A tiny mountain village in a remote woodland region. Five primary school kids have come together in this idyllic spot in order to spend their summer holidays at a camp. At first the ... See full summary »
Clinging to an unfinished letter written by her recently deceased father, young Momo moves with her mother from bustling Tokyo to the remote Japanese island of Shio. Upon their arrival, she... See full summary »
A young girl finds that all the books she chooses in the library have been previously checked out by the same boy. Later she meets a very infuriating fellow... could it be her "friend" from... See full summary »
Rei is a young inventor living in the U.K. in the middle of the 19th century. Shortly before the first ever World Expo, a marvelous invention called the "Steam Ball", behind which a menacing power is hidden, arrives at his door from his grandfather Roid in the U.S. Meanwhile the nefarious Ohara Foundation has sent men to acquire theSteam Ball so that they can use its power towards their own illicit ends. Written by
Bruce Osborne <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When Ray is walking through the city of Manchester at the beginning of the movie, for a few seconds Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels can be seen talking together on the street (Marx is the smaller one with white hair and beard; Engels is the taller one with the mustache). Both men were living in Britain at the time the film takes place. See more »
An extraordinarily inventive depiction of an alternative 'steampunk' Victorian era, but plotwise, it's as vapid as anything produced by Jerry Bruckheimer.
The latest film from the director of Akira, Katsuhiro Ôtomo, is a pacy thriller anime set in an alternate 1850s London, in the middle of the industrial age. Rai Steam is the third in a line of engineer inventors who dreams of going to the first ever Great Exhibition when his grandfather unexpectedly returns from the United States with an new invention, the steamball. About the size of a bowling ball, the steamball is a source of immense, self-renewing power and the people who funded the invention want it back at any price. Rai escapes on his steam-powered unicycle, and the race is on. On the way, he encounters a steam-powered cyborg, a giant steam-powered "Death Star" and a feisty, economic rationalist sidekick, the Gone With The Wind-inspired Miss Scarlett (Manami Konishi).
While the plot is nothing new and very much in the Hollywood thriller style, the inventiveness of the world Steamboy is set in is exhilarating. Imagine steam-powered individual submarines, flying machines and more, all drawn in painstaking detail with thousands of cogs and wheels all impacting on each other. Although some CGI is used, most of the film's made in the traditional anime style around 180 000 individual pictures were used to make Steamboy, and it shows.
Steamboy's a rip-roaring 'steampunk' piece of entertainment, complete with an insane despot who plans to take over the world. Although it's strange to see a film set in London where all the (Anglo) characters are speaking Japanese, it's best not to take Steamboy too seriously. Comic relief is provided by Miss Scarlett and Rai's grandfather, Loyd Steam (Katsuo Nakamura). Loyd Steam also speaks for the natural order, something that's often found in Japanese anime and was inspired by both the animist former national religion, Shinto, and the WWII atomic bombings. Unlike Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke, however, it's barely touched on here. Steamboy succeeds because of the fantastic imagination behind the animation, not for its philosophy. ***½/***** stars.
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