5.4/10
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2 user 6 critic

Arch Angels (2006)

Warau Mikaeru (original title)
Every high school has its misfits, its square pegs, its rebels. St. Michael's Academy, nestled on an impossibly pretty and strangely remote Japanese island, is no exception. In fact, given ... See full summary »

Director:

Issei Oda

Writers:

Izumi Kawahara (manga Warau Mikaeru), Issei Oda | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Juri Ueno ... Fumio Shijô
Megumi Seki ... Kazune Saiki
Airi Taira Airi Taira ... Yuzuko Sarashina
Yûsuke Iseya ... Kazuomi Shijô
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Federico Aletta Federico Aletta ... Magdalena no teshita
Aoi Aoi
Brian Davis Brian Davis ... Mr. Lawrence
Kimiko Fuchiuchi Kimiko Fuchiuchi ... Kaoruko
Delcea Mihaela Gabriela Delcea Mihaela Gabriela ... Sister Malena
Erina Hayase Erina Hayase ... Tsubomi
Taichirô Hirokawa Taichirô Hirokawa ... Narrator (voice)
Shûko Itô Shûko Itô
Nanase Iwai Nanase Iwai ... Yurie
Kei Kato Kei Kato ... Takashi Sarashina
Rinko Kikuchi ... Nobuko Sakurai
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Storyline

Every high school has its misfits, its square pegs, its rebels. St. Michael's Academy, nestled on an impossibly pretty and strangely remote Japanese island, is no exception. In fact, given the atmosphere of strictness, propriety and even subtle menace looming over the elite, aristocratic, Catholic boarding school, it's no wonder Fumio, Kazune and Yuzuko quickly bond over their dislike of the place. With rumors of rich girls being kidnapped in the region, and even more so, their legal guardians, including the school's enigmatic headmaster, Mr. Lawrence, and Fumio's brother are suspicious and on alert. Then an accidental and inexplicable unleashing of magic power infuses the girls with spectacular abilities. When the truth about the kidnappings is revealed, they're going to need them.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Adventure | Comedy

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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

15 July 2006 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Arch Angels See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

 
Colourful, wacky and the coolest dog ever
7 February 2007 | by rooprectSee all my reviews

Well, maybe he's not the coolest dog *ever*. Check out a film called HACHIKO MONOGATARI for the coolest dog ever. But Damien the cgi dog in Arch Angels was pretty darn trippy. It's the most unusual use of a creepy big black dog since The Omen.

I'm not familiar with the manga upon which this film is based, nor am I familiar with manga-based films in general. But I really enjoyed this flick. What won me over was the creativity of both plot and presentation. Here we have a bizarre story (a bunch of girls at a Japanese convent school attain super powers and do battle with evil Italian submarines while trying to uphold a façade of proper feminine charms à la French aristocracy) which is told through an equally bizarre blend of live action, cgi, illustrations, "bulleting" (that "Matrix" effect of freezing the action and swooshing the camera around different angles) and even a few comic strip special effects like the old Batman TV series. Essentially, this movie is a visual burst of fruit flavours.

I wish I were more familiar with Japanese culture & language, because I could tell that a lot of jokes & humorous situations were lost on me. For example, there's a recurring gag about ramen noodles which confused me. But it didn't take long for me to figure out that it's supposed to be really funny. And before I knew it I was laughing even though I still didn't get the joke.

There are also many subtle situational gags dealing with the prim & proper nature of polite Japanese society. This I equate to the hilarious old Monty Python sketches about British gentility--again, something you may not be familiar with, but you can enjoy the laughs nonetheless.

I've never been disappointed with a Japanese comedy. Check out SWING GIRLS (also starring the lovely & talented Juri Ueno) as well as KAMIKAZE GIRLS (which has a similar theme of Japanese-European identity crisis) and if you like kickass superhero chicks try CUTIE HONEY.


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