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CyberPundit
01-08-2003, 11:39 PM
Just finished watching Metropolis. I thought the visuals were the most splendid I have ever seen in an animated film and among the very best in any film; the background artwork especially was sublime.
I haven't quite made up my mind about the film as a whole; the story and characters are somewhat underdeveloped and the music doesn't always match the mood (probably deliberately). Still the ending was quite powerful and I think the visuals alone makes this a pretty amazing film. I think there may have been a deliberate decision to underwrite the characters so as to let the pictures tell the story.

Anyone else seen it?

Achernar
01-09-2003, 12:05 AM
I did once, and now every time I go to Blockbuster I see if they have it, but they never do. I agree that the reason the movie was made was the visuals, and the insightful depiction of a futuristic city, and for that I loved it. In my opinion, that's the main reason to make a mainstream movie animated, to do visuals and special effects that you would have a hard time doing with live action. But, I don't know anything about anime, so any specific comments I have would sound really dumb, I'm sure.

Darkrabbit
01-09-2003, 12:10 AM
I liked the artwork but the story ended up too anime-cliche-ridden for me to enjoy it. :(

HPL
01-09-2003, 12:31 AM
I have.

I think it helps to see the original Metropolis (1927) so you can really see how the anime was an homage to it. I rather enjoyed both versions, athough for different reasons. The political/social message in the anime(People worrying about losing jobs to machines) is far more timely then in the original (Labor Unions are good).

The Destruction of the Ziggeraut (Both films use a bit of Sumerian/Babylonian References) reminded me of Dr. Strangelove.

CyberPundit
01-09-2003, 12:54 AM
The comparison with the first Metropolis is interesting. I believe the director has said that he saw a poster of the film but not the film itself. It's been a long time since I have seen it myself but I remember liking the visual style but finding the plot and especially the ending rather sentimental and crude.

In a way , though, the comparison is apt because I think what they were trying to do with the anime was similar to a silent film. There is a basic plot and there is little attempt to flesh the characters out with extended dialogue. The visuals and music are supposed to carry the film. Does it work? On the whole ,I think ,yes.

However I would probably have preferred a film with better developed characters. I would love to see what someone like Miyazaki could do with this theme and with this kind of animation technology. He addressed similar themes briefly in his excellent music video "On your mark".

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
01-09-2003, 07:55 AM
I can't help but smile when I recall the scene in which the Japanese Private Detective/Bogarteseque tough guy switches off the light, & puts the smackdown on that uniformed thug. Sometimes, there's a very special moment when the villian gets a free lesson that "good" doesn't equal "victim".

The man who created the manga this film is based on, also created Kimba The White Lion and Astro Boy. If I was not half asleep, I would be able to recall his name.

smiling bandit
01-09-2003, 08:10 AM
I haven't quite made up my mind about the film as a whole; the story and characters are somewhat underdeveloped and the music doesn't always match the mood (probably deliberately). Still the ending was quite powerful and I think the visuals alone makes this a pretty amazing film. I think there may have been a deliberate decision to underwrite the characters so as to let the pictures tell the story.

Sounds like the orginal! :D


The man who created the manga this film is based on, also created Kimba The White Lion and Astro Boy. If I was not half asleep, I would be able to recall his name.

Wait a sec! Asrto Boy!?!?! That was like, the first Anime EVER!

scr4
01-09-2003, 08:19 AM
Originally posted by Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
The man who created the manga this film is based on, also created Kimba The White Lion and Astro Boy. If I was not half asleep, I would be able to recall his name.

That would be Osamu Tezuka. He's also the creator of Black Jack and Hinotori comic book series. (The latter is my all-time favorite comic book series, followed by Miyazaki's Nausicaa)

World Eater
01-09-2003, 08:26 AM
I love Metropolis, we have it on special edition DVD. I think the soundtrack is amazing. I think the mix of computer graphics and traditional animation make for a unique looking film. As in Akira, the special attention to detail, and animating almost every element on the screen, is what sets this movie apart from the rest. If you can get the DVD, I highly reccomend you do so, the picture clarity is insane, and the 5.1 surround really will knock your socks off.

Achernar
01-09-2003, 08:30 AM
Ah darn it. Now I want it even more. Excuse me. I have to go to the mall....

Hello Again
01-09-2003, 09:19 AM
I was kinda "eh" on it. The art was nice but the plot was all cliche and the ending much too obviously a Dr. Strangelove knockoff.

Out of 10 on the my patented Anime Incomprehensibility Scale (where Grave of the Fireflies is a 0: "Perfectly comprehensible" and Akira is a 10: "Utterly Incomprehensible") it rated a 5: "Intermittently Incomprehensible."

asterion
01-09-2003, 10:07 AM
Hello Again, you do not want to see some of the anime I have then. There are several 10s according to you.

World Eater
01-09-2003, 10:16 AM
Originally posted by Hello Again
I was kinda "eh" on it. The art was nice but the plot was all cliche and the ending much too obviously a Dr. Strangelove knockoff.

Out of 10 on the my patented Anime Incomprehensibility Scale (where Grave of the Fireflies is a 0: "Perfectly comprehensible" and Akira is a 10: "Utterly Incomprehensible") it rated a 5: "Intermittently Incomprehensible."

What rating does Legend of the Overfiend get?

Hello Again
01-09-2003, 11:34 AM
Haven't seen it. Outlaw Star gets a 4 (Somewhat Comprehensible).. it was doing approx 3 (Mostly Comprehensible) until the episode "Hot Springs Planet Tenrei" which was like... um.. off the charts bizarre and hilarious. Was the boss out of town or something?

Well, nice to Know the AIS is finally getting the attention it deserves.

CyberPundit
01-09-2003, 12:39 PM
"and the ending much too obviously a Dr. Strangelove knockoff."
Only in the device of using a popular song as background music to the big finale. Otherwise the ending is different and IMO more interesting than Dr Strangelove. I think it's the best part of the film.

slortar
01-09-2003, 01:04 PM
I'd hate to see what Hello Again would rate Digicharat at. He'd probably have to stretch the upper end to 100 or so ("Brain Sliding Out of Skull")...

Gr8Kat
01-09-2003, 04:13 PM
I just got an e-mail last night from Netflix.com letting me know Metropolis is on its way <shivers with anticipation>

Last summer I really wanted to get into anime in a big way. I even started a thread asking for advice on where to begin. Several months later, Joel and I have rented a lot of anime. Hollywood Video stores actually have a halfway decent selection. There are 4 Hollywood Videos in Salem, and not only do they each have fairly large anime sections, each store has stuff that the 3 don't have. We've seen quite a bit of really good stuff, a lot of mediocre stuff, and some real stinkers. We're full to bursting with giant-robo-mecha-ancient-alien-spirit-warrior-ninja-fan-service goodness :)

If we'd had Hello Again's incomprehensibility scale, in the beginning most videos would have rated a solid 10. But the more we watched, the more familiar it all became. I've learned to stop worrying about whether or not it makes sense, because by the end it usually does. Tell me again what's supposed to be mind blowing about Akira? ;)

CyberPundit
01-09-2003, 04:50 PM
I think I remember your thread. .So what have you liked so far? I started watching anime in 2002 myself. I hope you can post your comments about Metropolis after you see it.

Gr8Kat
01-09-2003, 06:22 PM
Well, visuals mean a lot to me because, IMHO, what's the point of watching animation if the animation sucks? That'd be like going to the ugly painting museum, or something. But, at the same time, if the story is engaging, I can be very forgiving of less-than-perfect animation. With that said, here're a few of my favorites:

Spirited Away: This is the first animé I've seen on the big screen and it was wonderful! I love this movie so much! It had better be on DVD in time for my birthday :)

El-Hazard: What is the plural of series? There are 4 El-Hazard series, two of which are OAV's (El-Hazard: The Magnificent World, and El-Hazard 2), and two that are TV series (El-Hazard: The Wanderers, and El-Hazard: The Alternative World). I've seen parts of the first OAV and all of the 2nd OAV and TV series. These series are by the same people that created the Tenchi Muyo series, but, while some of the elements are similar (magical girls fighting over a relatively clueless guy, cute kitty-like creature with shapeshifting abilities, the TV series goes back and retells the story of the OAV with a whole new origin), El-Hazard takes place in a much richer fantasy world. And the visuals are gorgeous! The colors are sharp and vibrant, the characters are all handsomely rendered, and it's actually a much nicer series to look at than Tenchi. I think Tenchi is more fun, though, with more likable characters. It's really hard to say which I like better. I guess I like them about the same, but for different reasons.

Blue Seed and Inuyasha: I'm lumping them together because, let's face it, they're the same story. They're both made for TV so the production values are relatively low and the visuals suffer for it. But they both have the same fairy tale/soap opera story: modern girl finds out that she's the reincarnation of an ancient priestess, demons chase girl because she's inherited something from her ancestor that they want, half-man/half-demon creature saves her so he can use her for his own purposes, then falls in love with her. But is he in love with her for herself or because she reminds him of the ancestor (or twin sister [Blue Seed]) that he loved? Meanwhile, she also falls in love with him, but they are too busy bickering to admit they have feelings for each other. And dead former lover has to show up to throw a monkey wrench into the works, too. All this while fighting different monsters every episode, leading up to a battle royale with the head evil monster (which I haven't seen in either series yet, but I trust is coming). See? Same story. Still, I like them both. But I like Blue Seed maybe a little better because Kusanagi isn't as mean to Momiji as Inuyasha is to Kagome.

This is already starting to run long, so here's a quick round of up other videos I'd put in my top 10, if I had such a list: Akira, Perfect Blue (I'd think people who weren't animé fans, but liked whodunits or psychological thrillers would enjoy this one, too), Roujin-Z (check out the scene towards the end where the nurse climbs the pile of trash the mecha has become-if that's not rotoscoped, then that right there is probably the best animated sequence I've ever seen in my entire life! It actually looks like a person climbing on a pile of trash. I can't explain it, but it gives me chills when I remember how realistic it looked), PatLabor the Movie 1 & 2, Ninja Scroll (the scene where Kagero offers herself up to Jubei Kibagami-yes, I'm looking these names up, there's no way I could remember them all-and he just holds her, God, that makes me swoon), Neon Genesis Evangelion (haven't seen the whole series yet, but I enjoy it even though Joel only gives it a C), Robot Carnival, Battle Angel, Vampire Princess Miyo, and a whole bunch more.

I'm not going to go into all the mediocre ones because there's just way, way too many, but the videos that sucked so much big green donkey dick that they need to be mentioned are: Golgo 13, A.D. Police, Angel Cop, Roots Search, Genocyber, Suikoden: Demon Century. Ick. These videos have no redeeming qualities that I can think of. None. Absolutely none. Ick.

And I'm going to give it one more plug: Netflix.com is so cool, because now I can sit on my butt and rent all the animé DVD's I want without leaving my house. It rules.

Achernar
01-09-2003, 07:10 PM
Okay I just bought Metropolis on DVD from Best Buy. And it's exam week. Life is full of hard decisions. Maybe I'll just watch the firefighting scene. I love those little robots.

World Eater
01-09-2003, 07:15 PM
Originally posted by Achernar
Okay I just bought Metropolis on DVD from Best Buy. And it's exam week. Life is full of hard decisions. Maybe I'll just watch the firefighting scene. I love those little robots.

The music rocks throughout the whole movie, but especially during that scene.

Crazy horns.

Gr8Kat
01-09-2003, 07:44 PM
Oh, another that I liked so well I meant to mention it, but forgot: The Heroic Legend of Arislan (or Arslan). This one is actually kind of odd. It seems that the production team changed between practically every episode, and it actually goes down hill very quickly, which is sad, very sad, because it gets off to such a promising start. A man in a silver mask claiming to be the rightful Prince of Pars colludes with Pars's enemy, the Lusitanians, to lead a rebellion against the King whom he claims usurped the throne from his father. However, the king's son, bishy-rrific crown prince Arislan (http://www.angelfire.com/ab2/lovelysilvermoon/Arislan/arislan_warmglow.jpg), escapes and, with a motley crew of friends, tries to raise an army to expel the Lusitanians, learn the true identity of Silvermask, and take his place as the ruler of Pars. And since he's so much kinder and nobler than Silvermask, I have the feeling he might just do it.

It's really a neat story, full of political intrigue, exotic locations, mythology and heroics. I understand it's supposed to be based on an ancient Persian story (Pars is Persian for Persia, I've read). The first episode is an hour long and the visuals are gorgeous, utterly gorgeous. It leaves you wanting more. But somehow the second episode is a bit of a letdown. I'm not sure why, it just doesn't seem as good somehow. It's still better than the third and fourth episodes, though, which are only half as long and not nearly as nicely animated. I understand the series just wasn't that popular, and it seems like the creators lost interest (or maybe they just lost funding) as it went along. I guess there are at least 2 more episodes in the series, but I'm so disappointed I'm not sure I care, though at least one review I read said the quality picks up again in ep. 5. Maybe I'm just too damn picky :)

slortar
01-09-2003, 09:55 PM
Arslan had a rather bizarre production story. In short, it was based on a series of Japanese novels and the production team had a hard time getting funding for episodes, so there were large gaps in time between "episodes." For more information, check out animeondvd.com's writeup of the dvd release.

lilbtagna
01-09-2003, 10:14 PM
Hey, my boyfriend and I just rented Metropolis last weekend! I'm just starting to get into anime, so I'm afraid it was about a 7 on the AIS for me. What else is good out there?

CyberPundit
01-09-2003, 10:15 PM
I haven't seen most of the serials you mention ,Gr8Kat ; thanks for the descriptions. BTW did you watch Cowboy Bebop.? IIRC that was the most popular recommendation on the thread you started.

Another terrific series which I saw a few months ago is Crest of the Stars. On the surface it's a standard teenagers-in-space adventure story but the writing is excellent and the two main characters and their relationship are really well developed. The way of life of the "Abh" civilization, which dominates space, is also fleshed out very interestingly. The animation is pretty decent though you may or may not like the heavy use of blue in a lot of scenes. I think it's available on DVD so see if you can find it.

CyberPundit
01-09-2003, 10:30 PM
"What else is good out there?"
Well I guess that depends on what you like.

Check out Grave of the Fireflies and Princess Mononoke for something different from Metropolis. Those two films are on my all-time top ten list (including live-action films). In general anything by Studio Ghibli, which produced those two films, is a good bet.

As for TV serials check out the afore-mentioned Cowboy Bebop (ignore the silly name). The show is quite easy to follow and is just really good in every department: story, characters, artwork, music, everything. All kinds of episodes too: comedy, parody, suspense, drama etc.; it's probably the most versatile TV show I have ever seen.

Achernar
01-09-2003, 10:39 PM
Like I said, I know nothing about anime, and I often think I understand something, but I don't. But what is so incomprehensible about Metropolis? Is it just hard to remember who everybody is?

The last film I saw that I felt I didn't totally understand what was going on was Pi. :)

lilbtagna
01-09-2003, 10:39 PM
I've seen a couple episodes of Cowboy Bebop and thought it was pretty interesting...that Ed is quite a strange girl :p My little sister really got into Knight Hunters (Weiss Kreuz) but I just didn't find it that interesting. I really wanted to see Spirited Away, but I never got the chance to while it was in theaters here and it doesn't appear to be out on DVD yet...I'm looking for something like that I guess.

Princess Mononoke looked interesting at Blockbuster...thanks CyberPundit :)

CyberPundit
01-09-2003, 10:56 PM
"But what is so incomprehensible about Metropolis?"
Personally I found it quite straightforward thought a few things weren't clear on first viewing. But then I have become a little more used to anime now.

"I'm looking for something like that I guess."
Check out My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki's Delivery Service by the same director (who also directed Mononoke). They are more standard children's films but very charmingly done. They are also easy to find (though only the dubs).

Gr8Kat
01-09-2003, 11:33 PM
Originally posted by CyberPundit
I haven't seen most of the serials you mention ,Gr8Kat ; thanks for the descriptions. BTW did you watch Cowboy Bebop.? IIRC that was the most popular recommendation on the thread you started.

Another terrific series which I saw a few months ago is Crest of the Stars. On the surface it's a standard teenagers-in-space adventure story but the writing is excellent and the two main characters and their relationship are really well developed. The way of life of the "Abh" civilization, which dominates space, is also fleshed out very interestingly. The animation is pretty decent though you may or may not like the heavy use of blue in a lot of scenes. I think it's available on DVD so see if you can find it.

What a terrific coincidence!!!! Crest of the Stars is on Tech-TV (channel 191 on Dish Network)!! I'm so looking forward to it :) They've been showing an episode a night at 10:00 PM which is passed my bedtime, but tomorrow night at 8:00 they're showing all the ones they've shown this week, plus a bunch more. I'm so excited :) And I love the color blue, so I don't think that'll bother me :)

I like Cowboy Bebop a great deal, too. I like most of what they show on Cartoon Network, with the exception of most of the Gundams (mostly I resent that they seem to think Gundam in the end-all, be-all of anime and have completely inundated us with it). And I appreciate that Cowboy Bebop was not as edited as most of the other series they've shown, like Tenchi where all references to sake were changed to tea (the characters were evidently very sensitive to tea as it seemed to intoxicate them quite easily) and digital bikinis were added to all bath scenes, or Outlaw Star where Melfina also had a digital bikini added, and all blood was digitally removed.

Gr8Kat
01-09-2003, 11:44 PM
And I'll add that anything by Studio Ghibli is on my Top however many list, too, I just thought that went without saying :)

SolGrundy
01-09-2003, 11:51 PM
I bought the Metropolis DVD but haven't watched much of it yet. I don't know if the problem is my attention span or that the movie's dull, but it can't hold me for more than five or ten minutes at a time. I'm exceedingly impressed with the art, though -- a friend of mine complained that it was the worst job of blending CG and 2D that he'd ever seen, but I saw it as an artistic style, not that they were trying to blend them seamlessly but failed.

There's a pretty interesting article about Metropolis at Anime Jump! (http://www.animejump.com/cgi-bin/go.cgi?go=features/metropolis/index), which explains how Tezuka-san had a stable of stock characters that he used throughout all his work. There's also a review of the theatrical release on the same site (http://www.animejump.com/cgi-bin/go.cgi?=video/metropolismovie) that gives some interesting background on the movie.

Originally posted by Gr8Kat
I like Cowboy Bebop a great deal, too. I like most of what they show on Cartoon Network, with the exception of most of the Gundams (mostly I resent that they seem to think Gundam in the end-all, be-all of anime and have completely inundated us with it).
Well, that's not all Cartoon Network's fault of course. Gundam is HUGE in Japan, still. I was in Tokyo recently and it seemed that you couldn't turn a corner in hobby stores or arcades without seeing something Gundam-related. (As well as Lupin III.) That means that there's a ton of Gundam anime; I think there's something like 8 separate Gundam series? That may be why it seems we're being "inundated" with Gundam, just because there's so much to see. And especially after the huge success of Dragonball in the US, it's not unrealistic for CN to expect Gundam to take off in the US as much as it did in Japan. (Personally, I don't like Gundam at all.)

CyberPundit
01-09-2003, 11:53 PM
Cool! Let us know what you think . I had started a thread about it a while back but I don't think too many people here have seen it. Though if it's on TV I guess it's going to be dubbed which is always dicey.

Gr8Kat
01-09-2003, 11:56 PM
Sol, thanks for reminding me, I don't like Dragonball Z.

Gr8Kat
01-09-2003, 11:57 PM
Originally posted by CyberPundit
Cool! Let us know what you think . I had started a thread about it a while back but I don't think too many people here have seen it. Though if it's on TV I guess it's going to be dubbed which is always dicey.

We'll see. I've never watched anime on Tech-TV before, so I have no idea what it's going to be like. Ooh, it's 10:00 now, maybe I'll take a peek before I go to bed :)

CyberPundit
01-10-2003, 12:00 AM
In case it isn't clear my previous post is about Crest of the Stars.

"a friend of mine complained that it was the worst job of blending CG and 2D that he'd ever seen, but I saw it as an artistic style, not that they were trying to blend them seamlessly but failed."
I was in two minds about it as well but ultimately I took it the same way you did. Anyway regadless of that, the background art is fantastic and I would love to have prints of the various cityscapes. The director does overuse the overhead shot but that is a minor problem.

msmith537
01-10-2003, 12:27 AM
Didn't care for it. While technically proficient anime -
- I didn't care for the art-deco style of the architecture
- Didn't like the childish character style of this particular animator
- All the characters seemed like they were ripped right out of other movies: stiff robotic cop, warmongering general, mad scientist, "who am I?" robots, warped evil son, etc
- I never did get the style of juxtaposing 40s styling (architacture, design, sountrack) over futuristic setting.

Basically, I thought the theme of this movie was done much better in movies like Ghost in the Shell, Blade Runner, etc



CyberPundit, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, etc were directed by Hayao Miyazaki. Tarô Rin directed Metropolis, Astro Boy, Captain Harlock etc.

CyberPundit
01-10-2003, 12:57 AM
"Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, etc were directed by Hayao Miyazaki"
Hmm yes that's pretty much what I meant; that the same director made Spirited Away , Totoro,Kiki etc.

I did make a mistake though about the Metropolis director not having seen the Fritz Lang version. As Sol Grundy's link indicates that was Tezuka who created the manga. It would be interesting to find out if the filmmakers saw the earlier film.

grendel72
01-10-2003, 01:03 AM
Rintaro did see Langs Metropolis, and in fact reincorporated some ideas from Lang's movie that Tezuka didn't include, such as the vertical city/ class structure.

CyberPundit
01-10-2003, 08:47 PM
Thanks. Have you seen the film; what do you think of it?

Achernar
01-10-2003, 09:02 PM
Okay, I just finished watching Metropolis again. I love the song that plays during the climax. One thing that is actually really clear in the film that I didn't pick up the first time I saw it, is that Metropolis is not in Japan; the first time, I assumed it was. But only Detective Shunsaku and Kenichi are from Japan. I imagine Metropolis is in the United States, which would explain why all the signage is in English. But the politics strikes me as more European or South American. Eh, who knows.

Gr8Kat
01-10-2003, 09:02 PM
I've got the Metropolis DVD! But I'm going to have to save it for tomorrow, because tonight it's Crest of the Stars!

I caught a tiny preview of CotS last night, but it's not enough to make a real informed opinion yet. A couple teeny observations: It's dubbed, not subbed and the artist tries way too hard to give the vassals cleavage (http://www.sequentialtart.com/archive/july02/bb_0702.shtml). But Bizarre Breasts are nothing new to anime, and I've learned to be forgiving ;)

I did a little poking around on the web today, too, and it turns out tonight TechTV is showing episodes 5 thru 12. So I won't get to see the beginning or the end tonight; maybe next Friday :)

CyberPundit
01-10-2003, 09:25 PM
I am not sure how much sense it will make if you have missed the first few episodes. Here is a very brief synopsis: The Abhs are the dominant civlization of the galaxy. They dominate inter-planetary space but generally leave the planets to their vassals. In the first episode they are shown conquering Jinto's home planet. Jinto's dad who is the leader cuts a deal with them and gets to stay in power. His son gets to be an Abh nobleman and in episodes 2-4 he is sent to training school for that purpose. He meets Lafiel, who is a Abh princess, who shows him around and introduces him to the Abh way of life. On the way to training school their ship is attacked by the rebels and Lafiel and Jinto are sent away on a smaller ship to escape harm. The rest of the series is about their adventures on the way to the main planet and their evolving friendship.

The Jinto-Lafiel relationship is the heart of the series. Unfortunately you have missed episodes 2-4 where it is introduced but hopefully you should be able to pick up the basic story.

There should be various more detailed synopses floating around the web.

CyberPundit
01-11-2003, 03:42 PM
I saw the "making of" feature on the second mini-DVD today. It was interesting to find out that Tezuka had refused to give permission to make the movie and the filmmakers were perfectly frank in saying that if he was alive the film would never have been made. Also it turns out that the score was composed by a Japanese musician; I had imagined that they were old American jazz pieces.

So Gr8Kat, did you see Crest of the Stars? What did you think?

Badtz Maru
01-11-2003, 03:54 PM
Originally posted by Gr8Kat
I've got the Metropolis DVD! But I'm going to have to save it for tomorrow, because tonight it's Crest of the Stars!

I caught a tiny preview of CotS last night, but it's not enough to make a real informed opinion yet. A couple teeny observations: It's dubbed, not subbed and the artist tries way too hard to give the vassals cleavage (http://www.sequentialtart.com/archive/july02/bb_0702.shtml). But Bizarre Breasts are nothing new to anime, and I've learned to be forgiving ;)


Ack, be careful with those links! Some of us surf from work.

Gr8Kat
01-12-2003, 12:40 AM
Originally posted by Badtz Maru
Ack, be careful with those links! Some of us surf from work.

But it's art! Sorry, I didn't think.

Metropolis: I just finished watching it about an hour ago and I'm still trying to absorb it all. The visuals were stunning. I'm usually one of those people who whines about how CGI is taking over and no one draws by hand anymore, boo hoo hoo, but really, it was wonderful. And I thought the 2D blended with the 3D very well. I enjoyed the retro, art deco, jazz-era design. It gave the city more personality and depth than the typical futuristic sterility we're used to in science fiction. Political intrigue and dirty dealings usually leave me a little befuddled, so it may require a second viewing for me to appreciate some of the subtleties of the story, but overall I get it. On the incomprehensibility scale, I give it a 1.5 ;)

Crest of the Stars: Thank you, Cyberpundit, for the background info. I was able to pick most of that up. I think TechTV is showing the final episode next Friday at 10:00 PM and again at 11:30 PM. I don't know when or if they plan to reshow the series or if they're going to move on to another one. It looks like they have shown, or are planning to show, Ghost in the Shell, Serial Experiment Lain (which is in my Netflix queue), Betterman, Silent Moebius, and Dual! Parallel Trouble Adventure.

Anyway, I enjoyed it, for the most part. The dubbing was not great. A lot of the time, dubbing really doesn't bother me. I even have a few favorite voice actors I listen for. But these performances were sub par. And I swear they broke for commercials every three minutes. But that's not the fault of the animé. But it was good. It was definitely interesting and I'll have to see about renting it one of these days.

Have you seen Banner of the Stars? Is it as good?

CyberPundit
01-12-2003, 01:26 AM
No I haven't seen either the second or third seasons of the series.

Shame about the dubbing. The series is character-driven and both the Jinto and Lafiel Japanese voice-actors are excellent. If the past anime dubs I have heard are any guide half of the drama and charm of the series will be lost.

For instance one of the best scenes is the dinner exchange between Lafiel and the Baron who is holding them captive in where Lafiel really shows what a formidable customer she is. I suspect most of the drama of that exchange is lost in the dub. The same probably goes for the lighter exchanges between Lafiel and Jinto on the planet. In general I am curious: which scenes were effective in the dub?

BTW if you haven't seen episodes 1-4 and the last episode, there is a particularly dramatic sub-plot you have probably missed about Lafiel's family which provides a couple of the most effective moments of the series.

So if it's available on Netflix I suggest you get the DVD's at least for the episodes you missed.

Gr8Kat
01-19-2003, 09:06 PM
Unfortunately, Crest of the Stars isn't on Netflix yet.

For instance one of the best scenes is the dinner exchange between Lafiel and the Baron who is holding them captive in where Lafiel really shows what a formidable customer she is. I suspect most of the drama of that exchange is lost in the dub. The same probably goes for the lighter exchanges between Lafiel and Jinto on the planet. In general I am curious: which scenes were effective in the dub?

It's hard to say. To me, the two performances that really fell flat were Lafiel and Jinto's. Lafiel's voice in particular was done so emotionlessly. I know the Abh were regarded by the United Humankind as being little better than machines, and that Lafiel in particular was supposed to be cool as a cucumber in tough situations, but the actress made her sound downright chilly. Her performance made me think of a teenage girl who got a part in the high school play because she has a clear voice that carries well and she can read her lines without faltering, but she just can't act. Or she thinks that talking in a snooty voice equals "acting." And the guy doing Jinto's voice wasn't any better. Their light moments didn't sound particularly light.

Plus they seemed to be talking very slowly and deliberately with odd pauses at inappropriate moments. I guess they were just trying to match the lip flaps, but it made the characters sound half asleep, ponderous, and dumb.

That's not to say that the program wasn't enjoyable. Overall, I'd still rate it highly. I'd love to see it again from the beginning, and I'll keep an eye open for it on Netflix. I like that DVD gives you the choice between sub and dub. I watched Metropolis twice, the first time sub, the second time dub. I think I maybe enjoyed the dub more because I could relax and take in the visuals without missing any of the dialog.

P.S. Please forgive the lateness of my reply.

CyberPundit
01-20-2003, 02:06 AM
"To me, the two performances that really fell flat were Lafiel and Jinto's. Lafiel's voice in particular was done so emotionlessly"
Yes it definitely sounds like yet another mess with the English dub. I remember listening to bits of the Evangelion English dub and some of the voice-actors were so awful I doubt I would have made it through one episode. Particularly the Rei Ayanami voice-actor who was really well-played in the original. In general it appears the quality of dubs in relatively high-profile movies like Spirited Away is decent but not in the TV serials.

The English dub in Metropolis is OK. Unfortunately the weakest actor is the one who plays the girl-robot ,arguably the most important character. Though I suppose the movie is not that dialogue-heavy so it doesn't matter too much. Incidentally I noticed that the French dub is better. Maybe non-English-speaking countries just have more experience with dubbing since they import so many American films.

Achernar
01-20-2003, 02:35 AM
Originally posted by CyberPundit
The English dub in Metropolis is OK.I started watching it with English subtitles, but I realized that I was paying as much attention to the dialogue, reading it, as I was to the visuals. And that's really not what this movie is about. So I switched it to English dubbing so that I could pay attention to the scenery. I rather some of the English voices. Shunsaku's especially rounds out his character of a cartoonish detective. I also like Pero's English voice better than his Japanese - it sounds like something a robot might have.

Achernar
01-25-2003, 03:13 AM
Okay, I'm watching Metropolis again, and I noticed something odd. Just before the revolution falls, President Boon and his aide, the Broadly Smiling Man, are slain by the military. As BSM is shot from the back, a lit candle appears over his right ear, for a few frames, then disappears. It's fast, but it seems very out of place. What the heck is up with that? Is it just a mistake, or some anime convention signifying... something? [Screenshot (http://cfa-www.harvard.edu/~cpilman/bsm.jpg)]

CyberPundit
01-25-2003, 11:06 AM
Interesting. Didn't notice this myself but I googled and found this:
http://animeworld.com/reviews/metropolis.html

"In the scene where the minister, Lamp, is dying, a candle briefly appears over his head as he falls to the ground. This is a reference to Tezuka's various manga; the same character appears in different roles in several of Tezuka's other stories. It is a running joke (based on his name) that extreme emotion sometimes causes this character to sprout a candle from the back of his head."

Ukulele Ike
01-25-2003, 01:23 PM
I saw the subtitled Metropolis in a Lower East Side theater last year, and found it strangely disturbing...

I'm not sure if it was anything to do with the robot-child-in-jeopardy aspects of the film itself or that it reminded me of watching Astro Boy as a tot. Duke Rock looked like he walked right out of a black-and-white 1962 Tezuka film. What a schnozzola, eh?

Achernar
01-25-2003, 06:03 PM
CyberPundit: Ah, thanks for the link. I was wondering if it was akin to the light bulb above someone's head you see in cartoons, and I guess so. But since it's the only place in Metropolis something like that appears, I was skeptical. I also could not find the character's name anywhere.

Ukulele Ike: I wasn't sure if you were talking about Rock or Duke Red at first, but that schnozzola comment gave it away. :)

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