Roujin-z is an unknown film amongst most western fans of the genre,
constantly overshadowed by its creators major success, Akira.
Dont let the fact that this film isnt as often mentioned as Akira
put you off from watching it, this film is more enjoyable to watch in
most ways, and easier to relate to than Akira.
The main driving point of the film in general is the attitude that
younger generations in japan have been taking when it comes to the care
of their countries elderly, seeing the elderly as a burden to the busy life
of the modern human being and as something that can (and almost always is)
be put in the background and only really marginally provided for.
Otomo uses this point to devastating effect, stripping the main character
of his dignity and pitting him against japans own ideas on how the elderly
should be cared for, and in the process showing how truly indifferent human
beings have become to the suffering of the elderly.
And yet at the same time as the main character is showing the pitfalls of
japans attitudes towards the elderly, Otomo also shows us how one individual can make a good difference, which comes in the form of a trainee nurse who truly does care and is willing to give her time (and in one instance her life)just to
make another person feel atleast in someway happy.
There are so many different things about this film that you can read into
and find meaning in that it is hard to express them all in such a small space.
On a less serious/political note the film in itself is stunning, the animation
although not in the same league as Akira works beautifully well,showing that
Otomo really has an understanding of how to manipulate his chosed media, and make it work to full effect.
The action scenes are extremely well set out and at times pulse pounding and over the top, and in contrast the drama is just as well set out, at times using humour to great effect, to stop you from feeling totally overwhelmed by the emotion on screen.
The soundtract to the film is again as with the animation very well done, it compliments the action and drama on screen perfectly although at times it can seem dated due to its age but that is something that can be easily overlooked.
The character dubbing aswell is very good the brittish actors at nearly every
point hitting their mark, which im pleased to say makes this one of the very few animé that I am able to watch in my own language.
The DVD release Is very good although it varies depending on who you buy it from, the release I own is well put together with good looking menus, digitally remastered sound and picture which most releases similarly have.
So if you've just skipped to the end of this long review to find out my overall
opinion, It is this Roujin-z is another masterpiece in cinema from Otomo, I
honestly believe that it is better than Akira, I enjoyed it more and it didnt
leave me feeling puzzeled at the end so that is an upside aswell.
If you are looking for a really good animé to add to your collection look no
further as Roujin-z is as good as it gets.