Posted by psgels on 17 March 2012 with categories: Anime Reviews

Quite often, movies suffer from being too epic. I understand that conflict is necessary, and trying to think big is a great way to do it, but there are also a lot of stories that have no business going there. To Aru Hikuushi he no Tsuioku understands this, and actually creates the right balance. Sure, there is a war going on, and one of the main characters is a princess, but it smartly doesn’t attempt to solve everything in its airtime. At heart, this is an escort story, nothing more, nothing less.

And because it understands this so well it’s able to do a lot of things that other movies can’t. It definitely stands on its own in terms of its plot, which is well paced and gives ample time for events to play themselves out and the characters to develop themselves and flesh each other out. There is relatively little action for a show that’s supposedly about a war, but the few dogfights that are there are really well directed, and the build-up between the quiet parts and the climaxes is excellent.

The characters in this series are also very good most of the time, and that is mostly due to the acting. The characters manage to show off a good variety of their personalities, and they act very believable. There are large parts of this movie dedicated to just showing the two lead characters play off each other, and they work really well together… most of the time.

It’s unfortunate that this movie has one major flaw, really: the romance itself can get really corny at times. The movie has good intentions, but the great acting just can’t hold up as soon as the characters get too sappy about their feelings. The ending also involves one particular twist that makes no sense whatsoever other than giving it a cheesy aftertaste.

So yeah, because of that it’s not amongst the best movies, but really: it has a lot to like. The thing sit does well, it does really well.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Well told, and knows very well what it wants and doesn’t want.
Characters: 8/10 – Very believable characters… outside of the romance.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Great dogfights, although apart from that the animation is nothing special.
Setting: 8/10 – A bit too one-sided on the discrimination subplot, but apart from that we’ve got a believable setting that smartly stays away from being too epic.

Suggestions:
The Sky Crawlers
Seikai no Monshou

2 Responses

  1. Litho says:

    Started better than it finished. Nothing spectacular, but at least it’s not as depressing as Sky Crawlers.

  2. Mizst says:

    I guess if you happen to be a sucker for romance (and I am) then you’ll like this one a lot since you can absorb a lot of those cheesy things without feeling bad about it. You’ll have to try a lot to not think about what happens after the ending, but if you manage that then this anime is as good as it gets. Besides these points, the anime is excellent in all other regards.

    And if you’re still not convinced, think back about what happened in Sky Crawlers then you’ll like this one a lot more. >_>

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  • Emma
    (Thursday, Jan 29. 2015 06:15 AM)
    For cartoonist stuff I have always had a soft spot for Peanuts and Calvin and Hobbes.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Jan 29. 2015 06:15 AM)
    I think I saw one in Shibuya where it had a section of Shirow’s stuff in there, but it was expensive and the cover was too crowded so I couldn’t figure out what the actual title was lol
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Jan 29. 2015 06:14 AM)
    As dull as I found last exile , the designs by Murata did really immerse one in the world of the series visually.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Jan 29. 2015 06:13 AM)
    Those are the Japanese anime/manga related ones. I have a whole series of ethnographic ones from different cultures, as well as a few volumes of German or USSR political cartoons and caricatures. Those are so dark and witty, they’re freakin remarkable, but I can’t find any of those anymore.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Jan 29. 2015 06:12 AM)
    Ha, maybe, just maybe a Masamune Shirow art collection =)
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Jan 29. 2015 06:11 AM)
    I have a Xenogears one from god knows where, the Koji Morimoto’s Orange handbook which me ex brought from Japan and I adore, plus one called Angel Collection III which is an omnibus one from various artists which I got in a pawn shop in SF.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Jan 29. 2015 06:10 AM)
    What I need are those Range Murata artbooks, more Amano ones too. Somewhere out there there is a Greg Rucka X-men prose story with art by Amano in it.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Jan 29. 2015 06:06 AM)
    Apart from the fables and Amano artbooks though, the rest are a fanservicey or shoujoesque affair.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Jan 29. 2015 06:04 AM)
    I think the artbooks for me were an aside thing, something at the time that I had to have everything I could afford related to the series.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Jan 29. 2015 05:33 AM)
    I’ve seen and enjoyed the Elric Watch with the date etched in there and all. Some figures and replicas look pretty cool, but I just know that I’m gonna mess with them and then put them away forever. I don’t exhibit much. I don’t have any posters neither. Just a bunch of weird unframed paintings and figurines.

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