Posted by psgels on 31 December 2007 with categories: Anime Reviews


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!

One Response

  1. Meep says:

    Aw..this review is all lonely, written in 2007 and no comment.. -changes all that-

    I just finished watching this, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I love these kinda scenarios where a group of random people are thrown into a survival situation, kinda like one of my favorite non-anime movies, Cube (1997). It was interesting how at the end of this film, they showed what happened to each of the characters afterwards. xD Some of them were unexpected…

    I’ve already seen Toward the Terra, but I think I should give Infinite Ryvius another shot since the premise is very similar. Another anime film called Lily C.A.T. is another suggestion from an anime recommendation database..

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  • Bam
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 06:20 AM)
    @Vincent: That was pretty much the entirety of it. We were destined to cross Mississippi and inhabit the west, so why not take an active part in manifesting our supposed fate?
  • k-off
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 03:34 AM)
    @Vincent No shit.
  • Vincent
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 03:14 AM)
    @Bam Slightly. Did americans use manifest destiny as an excuse to steal land from the natives?
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 03:05 AM)
    @Vincent: I guess we were slightly more honest about it. It is funny how we use the fact after the matter as evidence of our divine providence. It’s like holding a gun to somebody and saying “fate wants you to die”, proceed to shoot them, and then say “see! I was right” lol
  • Vincent
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 02:56 AM)
    @Bam But unlike the american concept of manifest destiny, the Japanese used it as an excuse to wage what they were really doing: a war to hoard resources.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 02:52 AM)
    @Vincent: I see. A similar doctrine to Manifest Destiny.
  • Vincent
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 02:49 AM)
    @Bam Not to my knowledge. From the government, at least. It was always about expanding the glory of the homeland or something like that, which is why the Japanese took glee with the invasion of Manchuria and the Philippines, places they had no ethnic ties to.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 02:46 AM)
    *admitably
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 02:46 AM)
    @Vincent: I am admirably not too knowledgeable when it comes to the history of that region, but I still know that atrocities were committed.
    The interesting thing is that Japnese believe that their ancestors actually came from Korea. I wonder if this fact was ever used as a propaganda for why they have the right to annex Korea.
  • Vincent
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 02:40 AM)
    @Bam There also was the fractures within the Korean Peninsula itself. Quite astounding, really, that a nation as small as Korea is divided to this day. Not even counting the Japanese and Chinese aggression.

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