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I'm still pretty new to this wide new world of anime, so I can't really compare Memories to other works in the genre. I can say that it is a most interesting and impressive production made up of three very different short films from some of the leading names in anime. I don't think the visuals are quite as dazzling as that of more recent anime films, but the artistry of these three episodes certainly does help define the very different worlds in which the action takes place and demonstrates the compelling, visceral powers of anime. We have the celebrated Katsuhiro Otomo to thank for this project; each of the three films, if I'm not mistaken, was adapted from a short manga piece in Otomo's graphic novel Memories.
Episode One is Magnetic Rose, directed by Koji Morimoto of Animatrix fame. This is a beautiful, haunting tale of a most unusual space rescue mission. The crew of a space garbage collection ship responds to a distress signal from a dead part of space. Two crew members board the debris-shrouded vessel and enter a completely different world, one fueled by the memories of a beautiful young opera singer who apparently retreated to the isolation of space following a tragedy in her life. I won't pretend to have understood every thing about this story, but it is wholly captivating. The men encounter lavish rooms including opera houses and living quarters fit for a princess, holograms and other visual artifacts of "the young Madam" Eva entertaining guests and audiences, and decayed artifacts that sometimes come to life in front of their eyes. Each man is soon drawn into the vivid, colorful world of Eva's memories, but only one recognizes the unreality behind the vivid scenes he encounters - in his case, though, memories of his own wife and child serve as fuel for the increasingly realistic episodes he experiences. Much of the story takes place to a soundtrack of beautiful opera music such as that of Puccini, and the combination of such grand music and the amazing visual miracles that define anime of the highest caliber make this a most powerful film indeed.
Episode Two, Stink Bomb from director Tensai Okamura, goes in a completely different direction. Existing in some nebulous space between dark comedy and grim political satire, Stink Bomb is certainly entertaining but much less powerful than the other two films. In this story, a young scientific researcher takes an experimental fever pill that turns out to be something else entirely. He awakes to find everyone in the building comatose or dead (it's never really clear to me), and panicked company executives order him to find the pills and the secret documentation related to them so that he can bring everything to them in Tokyo immediately. He does just that, but he comes across death and destruction everywhere he goes. He does not understand that he has become a biological weapon emanating deadly gas from within his own body. It's almost comical to see the military firepower brought to bear - quite fruitlessly - against him as the military seeks to stop the spread of the noxious gas. The ending is also somewhat comical, on a dark level.
The last and shortest of the films comes from Katsuhiro Otomo himself. Cannon Fodder is an extremely dark film that vividly portrays a day in the life of a militaristic society along the lines of a post-modern day Prussia (i.e., pointy helmets are big in this world) dedicated solely and completely to the continued firing of gigantic cannons against some nebulous enemy. The obvious interpretation is one of the insanity of warfare, and the dark tones and grimly drawn characters bring the message home in a powerful fashion. Interestingly, the entire action seems to consist of one continuous shot that moves fluidly from one scene to another.
Memories dates back to 1995, but it is certainly an impressive example of anime's unique strengths and possibilities. The music, I should mention, plays an integral role in each film, especially Magnetic Rose - I think this DVD is worth owning just for this first amazing film alone. Otomo, Morimoto, and Okamuro are the same masters of anime who gave the world such wonders as Akira, Animatrix, and Ghost in the Shell, so anime newbies can rest assured that Memories will not disappoint.
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VINE VOICEon 17 March 2005
This little anime, or really, 3 anime's can now be had in some bargain basements.
It did'nt get a lot of attention when it appeared, and is a strange mix.
There are three 30+min films on the disc, all very different from each other.
Magnetic Rose: Based on a manga short by Otomo, two space travellers following a distress signal are drawn into a magnificent world created by one woman's memories. (Directed by Koji Morimoto)
Stink Bomb: A young chemist accidentally transforms himself into an unstoppable biological weapon set on a direct course for Tokyo. (Directed by Tensai Okamura)
Cannon Fodder: A day in the life of a city whose entire purpose is the firing of cannons at an unknown ememy. (Directed by Katsuhiro Otomo)
Magnetic Rose has some genuinly creepy moments in it, but by the end I was loosing interest in who lived and who died. The revelation at the end was also a real non event as I had taken it for granted that it had happened anyway.
Stink Bomb was very good, and had a lot of humour in it, which does'nt usually translate very well to the west, but in this it did. I really would have liked to see more of just how they planned to stop this biological nerd.
Cannon Fodder had a very different feel to it and a very different animation style as well. The story, though I felt, had been written for just one line at the end when the little boy asks his Dad who they're firing at. The reply comes, "when your older, you'll understand".
All in all for the price this can be had for a good buy. Could easily be watched again, as most anime's can, especially if they are subtitled, as you now have a gist of the story and can sit back and enjoy the artwork more.
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on 17 September 2004
These three stories are quite seperate and in no way interlinked.
The first involves a group of space "Refuse Collectors/Cleaners" who clear away old space relics. They enter an ancient abandoned craft...where a nasty fate awaits them...It's a great story (I like this one the best) in the style of a space thriller.
The second starts out as a bio-genetic science accident and turns into a comedy...good twist at the end.
The final anime has a "rougher" feel to the animation (bear in mind these were made nearly 10 years ago now), but this is intentional. It is more thought provoking and questions the (futility) of war.
Overall, you're bound to love at least one of these short films and should buy this dvd for your collection...
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on 5 April 2005
This is an excellent series, the 3 stories are all intriguing, extremely well produced, and each meaningful and enjoyable in its own way.
The first story, Magnetic Rose, after repeated viewing, has become my favourite of the 3. It is beautifully presented, entrancing, and rich with symbolism. Imagine a mysterious SOS call in space transmitted as an Aria(Madame Butterfly) originating from a region known as Sargasso.
Another interesting note about this story is its 'Japanised' European setting, which is so typical of many of the Japanese Manga, grand with ostentatious gowns, decors, and furnishings.
The second story, Stink Bomb, is a hilarious parody of the singleminded, doggedness of a typical Japanese 'salary man'. Very cleverly done too.
The third story, Cannon Fodder, features a grim world of warfare and missiles. Every character in this story is grim and ugly from the environment. The teaching of warfare in school, and the little boy's enthusiastism about war, are reminiscent of the militarism in Japan leading to WW2.
This is certainly a great collection that can be watched again and again, and enjoyed even more at each subsequent viewing!
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on 12 September 2006
All three of the short films featured in memories are unique and beautiful in their own way. However i did find at points (although it pains me to say it) that i wanted the story to end.

The first film was by far my favourite due to its strange but immersing plot, even though there was not much action taking place.

The second film was probably my least favourite as i felt the story tended to drag on and wasnt exactly the most imaginative piece of animation i have seen. However the animation was very nice.

The final film was the film i am most indecisive about. The animation although slightly odd, became a thing of beauty as you begin to accomodate yourself with its uniqueness. The story itself was suprisingly interesting, however ended with possibly the most abrupt ending ive ever seen to a film, just as i was beginning to get into it.

For these reasons i can only give the dvd 4 stars even though i want to give it five just for the first film. My advice would be to buy it but, like me, buy it for a low price.

p.s. by the way the extras arent exactly awe-inspiring, but then again ive never seen the point of them.
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on 7 June 2016
Excellent movie, worth watching if only for the animation, music and the first segment - Magnetic Rose.

Came as advertised, arrived earlier than expected, in only 4 days! Considering this is my first order from to Serbia, I was not disappointed.
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on 7 June 2014
Enjoyable but somewhat dated animation from three of anime's leading early exponents. Magnetic Rose is an effective 'Bermuda Triangle' tale; and Stink Bomb neatly covers environmental disaster with a slightly comic tone, but Canon Fodder is the piece that, for me, looks and feels like something different. There are strong notes of Gilliam-esque styling and it left me feeling quite happy to watch another half hour exploring the grim, distopian lives of the central characters - it feels like the first chapter, or perhaps prologue, of a feature length story of one cog battling against the authoritarian machine. Entertaining stuff for anime fans.
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on 20 March 2013
An amazing collection.

The first short "Magnetic Rose" was my favourite, and in my opinion, the best. Written by Satoshi Kon who made Paprika, Perfect Blue, Millenium Actress and Tokyo Godfathers, you know you're in for a treat.
The visuals are amazing, the storyline is a beautiful blend of horror, sci-fi and opera.

The second "Stinkbomb" is very different to the first. It's quite funny with a sinister edge - a bumbling scientist causes a terror alert. I did not enjoy this one as much as the other two stories simply because I found the main character annoyingly stupid, but then, he has to be for the story to work.

The third story "Cannon Fodder" I enjoyed as much as the first.
Set in a bleak, grey dystopia this story visually looks much different to your average anime.
The story is a day in the life a family - husband works with cannons, wife works in a munitions factory, boy at school. It's a very simply told story yet there are so many levels to it. It gave me lots to think about. And it's universal; the city's location is not specified and yet it could apply to any countrys history, past and present.

A must watch for all.
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This DVD consists of three short films (around half an hour each). There doesn't seem to be any common theme between the three films and each has a very unique feel, even the style of animation looks very different.

The first film is called "Magnetic Rose" and is best described as a Space Opera - quite literally! Science fiction and art come together in a rather beautiful film about a spacecraft crew who discover a distress signal from a former opera diva. It's not easy to follow and it's easy to get lost in the imagery of the piece. The opera music and the abstract visuals remind you of 2001: A Space Odyssey, but this isn't a tribute or a re-hash. It's very much its own piece of work and despite the fact that it isn't always compelling, it still manages to keep your attention and is worth it for the poetic ending.

The next film in couldn't be more different in style, "Stink Bomb" is a darkly comic film about a man with a bit of a cold who takes a pill to ease his symptoms - and ends up becoming a biological weapon! Most of the comedy comes from the fact that he doesn't know that he's the cause of the destruction he encounters as he staggers around Tokyo trying to deliver a briefcase. The conclusion to this film isn't as stirring as the first, but it's still intriguing as you are left not quite knowing how the issue is going to be resolved.

The final film continues the dark tone, but drops the comedy. It creates a world where a city in perpetual war against an unnamed enemy occupies the national conscience of society to the point that every facet of life is determined by it. The artwork looks influenced by the old Communist Soviet Union posters and the story feels very much like George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-four (a favourite book of mine). We see a young boy at school, his lessons initially seem normal but it's clear that the city's involvement in the war and the use of it's massive cannons are at the centre of any tuition. Military successes are lauded despite any evidence that any actual progress has been made. The name of this short - "Cannon Fodder", reminds us of the futility of war in terms of human life and is clearly the most allegorical film of the three.

In a nutshell: Each of the three shorts looks different to the others, the style of the artwork and the tone/content of the stories cover a wide spectrum of genres. They aren't natural partners on this DVD but they are all thought provoking and achieve this using the same method: I said there was no real commonality between these films, but I was wrong - they all have endings which although seemingly abrupt - they give each film closure while also keeping the story open-ended. You are left still thinking about how the story continues beyond what you've seen, and that's a powerful thing to achieve.
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on 14 February 2008
Even though I was not a huge fan of "Akira", I could see that the work Otomo did with the animation was outstanding. In this production, the legendary artist and director, delivers three stories (directed by others) that are not as spectacular in terms of the graphics, but that more than compensate for this with the quality of their plots.

In Magnetic Rose, a spaceship that is ready to return home after one of their typical and uneventful missions gets a distress signal and has to provide assistance. Upon arrival, they find a strange ship, inside what looks like an asteroid. Thus starts a wonderful story, that makes us use our brain throughout its duration and leaves us thinking afterwards. The beautiful Opera music brings an emotion to the action that I have seldom seen in the genre. This was my favorite piece of this set.

Stink Bomb has a completely different flavor; it is highly entertaining, but consists of a much more linear story. A scientist fighting a cold is looking for relief and takes a pill from his boss' office thinking it is an experimental cold medicine. To his surprise it is a bio weapon that has some pretty nasty effects on humans and animals around him. This is definitely an original view on a doomsday scenario.

Finally, in Cannon Fodder we find a society dedicated to waging war. Kids in school study trigonometry to understand how to find the theoretical location of the target and aim accurately. Men work manning the cannons, which are present all over the city. Women are in charge of manufacturing the bullets. The story is interesting but compared to the other two I found it to be too slow at times. The message is conveyed loud and clear though.

The common denominator across these stories is that they make you think. This is not the typical anime, with a hero fighting against the evil guys. Instead we find stories that have many layers and messages for the viewer to discover and ponder. As I mentioned before, the graphics are not the best I have seen, but they are still pretty good. Those that are looking for a more meaningful and complex anime experience should definitely investigate this collection.
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