Posted by psgels on 3 January 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews



You know these really good athletes, performers or artists? And how they make what they do, whether it’s sports, acting, acrobatics, painting or whatever, look so incredibly easy? Well, that’s this movie. I mean seriously, I can wind a long story around it, but it’s just a brilliant movie. In fact, the Uchuu-hen and Houou-hen have a very good chance of becoming my favourite movies of the seventies and eighties!

It was a real eye-opener: to see how good the story of a movie can be if it’s small enough to fit into such a small time-frame without being rushed. This is exactly the example of how you should tell a story in a movie right, and I’ve only seen a select other movies that had such a solid storyline as the Hi no Tori movies.

The Uchuu-chapter of Hi no Tori takes, like its title makes you suspect, place in space. Where the Houou-hen focused on folklore, the Yamato-hen focused on romance, the Uchuu-hen is a full fledged mystery story. There’s a lot of emphasis on the past and backgrounds, with the eventual answers turning out very imaginative, like you’d expect from Osamu Tezuka. Again, Rintaro did an awesome job in building up the tension, and slowly revealing this backstory. It’s an excellent example of mystery done right.

This movie has the same elements that made me such a big fan of the Hi no tori franchise in the first place: lots of emphasis on character-development, characters with huge flaws, themes of betrayals and punishments and the celebration of life and progression also is prevalent in this movie. The creators yet again manage to weave them into a gripping science-fiction story. Even though it doesn’t exactly have a big budget to work with, it’s a terrific example of how to correctly write a movie.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Truly excellent mystery and build-up.
Characters: 9/10 – Lots of terrific character-development.
Production-Values: 9/10 – Good animation; awesome soundtrack.
Setting: 9/10 – Tons of nice ideas and details thrown into the setting.

Anyway, this concludes my movie spree, and it’s probably going to be the last one I’ll be having in a long time. It’s been a great way to close off the decade and start a new one, especially considering how I’m getting less and less confident to find eight bloggable shows for the new season.

5 Responses

  1. Avatar Firechick says:

    Awww. Your movie spree ended? I wanted to see you write a review for Ringing Bell! Your reviews are always so interesting and influential.

  2. Avatar Pax says:

    Nice review, i definitely plan to watch the Hi no Tori movies.

    As for not being able to find enough new series to blog,you can always watch older series and do arc reviews if they are long series or watch a batch of episodes and write a review for them, i have seen other bloggers do it and it’s not a bad idea imo.

  3. Avatar Camario says:

    Haven’t seen it yet, but I definitely plan to.

    I have to thank this blog, more than anything else, for helping me discover the Hi no Tori TV series, but I’ve long since started collecting a few manga volumes here and there instead of watching any of these movies.

    That’s why it should be interesting to try and compare how well these movies adapt the respective manga stories.

  4. Avatar Meep says:

    Just wondering, have you been able to find Hi no Tori: Reimei Hen (1978) anywhere? That is the only movie from the Hi no Tori series that I can’t find to watch.. xD And was there a reason why you didn’t blog the Ai No Cosmozone chapter?

    If you addressed this somewhere in your reviews, I didn’t catch it because I try not to read too in depth for something I haven’t watched yet. xD

  5. psgels psgels says:

    Meep: I actually watched the Ai no Cosmozone chapter, but it was so underwhelming that I didn’t end up writing a review for it. If you want to check out Hi no Tori, watch the other movies and teh TV-series. I haven’t seen Reimei-hen, though.

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