Origin – Spirits of the Past – Anime Review

The Essentials

Origin - Spirits of the PastName: Origin – Spirits of the Past
Genre: Fantasy, Sci-fi
Episodes: N/A
Released: January 7, 2006
Based On: N/A
Director: Keiichi Sugiyama
Produced By: GONZO, Media Factory
US Distribution By: Funimation

Major Japanese Cast

Agito: Ryo Katsuji
Toola: Aoi Miyazaki
Shunack: Kenichi Endo
Agashi: Ren Osugi
Yolda: Yuko Kotegawa
Cain: Masaru Hamaguchi

Major English Cast

Agito: Chris Patton
Toola: Carrie Savage
Shunack: Robert McCollum
Agashi: R Bruce Elliott
Yolda: Pam Dougherty
Cain: John Burgmeier

Scores

Animation: 9/10 (x 4 = 36 pts)
Story: 6/10 (x 4 = 28 pts)
Music: 8/10 (x 4 = 32 pts)
Coherence/Story Arc: N/A
English Dubs: 8/10 (x 1 = 8 pts)
Gut Score: 6/10 (x 5 = 30 pts)

Total: 134/180 (74.4%)

Review

Origin is about a boy, Agito, living in a rather devastated earth, which is a result of an apocalyptic event 300 years before the start of the movie. This occurred when genetically engineered trees growing on the moon in an experiment went out of control, and which proceed to destroy the moon, and grew their way to the earth and spread fire and rage down on the hapless inhabitants of the world, destroying most of humanity. No, I’m not joking. If you think the premise of the movie sounds silly, then things aren’t going to get much better for you in the rest of the movie either.

Agito goes into the forest without the forest’s permission – which has become self-aware at this point and is generally at war with humans – and ends up having to run away from the forest’s own inhabitants who protect it. He eventually finds his way to an abandoned “ancient” city and makes his way into a science lab. There, he finds several cryogenic pods. One of the pods is still active and has a girl inside, named Toola, whom Agito is able to free from the pod. The two eventually escape the wrath of the forest and make their way back to Agito’s home – a town known as “Neutral City,” whom tries to live as peacefully with the forest as possible.

However, Shunack, a member of the nearby nation of Ragna who wishes to regain control of the earth from the forests, finds out about Toola and hopes to lure her over to his side since he is, like her, someone who woke up after being cryogenically frozen 300 years before. Eventually he is able to convince Toola to go with him, and together they attempt to active an ancient weapon which Shunack hopes will finally realize Ragna’s goal, and it’s up to Agito, who allows himself to be mutated by the forest, to stop them.

As I said before, this entire movie seems to have an air of sillyness or perposterousness to it. It’s not that a movie with a self-aware forest is automatically silly, but this movie just was never able to establish a credible suspension of disbelief for me. The idea that a forest could grow so fast that it’s roots disintegrate the moon and grows the 385,000 mile distance from the moon to the earth in a matter of hours or minutes, all the while evolving a way to spew down fireballs is a bit beyond what even I am willing accept.

The technical aspects of this movie weren’t too bad, I didn’t think. It has excellent animation, pretty good music, and a pretty good dub. However, this movie just pushes the envelope of believability a little too far for it to remain credible in my opinion. Nevertheless, perhaps some people can look past this and actually enjoy this movie.

First Watched: June 2007
Do I Own: No
Do I Recommend: No

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