Origin: Spirits of the Past (2006) Poster

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6/10
pretty and reasonably entertaining until it throws logic out the window
cherold1 March 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This well animated film treads the same nature versus technology ground that Hayao Miyazaki films often do, and in the beginning it is pretty good, with a reasonably interesting premise and very nice, visually striking animation.

There are some minor problems in the plotting early on. Most notably, it's unclear why bringing civilization back is a bad idea. Eventually it does become clear why, but the movie just kind of assumes it must be a bad idea without taking much pains to persuade the audience.

Still, I was enjoying the movie until perhaps the last 20 minutes, when it becomes ridiculous. It turns out that, rather than restoring the world, the final solution will, as best I could tell, return the earth to the state of burning lava. How is that a good idea? And how would anyone survive? Next, why is the volcano weaponized? If it is just designed to reformat the earth, why does it need defensive weapons? I'm also unclear on why it needs to move. Does it simply destroy a little of the planet at a time? (In which case I suppose the planet could be reformatted piecemeal, which would explain how people could survive.) Lastly, why, if you shut down the volcano, would it self destruct? What possible sense would that make? And how would any personnel in the volcano actually leave? And get far enough away.

Towards the end the movie also gets way too sincere and preachy. So that what should be the emotional, uplifting finale feels like a huge let down.

All that being said, it's a nice looking, perfectly enjoyable movie if you can accept its flaws.
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5/10
Where have I seen this before?
CuriosityKilledShawn21 July 2008
If Origin: Spirits of the past seems familiar to you then you are not alone. Even the most indiscriminate anime fan can tell that this is basically a watered-down copy of Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind. There are so many similarities that I'm surprised no lawsuits were involved.

Set in a future where plant life has taken control of a desecrated world the survivors try to live a delicate existence between the powerful forest and the fascist military until one day a mysterious girl arrives out of the past with lots of questions and long, drawn-out answers. Meh, it's all just so generic and dull full of all the usual anime nonsense. I never really understood why the hero, Agito, falls in love with her so easily. There's not much going on between them. And who was that calling her on that weird phone thingy near the start? It's never explained.

This story has been done bigger and better 25 years ago and there's not any particular reason why anyone should rush out and see Origin. Sorry.
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5/10
30 minutes of entertainment, the rest a disaster
antti-niemela-231 October 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Roughly the first 30 minutes of this movie were actually quite entertaining despite ripping Laputa and Nausicaa. We get to see a glimpse into the everyday life of a people adapted to living in the relatively difficult circumstances. Characters and the Neutral City are well introduced and the slower pace suits the movie well. The rest of the movie however is an absolute disaster. Badly written, uninteresting, clichéd and just plain stupid. We get absolutely dull villains, a walking volcano, useless crying heroine and magic forest superhero powers. Even the pretty visuals of the first half of the movie seem to evaporate towards the end.

As pointed out in the other reviews: If you have seen Nausicaa then don't bother with Origin. Nausicaa did everything better. And even if you haven't don't bother with Origin, watch Nausicaa instead.
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4/10
Superficial beauty.
Silverotter1075 June 2009
As many agree, Origin is a beautiful anime artistically. The music, graphics, and the world created are gorgeous and it really stands above most other modern animated works. However, if you are looking for more than this, than I suggest looking else where. The beauty stops short of its appearance, and when it really comes down to plot and characters, there's nothing special. Action is slow and minimal and the people are flat, corny at times, and do not act realistically. Not to mention the plot hole here and the plot hole there... So, in summary, oh my goodness, I've never seen an anime as beautiful as this one; and oh my goodness, it's like... -poke- people don't act like that. It took a GIANT step forward in graphics and music in anime, but it also took a few step backs to times of bad characterization, and unfortunately, there's not even that much action to make up for that...
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5/10
Promising but eventually unfulfilling.
daniel_perrin891 August 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This is a film with much promise but unfortunately does not quite live up to its excellent premise. Directed by Keiichi Sugiyama, Origin is his first feature film. The story revolves around young Agito a local to the post-apocalyptic town where the film is set and a girl, Toola, who is awoken from a cryo pod. Toola is seduced by a fellow survivor and is sent on a mission to try make things the way they were, Agito meanwhile tries to convince Toola that his way of life is a good one, and stops the plan.

There are two very promising elements in this film, the first is the showing of 'smart phone/tab' style technology which has become so integral to those from the pasts day-to-day life, the device is shown to activate all manner of objects, used as a map, and a phone. The real world relevance is obvious and with society moving in a direction whereby our smart phones and tabs are used so frequently and for such a wide variety of things that there future vision of similar devices doesn't seem far-fetched. What is even more interesting is that the device is not the cause of the disaster which ended civilization, where most science-fiction is quick to blame humanities increasing obsession with this form of technology this film leaves those concerns out, which is very refreshing. The second and most interesting element is the cause for the end of civilization, an accident when terraforming the moon. Terraforming has long been a staple of science-fiction, but in this film the terraforming backfires, destroying the moon in one of the most beautifully animated sequences, and launching intelligent plant life at the earth. It is very refreshing to see the staple of the genre backfire, unfortunately this aspect is not explored strongly enough.

Origin for all its promise just doesn't reach its potential, heavily mining from Hayao Miyazaki's 1984 classic, Naussica, to the point of near plagiarism. At least Sugiyama borrowed from the best. The characters are also problematic, with each of them very one-dimensional in nature. The closing scene is also ridiculous, unfortunately the use of a walking volcano, that is a previously rooted volcano sprouting metal legs and moving toward the town, was ill advised and perhaps ruined a perfectly good film.

Overall the film deserves credit for trying to deal with a very interesting subject, and its animation is stunning, the score is beautiful and works exceptionally well with the style of animation, unfortunately poor character development and the aforementioned volcano incident take a good film and make it an average one.
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3/10
Waste of interesting ideas ...
uvindu2 November 2011
In short, this film was an overall disappointment in many levels. The story contained some very interesting ideas, but they were delivered in a blunt and mediocre fashion. Some of these concepts are clumsily mentioned and ignored for the rest of the film.

At times I got the feeling that this film tries to force its message on me. There were way too many clichéd and predictable moments to make things worse.

The main characters were annoying and shallow. The film doesn't give enough focus to any of the characters but continuously shuffles from one to the other in a disjointed fashion.

The visuals were impressive but that's something very common among many anime films. At times it felt as if some scenes were artificially added for visual value.

Gin-iro no kami no Agito, feels pretty much like an incomplete story board strung together hastily. If you are a fan of this genre, I recommend that you are better off with titles as 'Princess Mononoke', 'Grave of the Fireflies' or 'Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind'.
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6/10
At least it's pretty to look at...
michiru_1324 December 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Well, the movie began with a great start. The art is AMAZING! Absolutely breathtaking CGI mixed with beautiful cell animation. The opening sequence alone is worth seeing the movie for, and the music that plays over it is riveting.

The classic struggle of Man Vs Nature is displayed very well with the crumbling town, the militaristic city, and the dangerous forest. "Modern" humanity as we know it is represented by a man and a girl who have each reawakened to this distorted future where man is at war with nature.

However, the good stuff basically ends there. In short, this movie is great visually, but it doesn't have much of a plot. If you're watching this and expecting something like Hayao Miyazaki than think again.

*SPOILERS*

The first have of the movie is great, but the second half is terrible. Basically, this guy chases this girl for a while and screams her name a few times. Then he realizes that everyone can be at peace by just changing their perspective and guess what? Everyone else agrees with him and they all become better people. Sure, there's a bit of originality throughout the whole thing, but that doesn't change the fact that the ending is incredibly lacking. Everyone just kind of changes their perspectives, but no one really changes.

Oh, and the characters that are supposed to be driving the action of the whole thing just fall flat. Romance? Heck no. Friendship? Well, I'll admit that I wouldn't make a deal with the forest twins and chase after just anyone, but would it have been so horrible for GONZO to throw in a few bonding scenes? Just stating that you like the guy does NOT mean you've developed a deep lasting bond.

*SPOILER END*

Conclusion: If you're looking for a movie with a complex and engrossing plot, look somewhere else. However, if you're looking for a movie with great visuals and a... well a story to tell, then you'll probably enjoy this one. I personally loved the art enough to buy it, and the story isn't so bad that it can't be swallowed. So give it a chance, but don't expect too much out of it.
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5/10
All smoke and no fire
fullmetalanimator8 September 2012
It's not uncommon to see Japanese animation try to remind its target audience about environmental messages given the fast pace at which the country is growing with city life and machinery. While Origin: Spirits of the Past was rich with potential, it ultimately falls apart after the first act.

The film takes place in a post apocalyptic world where trees and nature itself has gained intelligent consciences and humanity feels threatened by it. Agito is a boy who lives in a shanty town and ends up discovering a girl named Toola who was frozen in time. I found that there was much to like about the first act of the film due to its delicate pacing and set up for what could have been a plot line just as rich as its visually pleasing colour pallets. Unfortunately, what follows after the halfway mark is a series of high concept ideas derived from several different sources and ultimately a lackluster and unsatisfying hodge podge of clichés.

There were several scenes later in the film where exposition feels very rushed and driven by contrivances. A lot of the information you'd expect can very easily fly over your head unless you can keep up with the jarring pacing of the later acts of the film. The story just seems to throw a ton at the audience without letting any of it actually sink in, and this was especially surprising given how the first act took it's time with introducing characters with a 'this is how long it takes to cook dinner' approach.

A lot of the ideas seem to be derived from Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Final Fantasy and several other sources which left me with the impression that the creators were barely trying. This especially shows in the man vs nature environmental message that has been presented numerous times in the past. The problem is that this film offers nothing new. It's all so stale and so predictable that it's very difficult to care for anything that's going on, especially with the characterization which feels very two dimensional in their emotional arcs.

Sadly, Origin: Spirits of the Past is all smoke but no fire.
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4/10
Like a Playboy model: good looking but lacking personality.
adamhignett112 October 2009
Warning: Spoilers
As seems to be the general gist of these comments, the film has some stunning animation (I watched it on blu-ray) but it really falls short of any real depth.

Firstly the characters are all pretty dull. I got a hint of a kind of Laputa situation between Agito, Toola and the main antagonist Shunack. However maybe my mind wanderd and this was wishful thinking (Laputa being my favourite animé, original Engilsh dub). The characters are not really lovable either and as mentioned in another post they fall in love exceptionally quickly, leaving poor old Minka jealous and rejected (she loves Agito, who seems oblivious of this). However she promptly seems to forgive Toola at the end with no explanation for the change of heart other than it makes the ending a little bit more "happy".

There is also a serious lack of explanation. Like who are the druids really? Are they people? and who are the weird women/girls who seem to hang out with them and run the forest? There is nothing explaining why they are there and how they can give regular humans superpowers. The plants coming from the moon still does not fill in the blanks about this. It is almost like a weird version of The Day of the Triffids.

And who does call Toola? why bother with this if it wont be explained?

I really wanted to like this film but I found the plot no where near as deep as a film like Ghost in the Shell or having any real character like those of Miyazaki. I do not resent watching it but I do sort of wish I hadn't bought it. My advice? Give it a go if you have a couple of hours to spare, but borrow it, or buy it cheap! Perhaps if your new to animé films and don't have much to go by you will enjoy it. It certainly is visually pleasing.
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7/10
Follows Convention, but Does More With Them
uberman500019 December 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I came across this animé on Netflix, and thought it looked interesting, so I gave it a watch. When the movie begins, large dragons that seem to be made of leaves strike from the moon and attack the earth, shattering the moon to pieces and leaving earth devastated. We then join the main action, some centuries later, and man lives in the ruins of the old world. The main character, a young boy named Agito, is swept away to an underground chamber while scavenging for water. A large, complex machine lies inside, containing a young girl woken from stasis, named Tula.

If you're unfamiliar with animé, this plot sounds nice and simple, but if you are, then you know you've seen this before. The plot of a boy from one place, either a different world or the distant future, finds a mysterious girl from another place, and she turns out to play an important part in the world's destiny. It's been seen in Hayao Miyazaki's "Castle in the Sky", Osamu Tezuka's "Metropolis", Mayumi Azuma's "Elemental Gelade" and others. Often, the boy's world is a more ragtag, harsh world, and the world the girl comes from is usually considerably more advanced.

The setting we find ourselves in is subject also to the cliché of nature and technology out of balance and at war ("Princess Mononoke", "Nausicäa of the Valley of the Wind", "Blue Gender"), and our main cast lives in a place called Neutral City, between The Forest, populated by superintelligent plants, and Ragna City, basically a giant military base. The plants in the Forest can bond with humans, giving them great strength and wisdom (and white hair, which makes them easy to identify), but if they overuse the Forest's power, it consumes them. This happened to Agito's dad, who when we see him, is covered in vines. There are other supporting characters, including Yolda, the silver-haired matriarch of the city, Minka, the crazy redhead that likes Agito, and so on. Most of these characters don't do much, but they're fun additions to the story.

This film plays with the conventions of this genre, though. For instance, "the girl" in this sort of story is usually very wise, stoic, powerful, special, meek and vulnerable, and is the key to everything. Tula has most of these qualities, but a key few are missing: she's not all that wise or stoic: in fact, she's incredibly normal and can be kind of a bitch sometimes. She feels threatened and confused by this world she's woken up in, and in a twist uncommon to this genre, goes to the villain's side willingly, as soon as the second act starts. The leader of Ragna City also has silver hair, and is from the past, like her. Her father developed a weapon that could take out the forest and allow the earth to "return to normal", which to us sounds like a perfectly obvious bad idea, but Tula, in a uniquely naïve way, wants things as they were.

In another twist, Agito wants to save Tula from the military city. To do this, he goes into the Forest and asks for its power, like his father did. The leader of the forest are two small girls, who speak without moving their mouths and dart in and out from behind trees, speaking with a childlike sense of urgency. It was disappointing that we didn't see more or find out more about them, because they were a unique addition, but they give Agito the power of the Forest, which turns his hair from red to white.

Spontaneously, he develops extraordinary powers, including superhuman agility, incredible strength, and so on. His action scenes as he flies around and punches trains in half (which, hilariously, start as SOON as the Forest gives him the powers, not even giving him time to find out what happened) are amazing to watch, but it makes his character takes an unfortunate turn, and I'm not even entirely sure why. The hero of this genre is usually incredibly courageous (usually without superpowers), but when Agito gets the power of the Forest, it turns him from the likable, playful scamp at the beginning to a dead-serious zen master, still perfectly likable, but the change was so jarring. He bounces back a tiny bit at the end, but I never quite got the impression that he became "fun" again.

This all sounds well and good for him, as now he can get shot in the chest by a tank and not feel a thing, but he must remember what happened to his father: he let the Forest overcome him. If he's not careful, he will lose his human form. Some of the transformations he undergoes look uncannily like the end of "Akira", and the power gradually consuming him resembles Ashitaka's cursed arm from "Princess Mononoke". These similarities are mainly visual, though, and don't come off as a knockoff.

Agito's power is a dangerous balancing act, however, as he must use all the power he can to save Tula from the clutches of the military, and stop her from activating their superweapon. The villain has the same power he does, though, which could have been a more interesting conflict than what we got. Interestingly, he's not as unscrupulous as the villain often is in stories like this, which is novel.

Tula grows as a character from her somewhat bland and timid beginnings, especially near the end when things really start going nuts, and her character development is probably the most satisfying of the movie.

This movie doesn't have the emotional depth of other movies of this genre, like Castle in the Sky and certainly Metropolis. It is, however, visually spectacular, has some unique things about its story, and though a lot of it is things animé fans will find familiar, it still offers new and incredible sights and sounds that make it well worth seeing.
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8/10
Feeling of "Deja seen" ? Not so sure.
deizblood31 December 2006
Somehow i begun viewing this anime with a feeling of deja seen ... Hopefully somehow i was wrong ... The anime is really good even if the plot seems like an old plate out of the fridge and heated again it still holds something that few anime could be proud to have one of those is the charisma behind Agito the main character don't be prepared for a Miyazaki and at the end you will be facing something worth of his talent. Even if it's not the anime of the year nor even the best story, it's still a treasure worth to watch. There is a whole world to discover, and you take pleasure to discover it viewing pictures that stay in your memory.
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6/10
Could of been so much more
paulsrobinson14 May 2013
The film had an intriguing idea and story-line. But unfortunately they have produced a lack luster effort. With a quite unfocused story and slowly paced.

The story is set 300 years in the future, in a i would say post - apocalyptic landscape. A young boy/man Agito comes upon a girl frozen in time Tula wakes her up, which could tip the balance in an ongoing war between two factions. One whom wants to live peacefully with the forest and one that wants to bring the earth back, to the way it was. just by typing up the synopsis here, again gives me the feeling of a good idea gone to waist. One of the main things that bothered me were the way the two factions were put across, as the people who want to destroy the forest are obviously the bad guys, which is the obvious environmental message the film wants to put across and showed no subtlety while it slapped you across the face with this message, but the forest which has some mythical druids protecting it, come across to me as quite like a dictatorship holding the power over human kind. The pacing of the film was very slow with some action scenes you would hope lift the momentum for the picture which actually turned out quite bland and predictable.

The film is beautifully drawn with the huge landscapes being absolutely stunning and competing with Studio Ghibli on that front. The dubbing was pretty good and the musical score was not disappointing.

Overall an OK film, with decent elements, and an idea there that could work very well but not quite on this movie.
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NOT Animation At Its Best
ArrayThis20 September 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This movie had really beautiful animation in parts, but the plot is severely lacking, and character development is almost non-existent. I thought the fist forty five minutes showed potential, but it just went down hill. There was no attachment to the characters or their world. I found myself wishing the villain would win because they gave no better alternative. The forest and the druids were portrayed as cultish dictators who could drain the water from the towns at will. And for the humans who left there small patch of land, the forest attacked them. Why not bomb it and pick up the pieces afterwards? If you want to watch a somewhat similar story showing the tensions between industrialization and nature done right,watch Nausicaa Valley of the Wind made by Hayao Miyazaki.
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10/10
quant summary and review.
littleneutrino27 October 2006
Warning: Spoilers
The first noticeable thing about Gin-iro no kami no Agito is its visual excellence. From the first look at the exploding moon over the lush greens of the great forest to the magnificent views of the broken cities of Earth, the production values for this movie are nothing short of stunning. Studio Gonzo sure knew how to make the best of its budget, seamlessly mixing CGI and more traditional art. A wonderfully engrossing, orchestral soundtrack by Iwasaki Taku tops this all off, making this movie a memorable experience, especially when viewed on the big screen High production values alone do not make a good movie, but fortunately, Gin-iro no kami no Agito also has an entertaining, if maybe a little stereotypical, action plot. There are those that wish to coexist with nature and those who want to destroy it; guess who's good and who's bad? Still, the addition of Tula and, to a lesser extent, Shunak brings a bit of depth into the conflict. After all, both sides have reasonable motives for their actions and are equally fanatic. All in all, the plot could even be called interesting...

... were it not borrowed shamelessly from Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind. Humanity struggling with a dangerous environment? Check. Conflict between peaceful and militaristic people? Check. An ancient, technological relic that could turn the tide in the conflict? Check. The hero making a sacrifice in the end to achieve victory? Check. Even the structure of this movie's (The first noticeable thing about Origin ~Spirits of the Past~ is its visual excellence. From the first look at the exploding moon over the lush greens of the great forest to the magnificent views of the broken cities of Earth, the production values for this movie are nothing short of stunning. Studio Gonzo sure knew how to make the best of its budget, seamlessly mixing CGI and more traditional art. A wonderfully engrossing, orchestral soundtrack by Iwasaki Taku tops this all off, making this movie a memorable experience, especially when viewed on the big screen High production values alone do not make a good movie, but fortunately, Origin ~Spirits of the Past~ also has an entertaining, if maybe a little stereotypical, action plot. There are those that wish to coexist with nature and those who want to destroy it; guess who's good and who's bad? Still, the addition of Tula and, to a lesser extent, Shunak brings a bit of depth into the conflict. After all, both sides have reasonable motives for their actions and are equally fanatic. All in all, the plot could even be called interesting...

... were it not borrowed shamelessly from Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind. Humanity struggling with a dangerous environment? Check. Conflict between peaceful and militaristic people? Check. An ancient, technological relic that could turn the tide in the conflict? Check. The hero making a sacrifice in the end to achieve victory? Check. Even the structure of this movie's Japanese name (Gin-iro no Kami no Agito) reminds us of Miyazaki's early masterpiece. The name "Shunak" sounds suspiciously as though someone rearranged the syllables in the name of Nausicaä's opponent, Kushana. There's hardly an original element in the story, except for one, and that doesn't really fit into the setting; around the middle of the movie, Agito gains superpowers. The way these powers are bestowed upon him is a little... anticlimactic, so to speak, but the bigger problem is that the entire plot would have been much more exciting without this little addition. A virtually undefeatable hero doesn't make for good drama, does he?) reminds us of Miyazaki's early masterpiece. The name "Shunak" sounds suspiciously as though someone rearranged the syllables in the name of Nausicaä's opponent, Kushana. There's hardly an original element in the story, except for one, and that doesn't really fit into the setting; around the middle of the movie, Agito gains superpowers. The way these powers are bestowed upon him is a little... anticlimactic, so to speak, but the bigger problem is that the entire plot would have been much more exciting without this little addition. A virtually undefeatable hero doesn't make for good drama, does he?
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6/10
Beautifully boring
Davidvisection11 July 2019
I found this film stetically nice, and the first minutes you get inmersed into a weird post-apocalyptic plot that makes you wonder what happened to the world, i spent half of the film just wondering stuff until i found that questions were already solved in the most simplistic and not inmersing way. Conversations are a total cliche the whole film, the character and story development is extremely poor so when the main "emotional" moment comes in, you can do nothing but raise an eyebrow. Personally i found the singing in the main track annoying and distracting and the only thing i can highlight about this film is the colorfulness and the (kind of) main plot.
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6/10
Superb animation and music but...
Oliverl221 November 2011
Warning: Spoilers
...who wrote this script and came up with these stagnant characters???

I watched this in sub and then pretended it was translated badly. Dub is fine if you can really stand it. I preferred being able to choose whether I wanted to read the rubbish or not.

Lots of awkward expressions and reactions from characters with a rushed beginning like first impressions are just trite moments in time. I suggest if you watch this anime, switch off the part of your brain that enjoys witty or interesting dialogue and any dramatic tension and get ready for major plot dump.

((Spoiler!)) It seems to pick up somewhere near the end but I think that's just because I was listening to the amazing soundtrack and watching the pretty visuals with branches growing out of people's arms and volcanoes springing out of the ground. The story ends with a wonderful deus ex machina as the the main character energetically transforms into a tree absorbing the baddie with him!

Still, for some reason the movie seems to stick in my head as something worthwhile. Probably my artistic side of my brain being stimulated by all the colours and sound. Reminded me of a Miyazaki without the flare or intelligence and I'm sure the writer had a field day cutting and pasting from Nausicaa and Laputa.
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7/10
The Origin of the Spirits.
morrison-dylan-fan7 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
With having had a wonderful time last year watching Mamoru Hosoda's excellent Anima/Japanamtion film The Girl Who Leapt Through Time with a friend last year,I decided to go on a search around Amazon UK for a title which would hopefully have a similar style to Hosoda's movie.

After having to get past dozens of pages filled with "related" titles that were nothing at all like what I was after,I was thrilled to find a movie at the very end of the final page,which matched exactly what I was looking for,which led to me getting ready to discover the spirits of the past.

The plot:

Conducting a Genetic experiment on a forest so that tresses can survive in a harsher location,the leading scientist experiments sadly has unexpected side effects,which lead to the plants gaining conciseness and destroying a vast amount of the human population and also breaking the planet's moon into a million pieces.

300 years later:

Being left in ruins by the devastation caused by the plants,the surviving humans spilt into 2 groups,with the first group being a militaristic one which based itself in a burnt out industrial city called Ragna,whilst the second,most largest group of survivors decide to live in a city that they call "Neutral City",which is designed to grasp as much of the water that the plants allow them to,and to also calm the tensions of the residents in Ragna enough so that they don't set out on an all out war against the forest.

Playing around with a group of friends on Neutral City,Agito and Cain accidentally annoy the mysterious guardians of the forest called the Zruids,who decide to stop Agito and Cain from playing around any more,by pushing them into the little seen underbelly of the city.

Attempting to get out of the underbelly,Agito finds an old machine,which after Agito spends some time messing with the buttons for a while,releases a girl called Toola,who appears to have been asleep for over 300 years.Escaping just before the forest unleashes a deadly flood,Agito and Cain soon begin to discover that the awakening of Toola may be about to cause the ingredients which lead to the near destruction of the human race 300 years ago to become awakened.

View on the film:

Opening with quick,fascinating glimpses to events that caused the near end of the world,the screenplay by Nana Shiina,Naoko Kakimoto,Umanosuke Lida and John Burgmeier does very well at making sure that the after effects from the event are never made overly complex or given needlessly dry exposition.The writer's instead smartly decide to show everything from the ground level,which makes the burnt out world that the characters find themselves stuck in,one that is very easy to get an identifiable grip on to.

Whilst the screenplay does well at creating a sketch of the world with smooth brush strokes,the writer's sadly fail at building strong,cohesive plot threads for any of the character's,with the various residents of Neutral City and Ragna continuously changing views on if they should go to war with the forest,being one which is filled with character's switching from pro to anti that is not allowed any sense of depth or motive,which leads to the character's never truly becoming fully formed.

Despite the screenplay featuring a number of flaws which sadly take the shine off the movie,director Keiichi Sugiyama gives Studio Gonzo's debut film a dazzling stylish eye,with Suigiyama covering the movie in a terrific dark atmosphere by expertly using light to create shadows,which along with giving the hand drawn animation an eye catching appearance,also allows Keiichi to subtly show the dark motives laying behind the character's eye's.

Backed by a sharp original soundtrack and a smooth English dub,Keiich expertly uses a combination of traditional and CGI animation to give this post-apocalypse world a real dept of field vision,with Keiich making the fantastic hand drawn animation feel almost three dimensional ,thanks to Keiich using minimal CGI effects to show the revived destructive nature that is slowly growing,which could destroy the spirit of the survivors forever.
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7/10
OK, but...
neil-47610 March 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Origin: Spirits Of The Past is an animated Japanese movie. Set in a future after apocalyptic events, it shows humans living in ruined civilisation with encroaching plant growth. Young Agito is slightly rebellious and, while adventuring somewhere he shouldn't, he discovers Toola, a girl placed in stasis by an earlier civilisation. Releasing her proves to be the catalyst for a number of changes, most of which will be familiar to anyone who was watched Nausicaa, Avatar, Frengully and the like.

The message is fine (if arguable) and the look of the movie is terrific - design and animation are both great. The problem with this film is more serious - it is that it never really grabs you.

I am used to Studio Ghibli's contributions to Japanese animated cinema. They are weird (to my western sensibilities, at any rate), but they have bags of heart: they grab hold of you at the start and never let go. Origin, by contrast, never really does. The two rebellious lads come close, but after their initial exciting foray, the characters all become cardboard and you stop caring. It's a shame because, with a bit more effort put into the human story, this film could have been very good (if unoriginal).
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good and not so good.
SelenetheHunter12 October 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I enjoyed the idea behind Origin, which is a lot like Avatar and many of Hayao Miyazai's films, it talks about how greed and technology and the misuse of our resources will be our down fall, which is something I rather enjoy especially as seeing as how every year that passes we loose more and more open grounds and forests. Its sad how forests that used to cover most of our nation is now populated, by cities and greedy people that have no problem with wiping out populations and creatures that have lived there for long before people existed.

I'm a little confused as to the role of the druids and their role in this story, which wasn't really explained. Also the practicality of an entire volcano being a hidden base seems rather absurd, the amount of energy it would take to move the mountain would be monumental and seems nearly impossible to store for how many centuries or years and expect all that equipment to not be effect is rather absurd.

Unfortunately this is an idea that's been done over and over again, and it gets a little annoying about how the story ideas are all close to the same without any original ideas to add to it. I also was not a big fan of this style of art, but over all it was a good film.
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7/10
An environmental anime
Tweekums24 August 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Having heard from a friend that this anime film was well worth watching I decided to check it out for myself. As soon as it started I was immediately impressed by the stunning animation. The story is set in the distant future three hundred years after an environmental cataclysm which destroyed most civilisation and left mankind competing with the now sentient forests for survival. In a town built above the remains of a destroyed city two boys, Agito and his friend Cain, descend deep into the old city to get water from a well; here an accident leads to Agito being washed deep into the heart of the old city. Here he discovers a girl in a hibernation chamber and awakens her. She is Toola and she has been there since the time of the cataclysm. They become friends but news of her discovery soon spreads to a neighbouring city where another person from the past is keen to get his hands on her and activate a device that will fix the mistakes he believes he made that gave the forest its sentience. In order to rescue Toola Agito must join with the forest himself; something that will give him superhuman strength but risks him becoming a tree if he loses control of his new strengths.

I'm glad a listened to my friend as I found this to be an enjoyable film; most of the animation looks great even if some of the 3D CGI contrasts a little too much with the traditional animation that makes up most of the film. The characters are enjoyable and don't fall into the cliché of having a black and white morality; even the antagonist is doing what he does because he believes that is the right way to save civilisation. The environmental message might seem a little heavy handed to some but the plot justifies it and I don't think it got too preachy. People who want action scenes should be happy too as there is quite a lot including plenty of explosions and a fight between Agito and the antagonist.

These comments are based on watching the film in Japanese with English subtitles.
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