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3.8 out of 5 stars49
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 6 March 2006
I first saw this film with friends one day after we were at the rental shop trying to figure out what to get. I think we were first drawn to this because of the original 1927 film by Fritz Lang which this is loosely based.
Moving to the present day, I now own the DVD and the soundtrack and love every minute of this film. Its beauty is only overwhelmed by its shear ingenious and plot twists.
The story unfolds in the three levelled world of metropolis, set in a future Japan where world superpowers still battle out for supremacy. In the development for an ultimate weapon an artificial intelligence is needed to control it, enter Tima.
Tima is the pinnacle of design, practically indistinguishable from a human she becomes lost in the sub levels below metropolis after her masters jealous son becomes enraged. Here she is discovered by Kenichi the young nephew of a private investigator new to the city. Together they escape her master's ploy to recapture her until fate catches up with them.
There are so many great things about this film, and so few bad it is hard to recommend it more highly.
The CG is outstanding and sees some of the best from the Japanese Anime world come together to craft this masterpiece. From the director Rintaro (Galaxy Express 999) and written by the legend that is Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira) this film began life in the best hands.
The Soundtrack is also sublime, seemingly presenting you with a world set in a future version of the 1930's, a mix of anime styles with a bit of Ray Charles "I Can't Stop Loving You", thrown in for good measure.
As I mentioned in the title of this review this is the saddest robot film you will ever see, think Blade Runner meets the comics of Tintin and you will step a little closer to understanding the world this film is based.
As an aside I would also suggest watching the film in its original Japanese language version with the subtitles on, it is far more compelling heard in its original format than with the English dubbing on.
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on 24 November 2003
Having only just rekindled my interest in anime I decided to buy Metropolis, due to Katsuhiro Otomo's involvement. I loved AKIRA for its character design, beautiful detailed city scapes and cool plot (if a little confusing to most) and I still think it stands as one the greatest animated films to date.
Metropolis is just a sublime piece of film. It may take 10 minutes for the viewer to get used to the big contrast you notice between the 40's (taken from Osamu Tezuka’s original manga Metropolis) style cell animated characters fused into the ultra modern backdrops using CGI for the most part, after that period it just gets better and better. The inspiring score sets the mood perfectly with 20's swing music, the odd splash of jazz and the song 'I can't stop loving you' at the climactic conclusion is just a heart braking sequence.
The characters are brought to life with fluid animation to rival Disney and pretty good voice acting, which all gives you a great affiliation with the characters. Watching the extra's you can see the care and attention that has gone into this project from Otomo’s screenplay and Rintaro’s direction, who was a big fan of Metropolis creator Tezuka and admits this could not have been made if he were still alive.
Metropolis is a classic piece of modern anime, watch it, love it, and watch it again!
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on 5 August 2004
It's a shame that so many people have looked down at anime's as just 'cartoons' or comics...the visual style,themems and story in Metropolis should break the mould in some peoples heads when they first come to see it as a first in anime films.
Those who are fans of anime or just watch it from time to time will enjoy the transversion of such a story into a visual world that they have come to love, the comic has been transformed into a very dramatic and compelling story of friendship, hardship and redemption. It gives the same 'lesson' as any of the modern sci-fi films out today, from hollywood, this film having themes about Human building technology beyond their control.
The voice acting is good, although you notice that the characters in Metropolis are meant to be completely genuine and realistic, so for any one who is expecting the mad, outgoing, and outrageous people that you sometimes find in Japanese and chinese work, may be a little dissapointed. But thats not to say the story doesn't feature some good characters, they are all individual and build up to the climax well.
Metropolis is a film that should give you a feel of that 'magic journey' as if you have gone to the tallest mountain and dropped to the bottom of the sea...it shall not dissapoint fans of anime and the genre, see first before you buy, it is not without its minor faults!
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Based on the classic manga by the late Osamu Tezuka (Atom Boy) , written by Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira) and directed by Rintaro (Galaxy Express 999), Metropolis is a visual feast combining cel animation with CGI and all the time maintaining a retro look which remains faithful to the original manga.
The original manga was inspired by Fritz Lang’s 1926 film masterpiece of the same name, but the very few similarites. As you will see.
The film introduces you to the tri-level world of Metropolis, the most advanced place in the world, also to the place robots play in this society. This is all controlled by Duke Red who has instructed a scientist to build the most advanced robot ever to succed him and have the power to control the entire world. The awakeing of the robot, Tima, is interrupted by Rock - Duke Red’s adopted son – who will not have a robot follow his ‘father’ and will stop at nothing to destroy Tima. He destroy the place and scientist which created Tima, but Tima survives and is found by the Kinichi-San – the young nephew of a Japanese detective. The pair quickly become friends but are constantly pursued by Rock and Duke Red.
The animation of Metropolis is incredible. The combination of old and new provide a unique look that is stunning throughout. One of the stand-out moments is when it starts snowing in Metropolis. The effect caused is nothing short of breathtaking.
The conclusion is one that you will never forget. I won’t give anything away, but it will stay in your head for a long time. It’s moving and the film’s message of humanity comes across.
This film is by far one of the best anime ever made. It’s right up there with Akira and Princess Mononoke in my opinion and destined to be in top ten lists.
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on 27 January 2004
A fusion of traditional and cutting-edge animation brings us this masterpiece packed with:
* Amazing futuristic storyline that is both gripping and provoking (somewhat of a rarity in this genre)
* Heart-stopping, jaw-dropping imagery (truly, some of the images and scenes will occupy your mind for many years to come)
* A wonderfully mellow score
* 104 minutes of pure addictive viewing (plus more on the 2 disc set)
If you've ever seen any of these: Ghost in the Shell (which inspired the Matrix), the Animatrix (especially 'Beyond'), or even Fantastic Planet (a throwback to the 1960's: original and wierd)- you are almost guaranteed to LOVE this! As with Final Fantasy - the Spirits Within, you can almost forget that it's an animation you're watching (though here it is more to do with the overall effect and storyline rather than the pure reliance on computer graphics). This is certainly a MUST buy for all those of you interested in animation, and even for those of you who just like a good (Earthbound / futuristic) sci-fi storyline. This is by far the supreior when compared to other titles such as Macross, Detonator Organ or Akira - they don't even leave the starting blocks (in my humble opinion). Some of the animated detail and computer special effects are truly beyond compare. I, for one, look forward to 'discovering' other gems such as this... are they out there?
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on 14 March 2007
This is my first review. It is'nt even really a review. This film is rather good and the animation is charming but what really sets it apart from other anime's and other films in general is the song selection of Ray Charles' "I can't stop loving you" in the final dramatic scene. I have yet to find a better example of music and images together. It's just class. See it just for this. I am not overexaggerating.
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on 9 March 2003
Metropolis is an unusual anime film. It consists of traditionally drawn charachters on computer generated charachters. The filmn is set in metropolis, a giant,industrial ,tri-level city where robots are commonplace. The surface layer consists of the rich and the powewrful with the sublevels housing the poor and weak. The story is centered anround Kenichi, the nephew of a Japanese police detective in metropolis investigating a crime for a client. After an accident the boy gets lost and meets a young girl named Tima. Tima is a robot and is the key to a new weapon built by Duke Red, the city's most powerful citizen. Tima and Kenichi are hunted by Rock, Duke Red's son ,who wants to see his father, not Tima, control the new weapon.
The film contains many different themes and issues, revolution, the meaning of life and organic versus synthetic are just a few. The film unique visual style creates unforgetable images while the soundtrack can conjure images all by itself. In fact the song chosed for the climatic destruction is an old song called "I Can't stop Loving You".
Rintaro has done an excellent job of transfering Tezuka's master piece to the screen. The extra's on the second disk are varied, enjoyable and informative containing production notes, producking methods and a background of Tezuka's Metropolis manga. I would reccoment this film to any anime fan.
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on 19 April 2006
An excellent film that just grew on me as the story unfolded. At first, I didn't like the design, the bright pink collars, the cockatoo hair styles etc. But it grew on me. The characters in the movie are bold brush stroke studies; archetypes. The CG, though not as seemless as movies like Howl's Moving Castle and the like, still works for my money because there's a clunky sensibilty as large as the character's boots to the whole thing.

I recommend it, but I also recommend that the viewer take their time with it and simply enjoy it. It's a wonderful world that Osamu Tezuka has created here, a world beautifully realised by Katsuhiro Otomo and Rintaro, one you'll visit time and again.

Money well spent, and a worthy addition to any anime collection.
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on 24 November 2003
Having only just rekindled my interest in anime I decided to buy Metropolis, due to Katsuhiro Otomo's involvement. I loved AKIRA for its character design, beautiful detailed city scapes and cool plot (if a little confusing to most) and I still think it stands as one the greatest animated films to date.
Metropolis is just a sublime piece of film. It may take 10 minutes for the viewer to get used to the big contrast you notice between the 40's (taken from Osamu Tezuka’s original manga Metropolis) style cell animated characters fused into the ultra modern backdrops using CGI for the most part, after that period it just gets better and better. The inspiring score sets the mood perfectly with 20's swing music, the odd splash of jazz and the song 'I can't stop loving you' at the climactic conclusion is just a heart braking sequence.
The characters are brought to life with fluid animation to rival Disney and pretty good voice acting, which all gives you a great affiliation with the characters. Watching the extra's you can see the care and attention that has gone into this project from Otomo’s screenplay and Rintaro’s direction, who was a big fan of Metropolis creator Tezuka and admits this could not have been made if he were still alive.
Metropolis is a classic piece of modern anime, watch it, love it, and watch it again!
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on 10 October 2002
This is a masterpiece and an epic that really has a heart. The animation and plot are surperb and the films changed plot gives it the real human side that the Fritz lang version really lacks. O.K so it's based on an adaption by a man who had never seen metropolis but it's still a bloody good film. Buy this and Akira and you'll have the cream of Japanise anime.
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