Origin: Spirits of the Past


A random buy from HMV yesterday. The cover looked great, the animation looked a bit different, and the blurb made me think a little of Nausicaa. I took the plunge despite the 94 minutes running tag seeming dangerously short. (Haven't bought an Anime film since Earthsea so really felt like it!)

Well I was a little disapointed. The basic sense was that it was indeed trying beyond belief to be Nausicaa/Mononoke in most ways, It seemed to try so hard it almost hurt. The mere 94 minutes also caused it to suffer, as it just seemed to go on far too fast with no real depth beyond what was needed. Despite this the first half of the film was pretty good, an intreaguing if slight set up which did make me want to keep watching, but I felt it just turned slightly silly and very rushed in the second half, going from eco drama to somewhat bizzare almost superhero deus ex stuff which left me bemused for the most part. You never really got to feel close to any of the characters either, only three ever got beyond basic outline personalities and even those were pretty stock performances really.

It did look beautful though. The CGI was pretty tasteful for the most part, fitting well with the Animation. Infact I have not seen that much CGI in a 'traditional' Anime since Last Exile and this was far better. One scene of CGI was regretibly recycled though and it stood out like a sore thumb. However beyond that it did all look great.

In all it was alright. Another watch may help, but the prevaling sense was that they needed to flesh out the story, allow the story to breath for 30 minutes more, and think about the strange and rushed second half of the film. It was so nearly very good, but it could not stand up to its obvious (and excessive) mentors of either of Miyazaki's two epics. Pity, as I really wanted to like it!

Anyone else got thoughts on it?


I saw the film at the Edinburgh Anime Society Mini Con last year, and found it to be really disappointing. I'd seen trailers for it beforehand, and was excited for the film, but like you I felt the plot just wasn't there enough. It was visually beautiful, but there was just lacklustre plot. Then again, when it's animated by Gonzo - who have a habit of making stunning shows with little plot, its not entirely surprising.

If the film had been longer, or had instead been something like a 6 episode OVA series, then it might have been better. But as it is, theres something missing, and the thing missing is what would have made it a good, challenging film.


Death Scythe
My thoughts are pretty much the same as yours, Warmaster. I remember reviewing my R1 disc of it a while back and my opinion hasn't changed much since. It's worth buying if cheap or renting but aside from the visual prettiness it's not particularly memorable.