TRIGGER has done it again! This is not going to be a traditional review mystery where i beat around the bush just to tell you at the end if it was worth a watch or not, I am just going to get right to it!
Worth it?—Depends on YOU.
Do you like Mecha anime? Did you watch Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann and love it? What about the art style of Kill la Kill? If any of those questions equal yes then yea its worth a watch. If you ask yourself those questions and get a no, then its probably not for you, but I would encourage you to give it a try anyway just to step outside your comfort zone a bit.
The animation style while not for everyone is gorgeous. The shapes and colors are really the standouts. Hard angles juxtaposed with bright sharp colors make every scene look amazing but the combat scenes especially stand out. Watching the Mech Suits transform at first was difficult because of all the bright backgrounds, 90 degree angles, and the “sun rays were a bit distracting, but once I got used to the style again it was perfect for what the type of world this anime built.
The soundtrack was on point as usual with a Studio trigger production. The music set was all pretty upbeat and inspiring and the characters react to it as if they could actually hear it. I mean obviously they couldn’t hear it, there was no fourth wall breaking or anything but they seemed to rally with the music or did the music rally with them….whatever, it fit, music was good.
One of the biggest things I focus on when it comes to anime in general is character development. I was reading some comments from others and someone stated that the there was no real character development or that it was rushed. While I agree in some cases I think there was definitely some character development for a few of the characters and the ones that didn’t develop weren’t really given a reason to develop in the first place. In order for your character to develop/ grow they must be faced with a challenge or dilemma that forces them to rethink who they are fundamentally as a person or in the case of combat developments they must be faced with an opponent they have to overcome. While traditionally I am a fan of training arcs/ sequences when you are making a movie you don’t have the time frame to do a full training arc so you have to employ rapid character development or power evolution. Out of all of the characters in the movie there were really only a few real chances for character development. The main villain and his sidekick, the anti-hero, and the main character (I think his name was Kamina 😉 jk) (As you can see i am trying not to spoil anything). I will keep this short and just talk about the main character (if you want to discuss the others hit me up in the messages below). The main characters entire identity revolves around an event that occurred when he was a child. His admiration for his savoir and his disdain for the flames create this identity of a hero firefighter. He knows who he is and what he wants to do and has unwavering conviction toward this end goal all stems from that single event is his past. At a certain point in the movie that event is challenged, everything he thought he knew is challenged and instead of having a single moment of wow who am I? am I fighting for the right reasons? he just flies right through it not skipping a beat. That to me was a missed opportunity. But one could argue that he was so sure about who he was nothing could shake that conviction, that faith, his identity not anything.
All in all the movie was solid…8/10 if I had to give it a rating. I’m sure if you look hard, reeeal hard you will see similarities to Gurren Lagann.