As part of the JAPANORAMA feature I am inviting fellow movie sites to join in. First up is Nathan from Flights, Tights and Movie Nights, who has taken on 2001 anime film Metropolis. If you want to see more from Nathan’s superhero centric site, please check out his review archive, and Twitter feed. Previous articles from this site are here and here.
Metropolis (メトロポリス, Metoroporisu): Osamu Tezuka was probably best known for his creation Astro Boy, but he also wrote a Manga back in 1949 inspired by the 1927 film Metropolis. 50 years later, his manga was turned into an anime written by the creator of Akira. It takes place in a future where robots are an every day fact of life, but they are merely servants of man. They live in a giant multi tiered city where the upper class live in the newly built Ziggurat and the lower class live underground, and the lowest class still are the robots which are even below the underground. There is a highly advanced robot created in the form of a young girl named Tima, but when the lab is destroyed she is found by the young Kenichi and his grandfather who are investigative reporters who end up discovering that much more is at stake than they could ever realize. The animation in this movie is absolutely gorgeous, the designs of Tima and the many varied robots are wonderful to look at and the music is a great collection that evokes the 20’s when the original Metropolis was released. The characters may fall into some typical categories, but they are still well developed and interesting, and the English dub that I listened to was very well done. It gets a little heavy handed towards the end, but it’s a beautiful ride all the way through.