After battling through the aftermath of a ruinous global war, female supersoldier Deunan is introduced to Olympus, a utopian city shared by people and genetically engineered ‘bioroids’, who lack extreme emotion and reproductive function. When the human-led military turns against this ‘upstart’ species, the consequences could be calamitous… Set in a now-familiar post-apocalyptic universe of robo-rubble, sparkling citadels and supercomputers wired up to wrinkly old sages, Shinji Aramaki’s anime action-adventure is outstanding in technical if not narrative terms. Opening with the kind of fight scene you can expect on your home console in a few generations’ time, it offers astonishingly rendered cityscapes and car chases and naturalistic organic movements – though the actual character design tends towards the large-eyed schoolgirl type. Which isn’t to say the women are weak: in fact they dominate, with the enemy identified by the attributes of maleness, anger and militarism. The story remains inane, though, crow-barring great wodges of indigestible exposition between scenes of various kinds of hypertechnology pummelling seven shades of shit out of each other.
Friday August 19 2005
Haruka Handa, Tsutomu Kamishiro