Metropolis (2001 – DVD)

“Well, if you are a human… who’s your father?”

I’ve wanted to watch the 2001 Anime ‘Metropolis’ for some time but hearing how gorgeous the visuals were, I thought I’d wait for a release on Blu-Ray.  However, the other day I saw a Double DVD copy in my local CEX store for a mere £4 and before I knew it I was walking home with it in my bag. The image quality is good but in need of the HD treatment’ while the extra on disc two features are excellent. Metropolis’ is a loose adaption of Osamu Tezuka’s 1949 Manga, by Director Rintaro and writer Katsuhiro Otomo (Of ‘Akira’ fame).

The movie draws inspiration from a number of sources Ridley Scott’s ‘Blade Runner’, Fritz Lang’s own ‘Metropolis’ and most noticeably Otomo’s own ‘Akira’.  Like ‘Akira’ the plot revolves around the idea of a childlike supreme being, who shadowy forces seek to use to rule the world but are heedless of its frightening power.  Seemingly lost amidst the teeming triple level city are a foreign Detective and his nephew who get caught between the competing political forces.  Along the way they are helped by various Robot slaves who show more humanity that most of the other characters.

The Steam-Punk look of the Art-Direction is indeed beautiful which is complimented by a wonderful New Orleans Jazz soundtrack.  State-of-the-art (For the time) CGI is blended almost seamlessly with traditionally animated characters and techniques to create a unique look.  Overall, while I found the similarities to Akira detracted from my complete enjoyment, I was greatly moved by the life and death struggles of the characters.  So now I’m left waiting for the Blu-Ray with even more anticipation.

Here is the heart-breaking finale (Spoiler Alert!):

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