July 13, 2012 § 3 Comments
I’ve seen Inception, Memento, and several mind fucking movies… One would think they would be used to it by now, right? Sadly, if that were true, I would not be able to enjoy a very deep movie I had just recently finished. Now, I usually don’t like writing about animated films, especially when they are based off an anime. Unlimited Bladeworks was one such movie that, I as a fan, was disappointed in. The plot was just crammed into an hour and a half film, and although the production value was quite well made, it failed to keep me attached to the characters; my friend, Santiago, loved the movie for the action, however, he did not play the games and I had to substitute for the information left out or whatever he skipped. Don’t get me wrong, I love animated films… however, I want it to be right and true. I want it to hold my attention with the characters struggles, love them for their flaws, and make my cry when a Bro dies. When I mean bro, I mean the manly man who helps the protagonists (and may actually be the protagonist). Take Kamina, Rider from Fate/Zero, and Marco-san from Ibara no Ou (King of Thorns, which I had just completed today.
The main background of the story (which you learn in the first 5 minutes), is that there is an airborn virus called MEDUSA, contaminating the humans and eventually turning them to stone. There is no cure, and the casualties are rising day by day, and politicians and governments are struggling to maintain a stable government. During this confusion, one company called Venus Gate, has announced a new project called Cold Sleep, with the purpose of freezing the patient in a stable sleep in which the virus is halted (though not gone). The claim is, for the 160 people selected, they will be selected with the hopes of one day getting treatment in the future. Not so bad when hell is breaking loose globally? Almost convenient, right? That is what the United States government thought as well.
The main protagonist is Kasumi Ishiki, a teenage girl who is selected for the Cold Sleep project, though she is far from pleased. Her twin, Shizuku, is also a carrier of MEDUSA, and despite Kasumi’s protest to convince her sister to go in her place, Shizuku stays firm and makes her sister go. Kasumi is shy and quiet where as her sister is bold and loud, and the two depict the perfect yin and yang. Taking her sisters advice, she enters Cold Sleep with the other patients, and hopes to meet her in the distant future.
Things, however, go wrong, as they always do. Kasumi and the other patients awaken from their state of hibernation, and exit out of their pods into a world of monstrous creatures and thick vines enveloping the pod chamber. Yes, shit has gone down, but no one knows what year it is, or what happened during their sleep. The chaos that ensues is simply… a marvelous display of human nature, so dead on that it makes me cringe and feel proud (animation, you know us so well <3). As for what happens… you’ll have to watch the movie. Yes, that is right, I will not spoil anything. This movie is that good! However, I warn you here and now, that things aren’t what they seem.
Now, lets get on with the characters. Along with Kasumi, there is a red headed little boy with an in depth knowledge of video games, a blonde with issues, a black police officer (he cool), an Italian politician (DIE!!!), a blonde skinny man, and the manliest man in the entire movie, Marco Owen (BRO). The movie revolves around Kasumi’s view, made apparent by the reoccurring flashbacks, however, the people around her truly make her shine. I found Owen’s role to be crazy and awesome, making me flail with worry when he is fighting the monsters and fending off angry tentacled creatures with his shirt, shotgun, and brawn… if that isn’t bro enough, his attitude is cocky and rude man with intimidating tattoos around his body, but deep down, he is an honorable guy who protects his group as fiercely as a lion.
The struggle throughout this movie is well directed. It’s characters are strong, the stories tension builds up, which drove me crazy during certain scenes, and the art is simply a plus. The music fits in with the “End of the World” perception. The story, and how well it is directed, shines the brightest in this movie. If I had a list of the top ten Japanese animated films to watch before you die, this would be in that list. I believe that this is a movie that everyone (of age) can enjoy.
Well, with that said, I hope that everyone enjoyed this short, non spoilerific, impression of the movie. Spoiling anything, aside from what I said, would do no justice to Ibara no Ou; though, in my opinion, even if you spoil the entire story, the events are so surreal and realistic that it would still be enjoyable. Until next time, stay healthy, safe, and be wary the thorny tentacled vines.