Oniricamente perturbadora, nos transporta a ese mundo Lynchniano para mostrarnos una vida en la que nuestra sombra, es nuestro mayor temor, es parte de nuestra vida, pero al mismo es nuestra pesadilla que se repite inconmensurablemente sin parecer tener desenlace. Esta película muestra nuestras obsesiones, nuestras inquietudes y miedos, temores que no esperamos pero que al fin y al cabo, tienen que llegar a ocurrir y fagocitar nuestra mente como si de una simbiosis de delirio y alucinaciones extremadamente turbadoras y de una atmósfera de insania psicologicamente parasitaria se tratase.
The cyberpunk manga "BLAME!" is considered one of the best, and also more impenetrable from a story standpoint. The 10-volume series takes place in a Dyson sphere built around Earth referred to as The City, created by autonomous machines called Builders. Separated into massive, nigh-impenetrable barrier floors called "Megastructure", The City is inhabited by transhuman tribes, hostile cyborgs called Silicon Creatures and a murderous horde known as the Safeguard, who seek to destroy humanity. The Megastructure has been expanding unhindered and chaotically, with nothing able to stop it. The protagonist is a human named Killy, who has been tasked to locate a human who possesses Net Terminal Genes, a long-thought extinct genetic marker that allows humans to access the Netsphere, the control network for The City in order to bring its unimpeded growth under control.
The manga's near silent protagonist and existential themes can frustrate casual readers, but the payoff is huge if you can manage to stick around. Animation studio Polygon Pictures seems to agree, as they are bringing an anime film adaptation to Netflix later this year! The film will be an adaptation of the story arc featuring the Electrofishers, humans descended from laborers for Toha Heavy Industries (a massive edifice separate from the Megastructure controlled by a collective A.I.) who may or may not be netgene carriers.
This will be the third project Polygon has done with the streaming service following "KNIGHTS OF SIDONIA" & "AJIN: DEMI- HUMAN." Their previous work includes 3DCG animation on GHOST IN THE SHELL 2: INNOCENCE, THE SKY CRAWLERS, "STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS", "TRANSFORMERS: ROBOTS IN DISGUISE" & "TRON: UPRISING". They've also worked on video game animation for STREET FIGHTER IV, RESIDENT EVIL 5, STREET FIGHTER X TEKKEN & LOLLIPOP CHAINSAW.
There's currently no release date for BLAME!, but check back for more information as it becomes available.....#Blame#TsutomuNihei#TokyoPop#Kodansha#HiroyukiSeshita#SadayukiMurai#Killy#NetTerminalGenes#GravitationalBeamEmitter#Cyberpunk#Netflix#NetflixOriginal#TheGeekMansion
№ 97: "Steamboy"
Director: Katsuhiro Otomo
Screenplay: Sadayuki Murai, Katsuhiro Otomo
I wanted to watch this film prior to it's release 12 years ago. I have to say, I'm left a bit underwhelmed for a film that supposedly took 10 years to complete. I liked the film, don't get me wrong, I just have a few nitpicks.
The animations in this film is phenomenal. From what I've read, Otomo had some of the sequences done in CG and then redrawn using the CG as reference to blend with the hand-drawn animation. Regardless of method, the end result is stunning. In a film featuring such small detail like moving steam engines and devices, it never ceases to deliver. I love the designs of all the steam-related devices. I've always found technology from the early industrial revolution to be interesting.
The plot of the film, however, left a bit to be desired. I feel the pacing of the film to be too slow in parts, even during action sequences. The biggest complaint is that there isn't much character development with our main characters, Ray and Scarlett. I would have liked the final sequence of the film to be about a third of it's length and the scenes depicted during the credits be shown in it's place. There was more character/plot development during the credits than the film itself, I feel. Scarlett is pretty intolerable for the majority of the film, and I wish she would have had a redemption toward the end of the film after seeing the horrors committed by her foundation for money, but that is reserved for stills during the credits, unfortunately.
It almost feels like the ending of the film was a setup for a sequel that never came. It's a shame because I am interested in the world and where these characters will go following the events of the film.
Overall, the film is worth a watch. The animation is fantastic and the story entertaining enough. I just wish more focus was given to the events after Steam Tower's demise.
№ 92: "Millennium Actress"
Director: Satoshi Kon
Screenplay: Sadayuki Murai, Satoshi Kon
This is such a fascinatingly told story. Props to the entire cast and crew of this film. This is very much a Satoshi Kon film and I love it.
The story is centered around the life of former film actress Chiyoko Fujiwara. The film opens on Genya Tachibana, a TV interviewer, watching a film highlight reel in preparation for an interview with the now elderly Chiyoko. Genya and his camera man, Kyoji Ida take a trip to Chiyoko's home, where she has spent the last 30 years in seclusion. After introductions, Genya presents a gift to her - a key she had lost earlier in life that holds great significance. The reunion with this cherished memento awakens memories in Chiyoko, who goes on to explain to Genya and Kyoji the key's origin and other tales from her career.
From this point forward, until it's conclusion, the film is a blend of her life and films, jumping from one to the next. The way Kon and Murai are able to portray so many different films from her career is wonderful. It makes me want to watch them in their original context, rather than the half-in, half-out style of our story.
The voice acting is just as good as the story. I felt for the characters and their struggles and that's one of the most important aspects of a films impact for me.
MadHouse knocked it out again on the animation front. They've made all of these film sets and characters so unique and interesting that I fully believe they could be sampled from an actual anime feature, rather than an in-movie fictional film starring our character.
Overall, this is a fantastic film and a must watch if you haven't seen it. This is the fourth and final film I'll be reviewing for Kon. I mentioned it in an earlier review, but I'm increasingly more bummed about his passing. He was in process on his fifth feature film, Dreaming Machine, and from the looks of it, it would have been just as fantastic.
№ 91: "Perfect Blue"
Director: Satoshi Kon
Screenplay: Sadayuki Murai
This one threw me for a loop.
Murai and Kon have constructed an extremely suspenseful thriller. I thought I had the story pegged at every turn and each time I was left surprised.
The story follows our main character, Mima on her journey from a
J-Pop star to aspiring actress. After a traumatizing scene in her first film role, Mima is left with troubling visions of her former life and she beings to doubt her sanity as members of the cast and crew of the film are found murdered.
The animation here is fantastic. This is to be expected from a studio like MadHouse. I don't think this film would work nearly as well in a live-action setting given the subject matter, and I feel they've done a wonderful job.
I also enjoyed the English dub. The acting felt very organic to the characters and their situations. I'll likely end up watching the film again with subs, as I'm sure some dialogue was changed.
Overall, I really enjoyed this one. The subject matter was a bit intense, but kept me on the edge of my seat wanting to know the how and why of events. If you haven't seen this one, I recommend it.