Posted on 18 August 2007 with categories: Anime Reviews


Now this is a movie! Most of you probably figured out by now that I’m on a movie spree, but most of the movies tend to be lots of style and not a lot of substance. While these are perfectly fine to watch, I’d rather watch a movie that’s good in every aspect. Unfortunately, these are quite hard to find, though Metropolis definitely belongs in that category.

For those of you who don’t know about Osamu Tezuka, this link should give you a fairly good impression of why people call him the “God of Manga”. Without him, anime wouldn’t be what it is today, and even now remakes of his works are still being made, and his stories prove to be very good to age. First Hi no Tori baffled me, and now it’s the turn for Metropolis.

Due to the fact that this movie really received a great budget, it has been really detailed, up to the point where it can be seen as on par with Ghibli-movies. The sceneries we see throughout the movie are filled with life and people, who actually react to the things around them. On frequent occasions, you can find different things happening at once. Characters who stand in the background discussing things, for example. When compared to usual anime, where characters don’t move unless they really have to, it felt really refreshing.

Not only does this movie spend a great amount of effort on its details, they’re also used really well in combination with its story and characters. Both of them are really given the time to develop throughout the movie, and if you combine this with the details, you get some pretty interesting character-development, which comes together perfectly in the climaxes, later in the movie. Especially the ending must be one of the most brilliant ideas for an ending in a anime-movie ever; you’ll either absolutely love it, or you’ll absolutely hate it. ^_^;; (you’ll understand when you see it).

Like Hi no Tori, Metropolis also is quite thought-provoking. Even though the themes introduced are nothing I haven’t seen before (they may have been new when the story was first published, I’m not sure about that one), where the setting is a city, fully controlled by the government, where Robots take over most of the dirtier tasks, the movie uses its characters to ask enough interesting questions about morality.

It’s hard to point out any flaws in this one as well. The characters all fit well into the movie, and each of them has a good enough reason to be involved in the events. The main character and especially his father really start out like normal people, and yet it seems perfectly logical why they became the main characters. Each of the important characters is fleshed out well, and the story flows from one event to the other in quite a logical way. I guess the biggest flaw is that this remains a movie. I still like Hi no Tori better than this one, simply because it had 13 episodes. Metropolis used its time well, though there’s only so much you can do in an hour and a half. Because of this, the ending did turn into a collection of clichés, despite the brilliant part.

4 Responses

  1. Martin says:

    Like you, I was amazed at the artwork of Metropolis and drawn in by the warmth of the characers, but felt that it was a bit messy in terms of storyline. That’s what prevents it reaching absolute awesomeness, which is a shame when it has so much going for it (the old-school Tezuka character designs, social commentary, music, the list goes on).

    If you’re referring to the music played towards the end as the ‘love it or hate it’ thing though, I loved it. A classic song that fits the refreshingly different choice of score for the film as a whole. It’s different but is still really powerful.

  2. saris says:

    Ahhh….I like Metropolis too, it’s a good movie. Rock is the one who have my most sympathy anyway since other characters have a good-ending for them.

  3. hayase says:

    Hmm, I must be in the minority group then. I found the movie boring.

  4. Mr. Mestopheles says:

    A little strange, this movie. It’s closer to the original Metropolis by Fritz Lang than Tezuka’s manga (which was based only on a movie poster since he never saw the actual feature.) It’s a little jarring, though once I get past the initial indignation a like it quite a bit. Not as much as you did though.

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  • Asuka111
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 07:37 AM)
    @Lacrid Surprising, yes, but it seems they’ve brushed over that so far. The story has gone back to normal romcom/slice of life.
  • LacridSayo
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 07:11 AM)
    Wow, Horimiya managed to surprise me twice. They teach me that in the face of adversity, conformity is the way. Also, Miyamura and Hori f&@ks.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 04:09 AM)
    The whole world structure and the framework of spirituality, eyes of death perception, counterforce and whatnots are kept intentionally vague so he can have some wiggle room to bullshit and handwave plot elements as they go on. KnK was a pretty good OVA series tho and Ufotable had a big party to play in that.
  • AidanAK47
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:56 AM)
    Here’s some classic Nasu at work.
    http://lparchive.org/Fatestay-night/Update%2003/30-P02-034.jpg
    A f*cking security system? No, it’s a person creating a small alternate world around them from their mind. Plain and f*cking simple.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:45 AM)
    I’ve heard people criticize Nasu as “writing terrible history fanfiction” and “Like my old bad fanfiction” “When the action scenes actually happen they suck”
  • Raggers
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:44 AM)
    @K-Off: didn’t we all.
  • Raggers
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:44 AM)
    @Aidan: I didn’t know what they were, but “withering eyes of death perception” doesn’t really leave a whole lot up to the imagination anyway…
  • k-off
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:42 AM)
    @Aidan Reminds me of my English papers where I bullshitted tons of explanations to fill up a ten page report.
  • AidanAK47
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:39 AM)
    And the eyes of death perception. Ho Boy. He talks about how it’s not cutting but severing and bonds and blah blah blah.
    Here’s the shorthand. You cut a tree with a knife you make a small cut, cut a tree with a knife while using the eyes of death perception and the tree withers and dies. There only took one sentence to explain something that Nasu uses 10 or so paragraphs for.
  • AidanAK47
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:33 AM)
    Take the explanation for mana. All the man had to explain was more mana = More powerful servant. Yet he makes this comparison to ammo, guns and cannons that is just needlessly confusing.

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