What an excellent way to close off the year! Like with Christmas, I wanted to try something special for a movie to watch at the end of 2007, so I went with one that I absolutely knew nothing about, except for an interesting-sounding premise. After having watched it, I must say that even though it’s old, it’s got one of the most memorable storylines in a movie that I’ve ever seen. This is basically Toward the Terra, minus the epic feeling.
While Toward the Terra featured characters of many different ages, They Were Eleven takes place on a much smaller scale: it’s just about the entrance-exam of one of the most prestigious schools of the universe. The universe sounds similar to Toward the Terra as well, with an elite group that stands miles above the ordinary people, but there are changes; different races from humans, for example.
An cast that consists entirely out of aspiring elites has been used more often in anime, but never has the storyline made use of this fact so much. Because every character is elite, they’re well-educated, and they all have their own reason to pass the exam. The writers use this and create a very engaging mystery-storyline that will keep you on your toes. And that’s the great part of this movie.
The characters are also not your average ones, and are easy to like. There are a few stereotypes here and there, but every single character has one trait that makes them different from the all the other ones of their kind. Regarding the flaws of this movie: it loses a bit of its spark around the end. I’m a big fan of mystery-anime, but they’re always tricky to end well without being predictable. Another point of criticism is that two or three side-characters needed more development than they received.
Still, this is an excellent example of a well-developed old-school movie. The other characters are well-enough developed for the short time that the story has, and they all turned into a memorable cast. The few moments of comedy were also quite welcome. If you’re a fan of shoujo and science-fiction series, then this is a recommended movie.
Well, that’s it for 2007. For those who are already in 2008: Happy New Year! For those like me who still have a few hours left in 2007: Happy New Year in advance!