Lensman (1984) Poster


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Fun film. I don't care what others have to say!
Angel Meiru6 February 2004
Though I like E.E. "Doc" Smith's books and David A. Kyles books of Lensman, the anime, which is loosly based on the books, is quite a fun and somewhat innovative fair.

Though the story may seem familiar to Sci-Fi/Fantasy buffs, such as some kid on an isolated planet inherits mystical powers and avenges the death of his family, it is quite an entertaining one nonetheless. Plus, Lensman was THE first Animated motion picture to use hand drawn and CG animation all at once. Sure, it may look a bit outdated now, but it is still an innovation. If it were not for Lensman, none of that would have ever happened (personally, I think Computer Graphics look better in animation that live action.)

Too bad they only released it on DVD/VCD in a few countries in the worls (mostly on formats that are quite foreign and different). I just wish they release the Lensman movie and tv series on DVD/VCD in EVERY part of the world, not just certain parts.

P.S. Worsel rules! I just think he is so amazing and neat looking as well.
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kumanoken27 March 2004
I first saw LENSMAN on an untranslated VHS copy sometime around 1987 and it has been a favorite since. During the brief period in the early 1990's when Streamline films distributed several Japanese animated films theatrically (LENSMAN, THE PROFESSIONAL: GOLGO 13 and FIST OF THE NORTH STAR) I was also fortunate to see this on the big screen, and let me tell you that the visuals are spectacular when seen in the format for which they were created. The colors and early computer graphics almost leap from the screen and I can only imagine what it would have been like had I seen this during my misspent days of doing mushrooms and going to the movies (as you can pretty well imagine, seeing ALIENS on opening night in that state was quite an experience!).

Now that DVD is conquering the home video world, I not only want to see LENSMAN get an extras-loaded release, I also want to get my hands on the companion television series that aired around the time the movie came out. It isn't listed on the IMDB, but it does exist; I have only seen one episode, and that was a poor quality untranslated copy, but it was every bit as entertaining as the feature. And it had a kickass theme song, too!
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Classic Sci-Fi Adventure!
moonbus6915 February 2004
Heard of this anime film about ten years ago, and finally got off my duff and watched it on VHS. So much in it to recommend, I don't know where to start, except that it's a classic Sci-Fi adventure like some of the early Heinlein juvenile novels (never read the Lensmen books, but I will now) and the Star Wars Trilogy, just in anime form. The characters are interesting, and the music score and rock tracks go well with all the futuristic imagery. I am really wishing for this to be on DVD soon!
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What are Anime Otakus talkin' about here?
Chibi Riza26 March 2000
This is one of my all time favorite old-school Animes of all time!The Lensman anime movie has been looked down upon alot and doesn't deserve the bashing that it gets.

The story focuses around a young hearder named Kimball Kinnison and the Galactic Control base and their struggles with the Boskone dynasty and the mavolent Lord Helmuth. This one is chocked full of plot twists and really amazing extra-terrestrials and monsters.

The one thing I did not like about this film is the relationship between Kim and Clarrise.
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A classic destroyed...
Phil White12 October 2005
Warning: Spoilers
The original Lensman series of novels is a classic of the genre. It's pure adventure SF with some substance (here and there) and I've always wondered why Hollywood hasn't filmed it verbatim because it's just the kind of thing they love: massive explosions, super-weapons, uber-heroics, hero gets the girl, aliens (great CGI potential), good versus evil in the purest form, etc etc. Instead (and bear in mind I'm a Japan-o-phile and anime lover) we get this horrendous kiddies movie that rips the guts out of the story, mixes in Star-Wars (ironic as the latter ripped off the books occasionally) pastiches and dumbs the whole thing down to 'Thundercats' level. To see Kimball Kinnison, the epitome of the Galactic Patrol officer and second stage Lensman portrayed as a small boy is pitiful (etc). I just can't understand why the makers did this because they obviously had the rights to the story and could have made far more money (FAR!) by telling straight. It makes no sense.
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anyone remember the days where the SciFi channel use to show anime films about 6-7 years ago? well out of all of them, only 3 stuck in my mind, first being Akira for sheer brilliance in animation and detail, next was Fist of the North star for the outstanding entertainment, and finally there was a quietly known feature film called The Lensmen. this film from start to end was amazing, because of the story, yes it seems very similar to Star Wars, but you have to remember that the books were made about 50 years before George Lucas started his little project that would change the world, even then he copied the theme from Flash Gordon.

this should get a DVD release, to do it justice and then the world will realize how good The Lensmen really is.
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Corny kiddie cartoon
Steve Schonberger23 July 2000
I rented the dubbed-English version of Lensman, hoping that since it came from well-known novels it would have some substance. While there were hints of substance in the movie, it mostly didn't rise above the level of kiddie cartoon. Maybe the movie was a bad adaptation of the book, or it lost a lot in the dubbed version. Or maybe even the source novels were lightweight. But for whatever reason, there wasn't much there.

I noticed lots of details that were derivative, sloppy, poorly dramatized, or otherwise deficient. Some examples: The opening scenes looked borrowed from the 2001 "star gate" scene and the Star Wars image of hyperspace. The robot on the harvester looked like an anthropomorphized "R2-D2".

It starts out trying to borrow its comic relief style of Star Wars, but mercifully (since the humor doesn't work) gives up on comedy and plays it serious. In that sense, it's superior to the Star Wars franchise, which started with a clever sense of humor, and eventually deteriorated to Jar-Jar's annoying silliness.

The agricultural details were apparently drawn by someone who had never seen a farm. The harvester was driving through the unharvested middle of a field, dumping silage onto unharvested crops, rather than working from one side to the other and dumping the silage onto already-harvested rows or into a truck. Corn (maize) was pouring out the grain chute, but the farm lands were drawn like a wheat field.

When it was time for Kim's father had to face his fate, there wasn't any dramatic weight to the scene. That could have been partly the fault of the English-language voice actor, but the drawings didn't show much weight either. Kim's reactions in that scene were similarly unconvincing.

Similarly, when a character named Henderson was killed, Chris showed very little reaction, even though they were apparently supposed to have been close. (Henderson's death is no spoiler; his name isn't revealed until his death scene.) She seems to promptly forget him. Someone's expression of sympathy shows more feeling than she does. I think the voice actor deserves most of the blame in that case; there's at least a hint of feeling in the drawings of Chris.

On several occasions, villains fail to accomplish their orders. A villain leader often punishes those failures with miserable deaths. I can't say whether that's lifted from Star Wars, or if that comes from an earlier source -- possibly the Lensman books.

There's a scene where a space ship crash-lands. As it plunges toward the ground, parts are break off the ship. But so many pieces are fall off that there should be nothing left of it by the time it lands.

While in most cases Chris seems like a competent, tough space hero, there's a scene where she shrieks like an incompetent damsel in distress. Someone tough enough to get over Henderson's death so quickly should at least be able to shout, "help, it's got me and I can't reach my gun!" instead of just shrieking.

The character with the most personality (almost too much at times) is D.J. Bill. He sounded like Wolfman Jack, the D.J. in American Graffiti. I wonder if he's as well-voiced in the original language.

Two planets in the movie exploded. The explosions were unimpressive, and appeared to owe a lot of inspiration to Star Wars. To its credit, however, the cause of the explosion was completely unlike the Death Star's primary weapon. The dialog had a good, interesting explanation for the cause. Many other explosions in the movie did look good, just not the planetary explosions.

Some of the sound effects are very cheesy, as if borrowed from a late 1970s video game. Some of the images look like primitive video games, and some influence from Tron is visible too. On the other hand, the sound effects are often pretty decent, although that emphasizes the cheesy-sounding parts. The art is good too, particularly when it stays away from the often cheesy-looking computer graphics.

Finally, there's the story. If a movie tells a good story, it can get away with a lot of production shortcomings. But the plot here was pretty lightweight. A naïve boy tries to help someone on a crippled space ship, and acquires a great power he doesn't understand. He and his band of very virtuous companions struggle against a powerful, unredeemably evil enemy. He makes friends, learns about his special power, and grows into a young man. If he is persistent and virtuous enough, he might even defeat the evil enemy. Details along the way can make such a story rise above the simple outline, but there's very little more than that in this movie.

In the end, it's just a kiddie cartoon. But then, since it looks like the primary intended audience is older children, maybe it doesn't need to be anything more than that.
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Could have been a REAL series......
haildevilman28 August 2011
This was a manga series that later made it to TV/Video. Unfortunately it stayed a minor hit in Japan and barely made cult status in the states.

There was only one feature length film released stateside and it played mostly art theaters.

Young lad (Skywalker-san?) inherits the power of the Lens from a dying warrior. Now he needs to learn to use it to fight off the Boscone. (I spent half the film wondering why they were fighting a chocolate drink.) This was of course after the lad's father sacrifices himself to save his son.

Now he needs to move on.

He learns to use his power while being chased and also chasing. A lone female comes into his life to help. Along with a friend of his late father. You're typical gruff big guy.

This movie clearly got influence from the Spielberg canon. The young ladies Princess Leia hairstyle. The Lens=the Force. And one scene ripped off completely from Indiana Jones. You'll see it easily.

A rocking adventure worth sitting through. And good for younger kids too. Meaning it's more adventure less apocalypse.

And the fight in the disco was a trip.
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Outworld19 December 1998
I assume the Japanese Version is a lot better than the English version. The animation isn't bad, but it has a poor storyline full of cheese and corn. The video's cover said FOLLOWS IN FOOTSTEPS OF AKIRA. I think Lensman got bogged along the way....
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star wars or what!?
Nevyn_8512 April 2003
was it just me or is this film a rip-off of Star wars.

not only was it one of the worst anime i have ever seen but you could even see some of the characters from star wars wrapped in new paper!

i give it 3/10.
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Classic anime, a kind of poor man's Star Wars, made by the Japanese
siderite25 October 2012
I know that for a 1984 film this is not so bad, but I have to say, after having seen so many animes in my life, I can't really appreciate it in any way. First of all the story is based on E. E. Smith's Lensman novels, which are written in the 1930s, and it shows. Second of all, the animation is not that good, with base colors, psychedelic lightning and silly 3D geometric shapes. The characters are not developed or likable and the plot is something akin to Star Wars, only without the complexity: evil empire, rebels, boy with super powers that can save the world, helpless girl, intellectual mentors that always suggest safe or rational actions and give the protagonist every chance to do exactly the opposite.

Bottom line: I did not like it. It was boring and a pain to watch till the end.
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