Saturday, December 30, 2006

[1981] ADIEU, GALAXY EXPRESS: I'm guessing this is not the movie to watch in isolation, but I was never going to delve into the works of Leiji Matsumoto anyways, so I'm just going to be stuck with my lack of nuanced appreciation of this film. And watching this has not gotten me interested in seeking out other adventures of Captain Harlock or Emeraldas or even the original Galaxy Express. At it's best this was something like an anime Baum--well, a militarized, apocalyptic Baum where the characters pass through a variety of fantastic settings where the threat of death is always present. But the insistence of mixing constant death with whimsical fantasy does not sit well with me. When our heroes get to their destination (the heart of the empire of the machine people--and I didn't enjoy this enough to want to get into any plot specifics, it's just a kid on a space train touring the universe for mysterious purposes) it turns out the machines survive by stealing the life forces of people, and people are ran through a factory and turned into corpses so that the machine people can survive. Then, like five minutes later, a passing "machine life stealing comet" (no, it makes no sense) passes by and eats all the screaming, flailing machine people. So you have two genocides for the price of one! There's some attempt at a moral about eternal life has to come at the cost of someone else's life, and an additional one about the hero-child turning into a man because his machine princess-companion-girlfriend keeps ditching him, but it was really slight and borderline stupid. This is the kind of well-animated (really well-done in some places) but incoherent and close to spiritually empty anime that is not going to sell you on anime if you're already biased against it.

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