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>
The BEST anime movie released in North America in years!
Steamboy is the best Anime movie that has been released in North America in recent years. The story, animation, and other visual effects are all amazingly done, even though the characters are not as deep as those in Otomo's previous work, Akira. These two films have nothing in common aside from the director, and maybe a similar character animation style. So people who loved Akira and want to see something similar, stay away from Steamboy.
When I first saw Steamboy I was quite surprised. I had foolishly believed that since the movie was created by the same guy who did Akira, it would be
violent and somewhat depressing. But what I saw was a fast paced, beautifully animated, adventure that even a young child could enjoy. The film does have a bit of violence in it, but mainly its just explosions and a few steam burns, so fairly young children will be able to see it. The movie does deal with some serious topics like war and the possible destruction of London, but with all the action and crazy inventions kids will easily forget the plot. But even though this movie is suitable for younger audiences, doesn't mean it cannot be enjoyed by older and more seasoned anime fans. I saw the film at the Toronto International Film Festival, and there were plenty of older fans of anime clapping loudly after the credits of the film.
The story is quite simple and centers around the adventures of a young inventor named Rei Steam. At the beginning of the film he is sent a new invention from his grandfather, and soon after he receives it he's being chased by members of the Ohara Foundation, a group that designs weapons and sells them to the highest bidding country. He later finds out that the invention he's carrying is called the steam ball, and that it's able to produce mass amounts of energy and would be able to power highly destructive weapons if put in the wrong hands. So its up to Rei and his highly eccentric grandfather to make sure neither the Ohara Foundation or the British Government get hold of the steam ball. (I purposely left out some key plot elements and some key character, but this was done so none of the surprises will be revealed)
Steamboy is a remarkable movie created by anime master Katsuhiro Ôtomo, filled with a brilliant mix of 3D animation and hand drawn characters. Hopefully, since this movie is more family friendly that normal anime movies, it will help introduce more North Americans to the joy that is Anime.
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