Metropolis – Anime Review

The Essentials

MetropolisName: Metropolis
Genre: Sci-fi, Fantasy
Episodes: N/A
Released: May 26, 2001
Based On: Metropolis manga by Osamu Tezuka; Metropolis silent movie by Fritz Lang
Director: Rintaro
Produced By: Madhouse
US Distribution By: Sony Pictures

Major Japanese Cast

Kenichi: Kei Kobayashi
Tima: Yuka Imoto
Shunsaku Ban: Kousei Tomita
Rock: Kouki Okada
Pero: Norio Wakamoto
Duke Red: Tarô Ishida
Dr. Laughton: Junpei Takiguchi

Major English Cast

Kenichi: Brianne Siddall
Tima: Rebecca Forstadt
Shunsaku Ban: Tony Pope
Rock: Michael Reisz
Pero: Dave Mallow
Duke Red: Jamieson Price
Dr. Laughton: Simon Prescott

Scores

Animation: 10/10 (x 4 = 40 pts)
Story: 9/10 (x 4 = 36 pts)
Music: 9/10 (x 4 = 36 pts)
Coherence/Story Arc: N/A
English Dubs: 9/10 (x 1 = 9 pts)
Gut Score: 9/10 (x 5 = 45 pts)

Total: 166/180 (92.2%)

Review

Metropolis is set in the giant city-state of the same name, in which a giant building called the Ziggurat has just been completed. This is also a city with a plutocracy that rules numerous robots who fill most of the city’s mundane and dangerous jobs, as well as a significant, largely un-employed, lower class of humans who resent the robots for taking their jobs.

Enter Shunsaku Ban and his son Kenichi, who have arrived in Metropolis in order to find and arrest Dr. Laughton, who is wanted for the trafficking of human organs. However, Dr. Laughton is currently under the employ of Duke Red, the most powerful businessman in Metropolis, and who is the owner of the Ziggurat and who has more influence over the city than even the Mayor and the President. Dr. Laughton’s mission is to create a robot in the image of Duke Red’s dead daughter.

In jealousy, Duke Red’s henchman and adopted son Rock destroys Dr. Laughton’s lab and attempts to kill his android. Shunsaku and Kenichi arrive at the lab while it’s in flames, and Kenichi is able to escape with the robot, who we find is named Tima. The rest of the film revolves around Tima and Kenichi trying to make their way back to the city, while Shunsaku unravels a plot by Duke Red to use the Ziggurat to reach his goal of world domination, with Tima as it’s center.

Metropolis is a splended piece of animation and story not seen in quite some time. It is on par with the best of Miyazaki’s and Disney’s animated greats in both respects, with one almost feeling like one is watching a live-action movie at times. The grand scale of this movie is only really matched by the Ziggurat at the center of it, with a quality that should allow many who may not normally take a look at animated movies to look past this fact about it and see the wider story which is both complex and compelling.

Perhaps the main negative I can come up with Metropolis are that it’s character designs seem less than compelling, but it’s only a minor quibble. The music is also of quality and appropriate for the feeling of the movie, and the dub is pretty good too. This is a movie that any anime fan should see, and that many people who wouldn’t normally watch anime could enjoy as well.

First Watched: July 2007
Do I Own: No
Do I Recommend: Yes

Advertisements