Osamu Tezuka's Metropolis

Running Time: 109 minutes
Presentation: Widescreen
Audio: Japanese 5.1 (DTS/ Dolby Digital), English 5.1 (Dolby Digital), French
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, Thai
Special Features:

  • Theatrical Trailers
  • Animax Special (Making Of)
  • Exclusive filmmaker Interviews
  • Animation Comparisons
  • History of Osamu Tezuka's Metropolis comic book
  • Biographies of Osamu Tezuka, and Rintaro
  • Conceptual Art Gallery

    It is a time when robots and humans co-exist. The people of Metropolis are divided in two. The highly advanced technologically Above ground civilization, and the deprived and poor underworld dwellers. The powerful Ziggurat has been completed, and the surface people of Metropolis are celebrating.

    Duke Red is a power monger who rules Metropolis secretly, with ambitions to also rule the world. Using a wanted scientist by the name of Dr. Laughton, the duke wants to create the ultimate robot to watch over his powerful creation Ziggurat, the tallest and most powerful skyscraper known to mankind.

    Kenichi and his uncle are on a case to find the criminal scientist, and have followed his trail to Metropolis. When they find out he is working for the duke, they get much more than they expect. Kenichi is separated from his uncle in a deadly fire. Stumbling away, he meets Tima, who is herself unaware that she is a robot duplicate of Duke Red's deceased daughter. Both are being chased by the duke's jealous right hand man Rock, and the just awakened Tima gets a crash course in survival and life from her newfound protector and friend Kenichi.

    Can Tima fall in love? If she is a robot, why does she think she has feelings? What will become of the Ziggurat? Will the perfect city be destroyed? The fate of Metropolis lies in Tima's hands, and the deteriorating over-developed city is on the verge of a revolution and destruction from the underworld.

    The God of Anime, Osamu Tezuka, created three early works before his rise into mega-fame with such anime as (Astroboy). Famed director Rintaro (Galaxy Express 999) and legendary writer Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira) collaborate to make Metropolis's jump onto the big screen. If you know anything about the late Tezuka, you will be amazed at how scary his visions have slowly become reality. But does Metropolis live up to expectations?

    From a technical standpoint, the movie lives up to its hype. The scenery and backdrops are well-developed and amazingly drawn. You will want to stop in awe at the beautiful art. The character animation and style stick very closely with Tezuka's style of old; the wide eyes, the Popeye style arms, and disproportional sizes of limbs all give the movie its special character.

    The story was written originally about 50 years ago, but has now been re-written by Otomo, introducing new characters to make it more filmic. Some hard-core fans of the original work may not like this idea much at all, but it works well.

    Though the movie catches attention right off the bat, its energy starts to lag about sixty minutes in. Subplots get boring, and the admittedly beautiful artwork just gets repetitive; I wanted to see more story, not anything else, really.

    However, the music was a refreshing change with its jazz influence, appropriate for the time of the original manga's creation. It will stick in your head, though much of it sounds Disney-ish and in some scenes jarring.

    The final product feels like a fusion of European and Japanese influences, still retaining the heart of Tezuka's style. This is definitely a must have for his fans, an amazing testament to one man's vision of what the future would hold. Without a doubt, Tezuka was a genius, but would he approve of this theatrical release of his story? At the very least, the special features hold a lot of insight to this film, and to the master's work.

    Whether you are a casual Anime fan or a neophyte, you may indeed fall in love with Metropolis. It breaks ground for a new style of anime, combining 2D and 3D animation. Somewhat ironic for this milestone story from fifty years ago to set a new milestone.

    Buy Metropolis from Amazon

    Mish'al Samman


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