release year: 1988
genre: sci-fi animation
viewing setting: home DVD, 2/23/04

synopsis: A bunch of kids stumble across a government/military experiment, and one of them gets drawn into it.

impressions: I've owned this movie for years, but never been able to watch more than ten minutes of it. Now, finally, I know why. While it was a landmark in animation as it pertains to making a real movie, and while it was a huge hit in Japan, I found it to be convoluted to the point where it was painful to watch. The plot meanders, and makes little sense either at the beginning or the end. There were some good core ideas, especially the concept of a great, dormant, unknown power - but they didn't reach their potential. I do appreciate the visuals here, and there's no denying that the action is great and bloody and destructive...but without a decent plot, this falls into the same category as The Matrix for me. I'd rather have a second-rate Schwarzenegger movie with an actual plot than a top-notch action movie with no plot.

something this movie has that no other movie has: Wizened little kids with immense telekinetic powers.

acting: N/A, especially since it was animated and the voices were dubbed from Japanese to English anyway.

final word: Revolutionary in its time, but a waste of my time. If this is the best that "anime" gets - all flash, no substance - I won't be watching any more.

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