Reviewed by David Zuzelo Directed by Toshifumi Takizawa & Hisaya Takabayashi Artsmagic Region 1 DVD (2004)
Blue Remains is another entry into the CGI anime field released by Artsmagic, and this one falls far short of it’s peers--such as Alice and especially Malice@Doll. While the DVD is a beautiful translation of it’s digital source, the clarity of image is completely destroyed by a film that meanders and pontificates about nothing while attempting to toss in the action of a Macross episode to keep the viewer alert. It certainly doesn’t help matters that my remote doesn’t have an X button to skip all these endless cut scenes and get to playing the game.
Woops, there is no game.
Before we get to the animation itself I want to be fair…so we should address the important part of any feature-regardless of medium. The story. A young girl named Amamiku is left the important job of replanting the earth with some seeds after a major biological event sets the end of the earth as humans know it. Teetering on destruction a brother and sister pair of brains (???) and their beasties--called Glyptopane--also want to destroy the world and the human beings. So, they carry ON AND ON about DNA, humans, earth and other miscellanea that evil brains tend to go on about. They don’t die…evil brains I mean. They don’t shut up either, not in this film or any other I can think of. Well, Amamiku is found after her parents die by a band of people who want to save the world. They have little to no personality to go with their robotic looks sadly.
They fight monsters, the brains continue to talk, and the good guys use little underwater ships to have dogfights with strange creatures.
The brains talk.
Amamiku says "GEE!"
And then the brains talk some more about DNA.
Actually, there are a few cool character designs to be had…but that falls in to animation, so lets just say that the story is pretty standard substandard fare and leave it at that. At the very least, they do know to include a few action sequences amidst the chatter, so that is a small blessing.
Onward to the animation… it’s not good. However, this is an earlier film for the popular CGI medium and amidst the horrific rough edges that suffer from the kind of MPEG slowdown and jitter when characters move or try to interact there are some praise worthy moments for the designers of the creatures. Even the sequences that don’t involve the rigid "human" characters-one particularly Robotechesque rocket attack sequence was very enjoyable. Perhaps for those interested in a history of CGI animation features this would be fun, but within the 77 minutes it takes to watch Blue Remains, the more casual fan looking for anime thrills could absorb many other programs.
Without the interesting characters of Malice@Doll or even the somewhat compelling story of Alice... what Remains only made me feel Blue overall.
As mentioned at the top of the review, the disc looks really good; the digital nature of the film is very well suited to the DVD format. Only when the camera slowdown or poor rendering come into play does it look poor, but that is one hundred percent issue with the program.
Extras are all that can be expected, including a good interview (20 plus minutes) with the director which is much more of interest than the film he directed, as well as a few trailers and some biographical information that is up to Artsmagic standards for being well written and interesting.
Overall…a pass unless you are a looking for a benchmark to see how far the field of Computer Animation has come in a very short time.
Story: 1 Chatty Zappy Brain Picture: 4 Chatty Zappy Brains Sound: 2 Chatty Zappy Brains Extras: 2 Chatty Zappy Brains Overall: 2 Chatty Zappy Brains
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