Cooler’s Return is a VERY difficult decision, but I think Cooler’s Return is the SLIGHTLY better movie for a few reasons. Firstly, the movie at least had the concept of the Z warriors fighting a massive army of opponents, which DBZ honestly had never tried before this point and never really tried again until the new movie “Resurrection of F”. Secondly, at least Cooler looked a lot…well…cooler than Lord Slug! Despite just being a watered down version of Freeza’s character with no independent personality traits, quirks, or anything to set him apart besides an extra transformation, fans of DBZ actually LIKE Cooler. He kind of looks badass and gives us another member of Freeza’s unusual race, which we learn VERY little about during the manga or anime. It is hinted in the anime filler that Freeza’s race is the “Arcosians” that North Kai said gave the Saiyans their technology and ran the Planet Trade Organization. Although this has never been stated in the manga or confirmed by Akira Toriyama himself. Lord Slug on the other hand, is just a lame ripoff of King Piccolo that NO ONE thinks is badass and no one actually wants to learn more about his character. That is why Cooler got 2 different movies and Lord Slug only got 1. Of course Broli got 3 because he is BY FAR the most popular movie villain. Lastly, this was the first DBZ movie to take place away from Earth and set the stage for the vastly superior Movie 8. All previous DBZ movies used the same formula of: evil dude comes to Earth and Z warriors must kill him. This movie at least “sort of” broke the mold and allowed a TINY bit more creativity to go into DBZ movies, which ultimately allowed for the zany, off the wall fun of future movies like DBZ Movie 12: Fusion Reborn. Conclusion: This isn’t a good movie by ANY stretch of the imagination, but it isn’t quite as bad as Lord Slug. If you are a diehard DBZ completionist and feel the need to watch this movie, just relax and try not to think too hard!
Ok, joking’s over, to the business now…
DBZ Movie 6: Return of Cooler is a non-canon movie, meaning it’s anime original and never happened in the manga.
My positives from the movie:
1, Metal Cooler looks cool
2, Fighting fanservice
3, 10 million Coolers vs Vegeta’s ballsack (no, that’s not a name of a porn movie)
4, DBZ art style and music coat.
My negatives from the movie:
1, The fact Cooler has survived the sun’s heat head-on is absurd. If you consider how Frieza looked after Namek’s explosion.
2, This movie is about fighting only. There’s no interesting addition to Cooler persona. His purpose is the same as the previous movie: Frieza vibes plus Darth Vader vibes.
3, Vegeta appearing out of nowhere is a big plot hole.
4, Big Gete Star. I am not a fan of this plot device.
For me, Return of Cooler is worse than Revenge of Cooler. It doesn’t take any time to attempt to develop Cooler as a character. Instead, they give us cheap Darth Vader and fighting fanservice, and that’s not enough for me.
I’ve rated Revenge of Cooler 6/10, and since I think Return of Cooler is worse, I give it 5/10. I guess you can try this movie. I did enjoy fighting, but I can’t recommend it to you as it’s just below average, and fighting scenes won’t save its score.
3: Dragon Ball Z Movie 07: Kyokugen Battle!! Sandai Super Saiyajin
English: Dragon Ball Z: Super Android 13!
Japanese: ドラゴンボールZ 極限バトル!!三大超サイヤ人
MAL Score: 6.86
Dr. Gero’s Androids #13, #14, and #15 are awakened by the laboratory computers and immediately head to the mall where Goku is shopping. After Goku, Trunks, and Vegeta defeat #14 and #15, #13 absorbs their inner computers and becomes a super being greater than the original three separately were. Now it is up to Goku to stop him.
Yet again, this is for Dragonball Z fans. If you don’t ike the episodes I highly doubt you will like this movie and would waste your time reading on. If you do like the episodes, feel free to continue reading. If you have not seen Dragonball Z t all then I recommend watching it first, atleast up to the end of the Android / Cell Saga, this kind of fits in with it.
The story of this is basically the most powerful android Dr Gero has created (that they have seen so far) and yes you guessed it..they have to kill it, the action is pretty much right the way through the film it gets moving pretty quick. It’s pretty much an hour of combat.
The animation wasn’t bad, nothing special, the typical Dragonball Z animations.
As this is a movie and most movies d have, for Dragonball Z. The sound was better than the series but not the best from the movies.
Same as you’d expect from Dragonball Z. Won’t explain it more as I really don’t think you will enjoy this movie if you did not like Dragonball Z.
This was my second favourite Dragonball Z film and I have watched this various times.
For those of you reading this that aren’t Japanese, do you remember your first time watching an anime in the original Japanese with subs? This was my very first experience ever watching ANYTHING in a foreign language and reading sub-titles. The year was 1999 and I was 11 years old. My local comic store sold bootleg VHS tapes made by the Chinese Triad, including all the DBZ movies. I bought this movie because it had an epic cover art slapped on it that actually had nothing to do with the movie. The Chinese bootleggers just put completely random cover art on all their DBZ VHS tapes. For most of you, this was one of the shittiest DBZ movies, but for me it was an epic experience!
The movie starts with Android 17 decapitating Gero with a roundhouse kick, which was completely edited out of the US version. For some reason, the movie actually adds a copious amount of blood that wasn’t in the main series version of that scene. Having never watched anime “uncut” my 11 year old mind was blown by the shower of blood when Gero gets his head smashed! I mention in some of my other reviews that I rented and bought a bunch of shitty late 80s and early 90s OVAs to bask in the manly violence. THIS was actually the movie that started that path. I put up with bullshit like Genocyber, MD Geist, and all the others like a drug addict trying to chase down that first “high” that you never quite feel again. This movie has ZERO plot, but the fights are and fast and furious, the animation is good for DBZ standards, and it is quite enjoyable for any DBZ fan.
Even better than the violence was the amazing soundtrack! I had never heard the Shunsuke Kikuchi soundtrack until this movie and only experienced the US soundtrack by good ol’ Bruce.
HOLY SHIT! This music was SO much better that it made this shitty movie worth re-watching again and again just to experience it. Youtube didn’t exist and bootleg VHS was really the only way to listen to the glorious original soundtrack! I’m not sure if it was ever uploaded to Napster and my computer would have been WAY too slow to download it anyways. The epic music for the battles, the badass character themes for Piccolo and Vegeta, and the absolutely beautiful song that plays when Goku uses the Spirit Bomb (Genki Dama for you fucking Weaboos!) Music plays a massive role in how much we enjoy movies, even though we often don’t realize the impact that it has. Imagine Star Wars with a shitty soundtrack! It would be a good film, but the experience simply would NOT be the same! I didn’t fully realize would a monumental difference soundtrack could make until watching this movie and hearing the difference between the Japanese and US soundtracks to DBZ. In that regard, this movie actually was an important step in my development as a film critic by opening my eyes to that fact.
Did I rate this film objectively and completely free of nostalgic bias? Hell no I didn’t! I’m only human, and we are all susceptible to nostalgia. Knowing this allows me to have empathy and avoid becoming quite as bitter and condescending as some other critics. I may feel a twinge of anger when someone rates Mirai Nikk or Black Lagoon a 10/10, but if that was my first violent anime, my first sub, my first introduction to a Japanese soundtrack, and I watched it at age 12, I would probably have done the same thing. God bless this shitty movie, its bloody violence, and its glorious soundtrack!
“Super Android 13” has lame jokes, bad voice acting, and worse of all, a storyline that could have been written by simpletons: Robots programmed to kill Goku. That’s it. Seriously! It’s a pretty poor effort even for an action film. There’s practically no character development (or even characterisation) to speak of, and barely any dialogue, just continuous battling. But since it’s an action anime, it would have been redeemable if the action is even half decent. Alas, it isn’t. It’s ridiculously unimaginative, and follows the usual hero keeps powering up till he wins patterns with impressive faithfulness. If there’s anything that I hadn’t seen before, it’s the ultra-fast-exchange-of-blows style battles… but the movie used it so much (like 90% of the time) that by the time it finished I was already bored of it.
*sigh* I can see why this “movie” is only 45 minutes long. It would be hard to make anything longer than this with the kind of material that this anime has to work with.
2: Hashire Melos (Movie)
English: Run Melos!
MAL Score: 6.87
Melos is a good boy from Messina and has come to Syracuse, the magnificent city of temples, to buy a ritual sword for his sister’s marriage ceremony. He meets a very talented sculptor and they become friends. Later, the King’s guards arrest Melos while he was having a walk in the castle’s gardens and Syracuse’s King, obsessed by the idea of assassins out to kill him, sentences him to death. Melos is desperate, but most of all he wants to be present at his sister’s marriage, so he asks the King for three days to go to Messina for the celebration and then return to Syracuse where he will accept the death penalty. The King does not trust Melos, but, trying to demonstrate that nobody could trust him, asks him to find a volunteer substitute in case he breaks his promise. The sculptor accepts to be Melos’ substitute in this case…
Let’s draw together a parallel. Imagine you’re on your way to go to the “Starlite” nightclub. Or the “Dusk Lounge”. Or “Thermopylae”, if you’re gay. Lol. Whatever. You go there, sure that your neat attire is going to give you access to a wild night with loud BPM galore… Suddenly, before passing by the bouncer, one steals your phone! Thankfully, a helpful soul arrest the thief and give you back your personal effect. Afterwards, you enter the club as his recommendation as well regarded regular. You end up spending the whole night drinking with him. That was nice and all… But between you and I, Would you give your kidney to that guy the day after, if circumstances called it ? I doubt you would. Don’t lie. As good-natured as that individual would be, you’re not going to sacrifice one organ for the barely known him. You’d live too tediously without it. Pain, and even dialysis routine if you have malfunctioning kidney, would remind you it for the rest of your life.
See, that’s my beef against HM! (let’s call that title this way from now on). It tries to force its message on you, even though it’s demagogically put on. To quote two cues from the movie:
– Lysa: So, did you come out to the city hoping to be a stonemason, too ?
– Melos: Nah, I was just lost on the street and was invited for a drink.
That’s the core of problem. The friendship between Melos and Celinunsius has no believability. It is merely a vehicle to demonstrate you how much trust is important in life. It has no chemistry, because all they previously shared in common prior to Melos’ ordeal is a goatskin flask of bad wine. Therefore, build up was swept under the carpet despite its capital importance. You want an example of fictive and yet lifellike friendship ? Read the epic of Gilgamesh. After Gilgamesh and Enkidu killed the Bull of Heaven, major Gods sentenced the latter guy to go to hell. There’s no doubt the king of Uruk would have given his life to save his companion, even though he’s a simple man-beast. Because they faced so many perils together.
Back to the matter, it’s hard to take Melos as a role model, let alone get attached to him. Not only because HM!’s plotline is contrived, but mostly because he’s so damn dull-witted. He’s stupid enough to not put Celine in charge of his sword while he pays visit to Dionysus’ castle. And mostly, he couldn’t tell the difference between a fake sword and an iron-made one. 358 BC is the third Iron age period. I’ll spare you my knowledge about Antique technology, just saying that when you get a hand over such elaborated weapon, you immediately notice it even if you’re a humble shepherd.
This characterization loophole isn’t peculiar to the main cast. Dionysus himself was poorly written too. To illustrate my argument, just pay attention to that ultimate day moment. It could have been a major highlight of the movie, mind it: the cynical point of view from Syracuse’s king confronting Celine’s, the idealistic stonemason artist. To say the least, whole dialogue baffled me, because it was that perfunctory even though we’re talking about a key-scene. Dionysus looked like clueless from the start to the end. That just wasn’t coherent with the protrayal of a tyrant, who put at odds his subjects life for the mere pleasure to prove his knowledge of human nature…
I could go on and on until the supporting cast, but you copied it, I think.
If you don’t watch HM! for its flawlessly constructed plotline, then is there anything else worthwhile ? Chara-design is a tad on the dull side. Art direction knows how put in value objects as statues and bas-reliefs, on the other hand. It’s too bad this level of attention wasn’t applied with the rest, technically. Music is… Here. It’s neither haunting nor annoying. It’s just sound grooming not especially memorable.
..| Enjoyment |.. 3/10
All in all, HM! had the misfortune to be adapted into a wrong format. I’m sure it could have been way better, released as an OAV series. Without competent scripts, it remains what it is… I tried hard to like it, but I just can’t ignore these heaps of flaws that make for an underwhelming tale. To its credit, historical field is so undercovered. I guess you ought to watch this title once at least, whether you’re a History nerd as me or you simply like the genre.
..| Content indications / Buzzwords |..
Ketchup meter: While the on-screen suffering is rendered in a striking way, one really got to be sensitive to be shocked by it. G-rating was fair.
Ecchi meter: 0
Fishing scene(s): I doubt that Melos had any time to stop by Syracuse’s port to catch groupers. So none :/
+ Antique setting (bloody underutilized, Fantasy genre put aside)
+ Nice premise brought by an eponymous fable
+ Federative message
+ Pleasant background art
– Contrived plot
– Plot holes likely caused by blue-pencil
– Lackluster characterization
– Forgettable sound
The story of of Hashire Melos is based on a book by Osamu Dazai. Despite being anime and Japan-written, this Greek legend captures the style and telling techniques of mythology, sans the tragic ending(this is not a spoiler because the beginning of the movie shows that they’re alive in the end). For example, Hashire Melos features a flawed protagonist who faces a tragic fate out of his control. It seems like the city of Syracuse really takes advantage of Melos in the beginning. In Homeric fashion, a series of trials presents themselves to Melos, whether predetermined or driven by the fates themselves. Man, I don’t remember Greek literature. I read Homer’s Odyssey in 12th grade. I took Latin. I know things.
The sound design is pretty good, dude. I’m a sucker for good footstep sound effects such as Ocarina of Time and Mario 64, and let me tell you: the sandals slap in this one. People got swords and junk, and they swing them, and these swords sound so distinct, especially for anime. The swords sound heavy and blunt and inelegant, which is what swords were like back then. Swords in the BC era, yeah, they’re sharp, but they resembled big, metal sticks, and their bluntness was just as likely to strike down armored foes than cut them. But, yeah, the sword swings were good. The soundtrack is very understated but effective. In the 1990s, midi became a potentially cheap replacement for full-blown orchestra. This gives a certain gravitas to the story’s emotional framework while retaining a certain degree of nostalgic, endearing educational tape vibe. There are leitmotifs at play that accent the scene’s themes well and are so subtle that it’s entirely possible you’ll miss the recurring theme on your first viewing.
Aforementioned weightiness of the swords is courtesy of Iso Mitsuo and Utsunomiya Satoru. Iso is famously responsible for the End of Evangelion fight in which Asuka lumberingly swung a huge, blunt weapon. It seems to be a subject Iso returned to often in his career. Utsunomiya is from a similarly weighty, realistic, and detailed school of movement, a legend in his own right as well. Years before Kon Satoshi, of Perfect Blue and Paprika fame, would bloom as a director, he was credited along with many other talents as a key animator on this film. From Inoue Toshiyuki, to Takahashi Shinya, and Itou Kouji, there’s a real wealth of unique talent brought to this film. Oono Hiroshi brings a pleasantly soft background art direction that evokes the beauty of the Grecian landscapes, sunsets whose warmth bursts from the screen, moody rains, and cool, shady forests with beautiful lighting. This movie exudes emotions of melancholy and hope visually through effective color use, lighting, and texture. All backed by the shot compositions of the rarely appreciated but extraordinarily talented director Oosumi Masaaki. Reportedly, he approached the film by verbally describing the scenes to his storyboard artists. Masaaki’s method allows for a beautifully ornate look bound together by an experienced sense of editing flow and punctual portrayal of its emotional highs. I love how dusty and brown everything was, yet the city is still lively. The environments looked very lived in.
I really liked the character designs in this movie, as well as the way faces were drawn. Careful attention to angle and definition were considered in shots of a character’s reflection. I like how a lot of characters have big, round noses; they really anchor their faces in the lineart. My friend used the words “character acting” to describe the Emperor, and I strongly agree, his face is well sculpted to be old and slightly drooping, yet with a solid jawline and very readable, complex emotional expression. There’s also a moment in the beginning, when two characters back-and-forth without words but with gestures, which is great characterization for both main characters and throwaways.
Character is basically the same section as story, but here I’ll write about how the characters tie into the story and the self-declared theme of trust. Selinuntius trusts Melos, and despite the emperor’s efforts to instil doubt in him, he remains calmly confident in Melos’ follow-through. Selinuntius is inspired to feel trust again due to something in his past, which I won’t spoil. Dionysius, the emperor, wishes to teach his people a lesson about the dangers of trust, as the safety of his city is kept by caution toward strangers. Melos himself doesn’t earn much trust in his life due to his clumsiness, but he craves it and strives to nurture his sudden hope from Selinuntius. Melos is very naturally trusting, himself, which is what throws him into this scenario in the first place, getting tricked by slick city salesmen into entering a big, bad misunderstanding. It’s a heartwarming sentimentality, which the movie earns through trials which Melos endures.
I do an all-or-nothing review structure, of “smell my Gak! Is it good, or is it gross??”, and this movie is good. Hashire Melos is a good movie, and I like it.
1: Kurenai no Buta
English: Porco Rosso
MAL Score: 7.96
After a curse turned him into a pig, World War I ace Marco Pagot becomes Porco Rosso, a mysterious bounty hunter who takes down sky pirates in the Adriatic Sea. He whiles away his days on a secluded island, rarely leaving other than to collect bounties or to visit the beautiful Gina, a songstress and owner of the Hotel Adriano.
One day, while traveling to fix his faulty engine, Porco Rosso is gunned down by a young American hotshot named Donald Curtis. Thrilled at the possibility of fame, Donald boldly declares that the flying pig is dead. Not wanting to disappoint Gina, Porco Rosso flees to the famous Piccolo S.P.A. airplane company and takes out a massive loan in order to repair and improve his fighter plane. There, he is surprised to find that the chief engineer of Piccolo S.P.A. is the 17-year-old Fio Piccolo, who hungers for a chance to prove herself. With Fio’s improvements, Porco Rosso prepares to challenge Donald officially and regain his honor.
Miyazaki movies can broadly fall in 2 or 3 categories; some of them are driven by their uncanny and bizarre plot (princess mononoke, spirited away etc). And then there are some where the direction almost completely overshadows the plot-line. Like Totoro, Porco Rosso falls in the latter category. From the opening scene to ending, this movie is all about direction, direction and direction.
The movie, set in the 1930’s, starts on a deserted island which acts as a hideout for the famous war-veteran turned bounty hunter ace pilot known as porco rosso (scarlet pig) who, we soon learn, has been afflicted by a curse which turned him into a pig. Just knowing this much can give you a false impression that this movie, like most miyazaki movies, has a lot to do with the mystical or the supernatural, but nothing can be further from the truth. Our ‘manly’ protagonist is a pig for a reason, but that reason has little to do with magic. The movie follows the scarlet pigs journey to reclaim his honor, after being ‘shot down’ by an American mercenary. For the most part, its a comedy drama with sprinkles of romance and slice-of-life
As the movie progresses, we learn more about the scarlet pig and some of his background. Eventually we get to the reason of his current predicament. There is a strong lesson to learn here, and thankfully it’s not force-fed into your head like Disney does with some of its movies. Here, the message is subtler and yet strikes a stronger chord.
‘Porco Rosso’ is different from miyazaki’s other endeavors. For one, it has a lot more comedy in it, and this aspect is amplified by the comical and, sometimes, witty dialogue. The humor is in-your-face laugh-out-loud funny, filled with wise-cracks, puns and word-play. And the concept of a man-turned-pig ace pilot flying the skies of a fictional Europe dueling pirates and an arch-nemesis from America is not something you’ll find in every anime.
Speaking of arch-nemesis, this movie has a really good one in the form of Donald Curtis, a notorious womanizer, and an over-confident and pompous, yet funny and very likable American, who also happens to be Porco’s rival in lurrve. Two of the funniest sequences of this comedy ride are his ‘encounters’ with porco in the skies. Characters in general have been done very well, with each of them lending to the comical aspect of the movie really well.
The airplane designs and all the flying sequences are really good. Some of the flying sequences are especially enthralling- not in the eye-candy sense, but it’s just that they’ve been done so well that it feels like whoever did it must be in love with airplanes and flying in general. In fact, a good part of Miyazaki’s early life was spent drawing battleships and airplanes. That life-long fascination of his mirrors very well throughout his works, especially this movie.
The premise and the post WWI European setting gives a very unique and exquisite feeling to the movie; and this fact is reflected well in the artwork, with its lush sceneries, views of exotic islands and beaches, cities and some of the characters, especially the pirates, which really do look like something from cartoony Europe of the 30’s. The leader of the pirates, for one, can pass for a Bluto (from Popeye) look-alike. For the most part, the miyazaki like feeling is intact. The animation is just gorgeous for a movie made in 1992. The color palate is exceptionally vibrant and has a certain depth to it that Miyazaki fans have come to associate with his movies.
The music is vintage Hisashi joe; fans of the maestro will find some of his best tunes in this movie. The animation and music blend perfectly to evoke the right emotion at the right time, bringing to life the world of Porco Rosso while lending it a unique charm that you probably won’t see in any other anime movie. Disney’s dubbed version has excellent voice-overs that fit perfectly with each character’s personality. I find that the Disney version does not deserve the hate that it is often subjected to by the fans of the older pre-Disney dub versions.
However, there are two things that might put-off people. The first is the minimalistic approach to storyline. Plot-junkies who expect their animes to be filled with deep and complicated plots might not find this to their liking (I’ve heard a few complain about this). But if you like Miyazaki movies in general, you’d know that complaint is baseless. With Porco Rosso, everything might be charming and simple on the outside but there’s more to this movie than meets the eye. The second complaint, which is actually a little more common, is that the ending is too abrupt. The ending is a bit subtle, yes, and it may leave a you wishing there was more, but the movie manages to tie all the loose ends very well, and it is by no standards an unsatisfactory ending. Porco Rosso is more like an old friend from a long forgotten time who stops by your front door to have a nice cup of tea, has a warm and pleasant chat with you but then quietly leaves from the back door with a quick goodbye.
Thanks to Miyazaki’s captivating direction, the movie is very soothing and peaceful and I think its best watched at the end of a hard and tiresome day, when you want to watch something calm and relaxing. All in all, Porco Rosso is a unique movie; not just as miyazaki or a Ghibli film, but a unique anime movie.
This right here is what you call a good fucking “anime” movie. Yes i know, those exist, right? Way back, millennia ago, before dinosaurs become extinct and before anime movies weren’t only a weeabo-loser and pedophilia pander, good movies, heck even stupid movies reigned supreme.
Now you might be asking yourself, hey but this is a Miyazaki flick, doesn’t he always have some pre-teen girl as the lead in his movies so that pedophiles from all around the globe can cream their unwashed jeans. Well yes, and actually no, this one is an exception hence why Im writing a review for Porco Rosso and Porco Rosso only.
This movie delivers one of the finest main characters in anime cinema history, even tho is he merely a swine, he is actually Clint Eastwood in his patented ice-cold ass-whippery, he is James Bond in his wittiness and humor, he is John Wayne, he is Steve McQueen, he is a culmination of the spiciest cultural ass-whoppers from the far east to the shores of the west.
The WW2 setting just adds to the flavor.
Although this movie does have a pre teen girl in it but who the fuck cares about her, we are here for the swine, amirite? Im not?
Blow me, moving on.
Now, Porco Rosso does have a lot of the typical Miyazaki niches. You have the small underage heroine, the curse which our main protagonists has to overcome, a douchebag on crack, some olg hag and so on and so forth. What is unbeknownst to me and to many other intellectuals is just how underrated this movie actually is, quite possibly Miyazakis most underrated film to date. Why is that you may ask?
There are a few reasons for this the main one being is that most people see our protagonist which is a swine looking like a pimp on steroids and immediately conjure thoughts like “But where is muh cute little girl” or “this most be boring”. If you ever encounter people like this the right thing to do would be to call the authorities and have the pedophiles removed from the streets and loser ridden anime conventions.
The OST? I dont even have to delve any deeper into this to say anything other than give that nigga Joe Hisaishi a raise for these fine pieces of music. He constantly hits it out of the park and leaves you craving for more after you have listened to his playlist for the 84th time.
The art is fine, like in every other Miyazaki film. So nothing special to write home about here.
On the other hand it is unique because of the world it builds around. Any fans of classic Hollywood will be pleased at the amount of homages that are spread through the story, both in individual scenes and in tone. This movie holds many similarities in its more dramatic part, both aesthetical and story-based, with “Casablanca”; and the slapstick comedy that is there through the whole storyline, softening the conflicts and relationships of the characters, resembles “The quiet man”.
This polarity between a heavy character drama and a dreamy comedy may be a double-edged sword, in the sense that many people will probably find this movie inconsistant in terms of its mood, but I think “Porco Rosso” does a really fine work at balancing both aspects of its storyline. The comedy never disallows the viewer from appreciating the gravity of Porco as a character, and the serious and intimist sequences don’t deny the zaniness of his daily life. The best thing about this is that it allows to create a full dramatic portrayal of the main character, while bringing some kind of fabulistic charm to his lifestyle, which gives nostalgic vibes to the story. This ends up being relevant as well in the romantic view that Miyazaki brings to describe one of his childhood passions, flight engineery. In this movie it becomes completely obvious through the careful visual depiction and the spectacularity of the flying scenes.
The storyline is completely focused on Porco and the universe around him. He is definitely a complex character that goes way beyond his main defining trait. In fact, his aspect in the context of the daily relationships it’s the least relevant. We are told that he is a human turned into a pig by some sort of mysterious spell, but those around him still recognize Porco as a human. Even Gina, the one that he’s most closely related with, treats him as if he was the same as always. The appearances in this movie are brought for a much less superficial purpose, as this transformation is used as a metaphor for the deep wound Porco carries with humanity in general, and with himself. His bitterness, however, is contrasted in the movie. That is, instead of being exaggerated, and giving rise to an overly cynical character, the story also emphasizes on his caring side. He is shown to have friends, understand their emotions and care for them; his scenes with Gina make clear that they love and respect each other. This side of him is emphasized later with the presence of Fio and the clear effect she has in his growth as a character.
The rest of the characters, while not being as fleshed out as Porco, still hold their own charm. I am specially fascinated with Gina. She doesn’t even appear too often in the story but her elegance and intimist approach increase the emotional effect of every scene she’s in, and the hints on her own past are so suggestive and enveloping that, despite the lack of physical presence in the plot, she manages to create a very strong emotional involvement around her. She is there in some of the most moving moments of the story and I’m specially fond of one where a flashback of her past with Porco is shown.
Fio, on the other hand, plays the counterpart of Porco as a quick-witted and joyful girl. This simple purpose is actually conveyed in the form of a very strong and charismatic character. Her chemistry with Porco through their scenes is amazing, and another one of the key points of this story. In fact my favorite scene of the movie involves them both; with Porco narrating a defining experience of his past -in his very own way, though- and Fio hearing this whole story completely captivated, understanding, finally, the dimension of his personal conflict as a whole.
Donald Curtis and the pirates, despite being technically the antagonists of the main story, are actually quite light and charming. The arrogance of Curtis is contextualized in a way that emphasizes on his innocence rather than on an actual malice. And similarly, the pirates never come off as evil and their hate towards Porco is never treated seriously.
On the artistic level, this is a great effort overall, though probably not as satisfying as other Miyazaki movies. For example, it suffers from a lack of shading in many scenes, and the designs of the background characters don’t look very inspired. However, it still keeps a lot of strength in the visual depiction of the scenarios, and places like Porco’s lonely island or Gina’s bar are given a distinct atmosphere that becomes very effective. The design for the main characters is simple, yet very effective, with Porco being the obvious choice as the most outstanding. The aesthetics, as said, are very closely tied to the imagery of classic films, which sort of fit very well with the Italian environment of the late 20s this movie is located at.
Similarly, the soundtrack is quite outstanding overall but not as consistantly mesmerizing as in other works of the author. Then again, this is not a very relevant issue, and I guess it has to do with the huge variety of music pieces; as this variety leading to some irregularity seems unavoidable. Anyway, if I have to choose one, it would be Tokiko Kato’s version of the French Revolutionary song “Le temps des cérises”, that serves to introduce Gina. Her song in the ending credits is equally beautiful.
All in all, and while it’s not my favorite, it is still a Ghibli and Miyazaki movie I am very fond of. It is a little tricky to recommend here, though, because its style and themes will probably not fit the tastes of an anime fan if they are mainly interested on exploring the imagery and philosophy that are associated with the Japanese culture; in fact, I think that “Porco Rosso” is a better recommendation for movie-goers than for anime fans, in general. That doesn’t mean it will be necessarily less enjoyable, but it’s more likely for people with a grown interest on Western filmmaking to find points in common with this movie.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Kurenai no Buta
2. Hashire Melos (Movie)
3. Dragon Ball Z Movie 07: Kyokugen Battle!! Sandai Super Saiyajin
4. Dragon Ball Z Movie 06: Gekitotsu!! 100-oku Power no Senshi-tachi
5. Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: The Fading Light of Zeon