The main male protagonist.
It has been quite some time since I last watched an anime movie, so voila, here is a review of one, titled The Sky Crawlers. Directed by the director of Ghost in the Shell series and catered towards an audience who enjoyed the Dogfights series in the History Channel, can this 2008 movie challenge Wolf and Spice for the ‘Anime of the Year 2008’ title?
The main male protagonist in daylight.
In an alternate version of our world, apparently the field of genetic engineering has advanced so much; there are young boys and girls will never age (and can be revived too in the form of another clone if they died). The immortals then was put into a never-ending war which was broadcasted worldwide, kind of like Starship Operators.
The story in this movie is good but not great, but what this anime excels at is the storytelling. The story flows in robot-like precision with good pacing as the viewers gets to know the movie’s world setting, the characters themselves, who are the immortals really are etc. in between the sporadic air battles actions. The vague relationship between the main protagonist and his superior is also another interesting story arc, which will keep you in suspense whether he will get into her pants or not. Hmm… looking back at this movie, that arc is probably the central theme of this anime after all. Or else you should explain the lack of dogfight actions in this movie that should have more of them.
Character developments in this movie is good, at least for the two main protagonists. Focusing only on the two protagonists is a good strategy because of the limited airtime, but there are no character(s) here that I think are outstanding in this movie. The ending is good, although somewhat predictable in its outcome.
The main male protagonist's pet dog.
The character design in this movie reminds me of the designs in Naruto after the time-jump. In fact, when the main male protagonist first appeared, the first thought that comes to my mind is how similar the main male protagonist is with Sasuke. Another glaring similarity that this movie shares with Naruto is the incapability of the character designer of creating beautiful female characters, but maybe the directors wants things to be that way anyway. Black hairs are uncommon here in this fictional setting of Europe’s 19th century. The designs of the airplanes in this movie are decent too.
And here is the dog, taking a dump on a pristine green lawn.
The voice acting in this movie is great, with the main male protagonist being the best amongst the small cast. Spoken English in this anime is much better than the crap you can hear in Koukaku no Regios. Definitely a positive point for this anime.
Here is the dog's reaction when he was chewed out for that filthy act.
This movie has good OST, but not so for the ending theme.
As the punishment for that filthy act, the dog and his master has to stand on the runway so that they can repent and atone for their sins.
The animation quality in this movie is excellent, even in fast-paced scenes. Just like Princess Lover!, this movie also used plenty of high-quality pretty backgrounds. And just like that anime, the backgrounds are not animated. Mamoru Oshii should take a leaf out of Makoto Shinkai’s playbook in his future movies. There are plenty of CGIs in this movie, and they integrates seamlessly with the main 2D animation. Choreography is excellent, but as a casual watcher of History Channel's Dogfights, I knew many of the maneuvers executed in this movie are beyond the boundary of law of physics. The director has done a fine job in this anime, except for the static background issue.
The dog is not impressed with his master's littering ways though.
8 out of 10. A good score, but honestly speaking, an anime movie has to be extremely good for it to capture an ‘Anime of the Year’ title. At least, it has to achieve legendary status to do so, which is probably only achievable by directors like Michael Bey Hayao Miyazaki. Therefore I declare that Wolf and Spice is still the best 2008 for the foreseeable future.
Regardless of the shenanigans of the master and his dog, the fact that this movie is a very gorgeous title should not be forgotten.