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Old 14-08-2002, 11:46 PM   #1   [permalink]
Dryden-san
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Join Date: 11 Dec 2000
Location: Philadelphia
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Review: the Sakura Wars movie

They were showing it at Otakon (I thought I'd be watching Char's Counterattack) and I realized they're might be fans of the series who were curious about it. If you scurvy dogs haven't already hit up Kazaa for a copy of your own that is. Anyway...

I'm familiar with the idea of the series (an all female opera troupe defends Paris from demons with steam-powered pastel mecha) but I haven't actually seen any of it. Therefore this review is biased and hateful. Well, not so much hateful, but the musical number at the beginning of the movie was the best part. Reason being, the song was really nice, but the rest of the movie was strictly average. Anyway, it's all about this movie-original (start screaming) character named Lachette who shows up to bolster the Hanagumi. Apparently she did something at some point, or possibly she didn't do something because she used to lead one the groups and now she doesn't. I can't explain it and the movie sure as hell doesn't. That's right, they will never tell you just what she did that was so awful. My theory is they threw her out because she's an indecipherable, castrating whore. She's also the most ruthless fighter, with little concern for the safety of her teamates, because they haven't used that stereotype in this anime yet. Anyway some demons attack, but it's too dark to make out any details because the production staff didn't want anyone to see how lame they look. Production IG is really slumming with this one. They also repeat the footage of the train launching once too often. Bleah.

Where was I? Right, plot. They girls are rescued from certain death by a mecha running on auto-pilot. It's new prototype to replace them built by an evil american businessman. You can tell he's evil because he's American. And he has a demonic assassin doing his bidding. This competition with the Hanagumi is the subject of much conspiratorial whispering around a round table in a darkened room by a bunch of politicians. Who let Mamoru Oshii into the director's chair?! Whoever directed the damn thing, they're somehow under the impression that the target audience finds footage of wrinkly politicians more interesting than cute anime girl antics. So these new mecha have a darrrk secret which eventually comes out, and there are a few more equally lame battles and I probably would have cheered when Ogami showed up if I were a fan of the series, but I'm not. Small loss.

The whole thing wraps up with the most bizarre improvised opera since Ultros and Locke lit up the stage in Final Fantasy VI. And in the end everyone forgives Lachette for whatever it is that she did despite the fact that she just stabbed Sakura in the stomach. But Sakura joins the group hug too, paying no more attention to the stab wound than a splinter. So that's a happy ending I guess. I would have preferred them to finish up with a Can-Can myself.
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