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  • Metropolis (2001): ***1/2

    Directed by Tarô Rin (Rintarô)

    I liked this movie. I generally don't like Anime, mostly because there's too much demon rape in it nowadays. I like my Miyazaki, but mostly because his stuff is so different from the run-of-the-mill Anime genre stuff you get out there.

    Metropolis also manages to avoid most of the pitfalls of Anime, thanks largely in part to the fact that it's based on a Manga by Tezuka, most famous for creating Astro Boy. As such, the character designs are different from what you'd usually see from Anime, and the story is different because it's based on a story from the 50s. It does have some modern sensibility to it so that it doesn't feel like you're watching a long episode of Astro Boy, which is a good thing.

    The story is good, but the world is the best part of it. Much like Lang's clasic Metropolis form so long ago, this Metropolis is about a wold of shining progress that's build on hidden, dark depths. There are some very dark things in this movie, very violent and intense, such as the hopeful revolution of the workers from the lower depths.

    The music is also fantastic, a crazy mix of Jazz and ragtime and soul and more traditional music scoring. During the final horrific climax when there is a massive explosion and the entire soundtrack goes silent for a second before bursting triumphantly into Ray Charles's "I Can't Stop Loving You" while you watch scene after scene of horrific destruction is truly a wonder to behold. A stroke of genius if you will.

    Oh, and everybody should go and check out Tezuka's website. It's absoulutely spectacular, and the poorly-translated Japanese texts are an absolute hoot. Click below:


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