8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars
Pretty, but cliched and makes no sense, 11 July 2011
Warning: spoilers ahead
This movie was described to me as "cliched". Yes, it is, but not exactly in the way I expected. I expected the environmental one, which I don't really mind and can even agree with. No, this movie's problem is different: it seems to be assembled from various anime cliches, linked with pretty filler, done in a way that makes very little sense.
For example, the movie begins with two characters running somewhere. This is already an anime cliche: a character(s) running around, greeting people, bumping into stuff and so on, often at the start of the movie/episode. I suppose it's supposed to show that our protagonist is energetic, and somewhat rebellious and impolite. Here however, it makes no sense. First they're running around in what is effectively a death trap: a place full of unstable, decaying structures and precipices. Second, they're attempting to get into a well to get some water, which they're apparently not supposed to be doing, so they're trying not to get noticed. Oddly enough, they still run instead of sneaking and make a huge racket. Also third, the purpose of said sneaking apparently is getting water for Agito's father, who is a legitimate member of the city they're in, and built a large part of it, so why would he have difficulty getting enough? Surely the residents must have some gratitude for his hard work.
People in this world live in the middle of the ruins of a modern city after the Forest took over. The place is a death trap. Precipies, remains of buildings and skyscrapers are all around. They scavenge useful stuff from the ruins. The lack of safety can't be understated: Agito's house is reached by walking over a rusty metal ladder over a precipice! There are no hand rails or anything. These people are crazy and content with risking their life every time they go home for no good reason.
During this adventure, Agito finds and wakes up Toola (what's up with the weird name?) from suspended animation. She finds out that the current world was taken over by a very quickly growing forest, which behaves like half an animal, and tries to keep almost all the water for itself.
The people themselves are also weird. Take Minka, a local resident. She obnoxiously sneaks behind Toola, scares her, snatches a device that doesn't belong to her, then loses interest, randomly declares she's going to marry Agito, and runs off. I think somewhere in the script there's this idea "Toola is interrupted when trying to use her Raban", "Minka says at some point that she will marry Agito", and this just got randomly shoved into the movie, without an attempt to make it work naturally.
Toola is pretty much a non-character. She's bland and lethargic. She's sort of depressed at waking up in this post-apocalyptic world. When her communicator suddenly rings, and (see above) is abruptly snatched out of her hands, interrupting her chance to contact anybody from her own civilization she takes it very passively. I'd be very, very annoyed in her place, but she shows no emotion. Then, when somebody else from her civilization comes, she instantly comes with him, in hopes of reactivating her father's terraforming machine. She does it with the same lack of emotion, and without bothering to even find out who is this guy and what he's up to. And she does it before even trying to find out whether it's a good idea. After waking up who knows many years after her own time, she instantly decides to recreate her old world, without even bothering to properly research the one she ended up in.
Agito then insists on running after her, apparently not to stop her, but because he likes her. But this is odd because she lacks any attractive qualities. She's good looking I suppose, but other than that is one of the most bland and least exciting characters I've ever seen. Most of his interaction with her consists in running after her and shouting her name.
Her father's Istok project turns out to be some sort of nuke that wipes everything clean and recreates favourable environmental conditions. She doesn't even blink at this. She only finally protests when it turns out it will involve laying waste to Agito's city.
Here's another thing that makes no sense: if this thing kills the forest but leaves fertile land behind, it has to be really, really thorough at it. After all the problem is a forest that grows insanely well to the point of splitting the moon. It should recover easily from destruction if a few seeds are left. And if it burns everything up, how are the people going to live? Such a thing will kill every animal and probably every plant as well, leaving a barren desert. Without plants the ground will erode, and good luck growing food then. Also there won't be any meat without animals.
So Toola stops it. And it immediately starts blowing up. Despite that the machine recognizes that the scientist's own daughter is telling it to stop, it immediately starts self-destructing with her inside. Surely if her father made the thing recognize her, he could at least tell the self-destruction to wait a bit?
So overall: it's cool looking, but very little in this movie makes sense, the characters are boring and the story isn't terribly interesting. I only recommend it for the pretty animation.