Thursday, 26 January 2012

Now and Then, Here and There

Smell the Movies
Smell the TV

Transmitted:October 1999 - January 2000
Country of origin:Japan
Genre:Japanese animation, Sci-fi themes, Bleakness
Starring:Akemi Okamura, Kaori Nazuka, Kouji Ishii, Reiko Yasuhara, Yuka Imai, Hiroko Konishi
No. of seasons:1

Shuzo Matsutani (Shu) is your typical teenager, though unrelentingly optimistic. One day he decides to climb to the top of a factory chimney to enjoy the view, as you do. Once there he discovers to his surprise that, on top of another chimney, is a mysterious girl called Lala-Ru, whose captivating blue eyes mesmerise him.
She's there to watch the sunset, a theme that is returned to throughout.
Suddenly, as if from nowhere, huge mechanical creatures erupt from the ground and sky, serpentine, deadly, and capture Lala-Ru. In an effort to save her, Shu inadvertantly gets pulled through to another world - Hellywood - a land where war has raged for as long as anyone can remember. Most of the adults are dead, and the armies are comprised of children, some no more than ten years of age.
Hellywood is a brutal place, ruled over by the tyrannical and utterly insane Hamdo, who plans to take the meagre resources of Hellywood as his own.
Now Shu must fight to survive on this world, so different from his own, and confront carnage and brutalities the like of which he could never have imagined.
A stunning anime series from director Akitaro Daichi and writer Hideyuki Kurata, which blends all out militaristic action with emotional resonance, and elevates the 'fish out of water' concept to levels unimaginable in Western TV shows.
Running riot with imagination, and with a humanistic core, this is simply amazing, and rates alongside Elfen Lied and Neon Genesis: Evangelion as the best anime series I have had the pleasure of watching.

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