Looking at my list of anime to write about, I noticed that five of them are series and the other three shorter works. And so, I am writing about Patema Inverted, Psycho-Pass the Movie, and Vampire Princess Miyu here and the other five tomorrow. Two anime yesterday, three today, and five tomorrow: you can see that I’m trying to ease myself into National Blog Posting Month. As usual, let’s see how long I last without resorting to a reblog.
1) Vampire Princess Miyu OVA – ★★★ 1/2
Watching this OVA reminded me of the good old days when anime DVDs included only two or three episodes a disc. This four part OVA came on two discs, and I was scratching my head as to why they could not fit all four episodes on the same disc. I loved the old cell animation employed in this series, which has been lauded for the traditional style of the artwork. Everything from the dark scenes to the music to the creepy characters worked to envelop the viewer into the mood of this eldritch tale.
Our titular character, Miyu, happens to be tasked with the goal of sending Shinma–creatures half-god and half-demon (all demon, if you want my opinion)–back into the netherworld from which they came. A female exorcist named Himiko becomes involved with Miyu during the failed exorcism of a fox demon from a comatose young girl. Will Himiko survive her acquaintance with Miyu and her henchman Larva, and what is the mysterious link between the vampire and this young exorcist?
The Vampire Princess Miyu OVA and the TV series both count as anime classics. That and the chance of this being a palatable vampire series drew me to the OVA. While the animation is some of the best, certain things about the show are downright ludicrous, such as the fight between Miyu and a Shinma doll over a depressed boy or the absurd way Larva became Miyu’s henchman. (The name Larva itself too for that matter.) Still, fans of the horror genre won’t be disappointed, and the show features plenty of drama, suspense, and an enjoyable amount of action besides.
2) Patema Inverted – ★★★★ 1/2
I assume that many of you have seen Patema Inverted. If you have not, treat yourself to this fine feature film! I almost gave it half a star less, but Patema Inverted offers one of the most unique anime experiences there is–especially if you’re scared of heights like I am.
The movie uses the concept of two cultures with different gravitational pulls to great effect. The constant threat of Patema being sucked up into space keeps the audience emotionally involved in her fate. And, the film includes similar perils for the hero, Age, in the opposite direction. The power-hungry villain provides numerous pitfalls for our heroes, and the final conclusion is very satisfying. Indeed, Patema Inverted succeeds at all levels and offers the audience some great animation in addition.
3) Psycho-Pass the Movie – ★★★ 1/2
I have to conclude that the brilliance of the first season of Psycho-Pass (★★★★ 1/2) is not to be repeated. The second season (★★★ 1/2) was fun–as was this film, but in both of those productions I hoped that Akane would take down the Sybil System at last. The movie is much like other anime movies in hat tipping the fans. I’m a fan; so, I enjoyed the film, even though I see its shortcomings. In particular, the philosophical ideas introduced in season one worked so much better in that run than attempts to use philosophy in season two and the movie.
If any message is to be taken from the movie, it is that the Sybil System is evil, but a state of nature is more evil. But, this is simply choosing the better of two extremes. As we know from Aristotle, one extreme is always more like the virtue than the other. Totalitarian government is better than anarchy–but who wants to live in a totalitarian state? Akane boldly asserts the middle ground, government by the people with a combination of freedom and security. And, she forces the Sybil system to allow open elections in the Southeast Asian country in which the action takes place. A minor victory over the system once again.
I don’t see much character development here or advancement in toppling the villain. So, I can only recommend this film to fans of the franchise–or action junkies for that matter.