Cyberpunk Review » Metropolis (2001)

February 9, 2006

Metropolis (2001)

Year: 2001

Directed by: Rintaro

Written by: Osamu Tezuka, Katsuhiro Ôtomo

IMDB Reference

Degree of Cyberpunk Visuals: High

Correlation to Cyberpunk Themes: High

Key Cast Members:

  • Tima (voice): Yuka Imoto
  • Kenichi (voice): Kei Kobayashi
  • Rating: 8 out of 10

    DVD Cover

     

    Overview: Metropolis is a wonderful anime that, while it shares the same name as a far more famous movie, it is in fact a different story altogether. In this story, also set in an astoundingly beautiful futuristic city, with three tiers of inhabitants - the elite, the human working class, and all the way at the bottom, the slave-like robots. The powerful corporate leader who runs Metropolis, Duke Red, has created a structure called the Ziggurat, a huge tower designed to control all information and machines in the world. To make this possible, he hires Dr. Laughton, a genius criminal scientist to make a an super-android focal point of the Ziggurat, who is designed in the image of his daughter.

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    Fortunately for the world, their plans are disrupted when Shinsaku Ban, a detective from Japan, and his nephew Kenichi, arrive to track down and capture Dr. Laughton. They disrupt the “birthing” of the super-android, called Tima, and destroy the lab. In the ensuing chaos, Kenichi finds Tima, and thinking her human, rescues her from the destruction. They become separated from Separated from his uncle, and begin a journey of discovery in the lower levels of Metropolis.

     

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    Eventually, Duke Red learns that his super-android is alive and well, and dedicates everything to catch her. Over the course of the movie, Tima begins to learn her true nefarious purpose, while at the same time, begins to fall in love with Kinichi. This becomes a story of questioning what is humanity, and whether robots can be loved and treated like humans, or whether they are machines to be used for our purposes.

     

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    The Visuals and Sound: The visuals in metropolis are both varied and often astounding. We get a wonderful mix of 2D-3D graphics - unlike most movies, they are definitely weighted towards the 2D side. And I love how Metropolis makes the change in colors from almost a pastel-type opening to dark and dirty colors as the movie progresses. This is very similar to how Transmetropolitan does it in graphic novels. The characters are done in an interesting style, with almost completely round heads. This is disconcerting at first, but eventually you get used to it. And top top if off, we get some of the most wonderful use fo music in an anime. Some of the old fashioned Jazz tunes in here create a wonderful retro-type mood that really seems to fit.

     

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    The Bottom Line: Metropolis is a terrific little anime, although I would have liked to have seen a few parts of the script flushed out a bit more. Still, I love the movie, but it’s the ending that makes it for me. Tima’s question at the end pretty much sums up the purpose of the movie. This is a really nice exploration into the nature of humanity thing from a cyberpunk film standpoint.

    ~See movies similar to this one~

    Tags: cyberpunk movie review anime metropolis

    This post has been filed under Hot Cyberchicks Kicking Butt, Utopia Surrounded by Poverty, 8 Star Movies, Animes, Android Movies, Cyberpunk movies from 2000 - 2009 by SFAM.

    Comments

    February 9, 2006

    Terminal Reality said:

    Metropolis is one of the most stunning animes that I have ever seen. However, it’s obivous that some both visually and thematically aspects of it are heavily influenced by Fritz Leng’ Metropolis.

    SFAM said:

    It does actually have a few elements (come to think of this, I should have mentioned them in my review - I may update it). The central tower, the Ziggurat, clearly has the look. For themes, the idea of a corporately controlled society that is captivated by an android chick certainly is quite similar as well. The love story aspect is similar but different in many ways. But there are quite a few things that are significantly different as well.

    February 11, 2006

    Simonf said:

    Osamu Tezuka claims he had never seen Metropolis at the time he was working on his story and that the poster for Langs film was the only influence. Make of that what you will…

    Simonf said:

    I did a bit more research and it seems that Hayashi Shigeyuki who directed Metropolis added in a whole bunch of extra stuff that wasn’t in the original manga, such as the class struggle and the set designs from Fritz Lang’s original film. So it wasn’t written as a remake but it more or less became one in it’s translation to film.

    SFAM said:

    Hi Simonf, that sounds about right. It certainly far more similar visually to Metropolis than it is thematically. It really is a completely different story, even with a few similarities.

    January 10, 2007

    Steve Gilman said:

    I absolutely loved this movie. I thought it was astounding, and this is why. It’s very dynamic, it begins with a lot of subtle hostilities in the background and just opens and opens and explodes into this movie that you had no idea was coming. It’s weird, because the animation is a little cartoonie and kidsy and you’re like, “ok this is going to be a kiddie movie”, but the movie becomes more and more serious, and the contrast becomes shocking and tragic, seeing falls from innocence, grief, blissful ignorance being lost, and even death. This is especially affecting because you really grow to absolutely love and feel for the characters, and absolutely loath and hate the antagonists, it’s a real contrast of such angelic good, and such despicable evil. The environment that they create is so immense and enthralling, it’s completely astounding the way they create this city, which is the biggest city in the world, and slowly reveal more and more of it until you realize it’s not as beautiful as you thought - the vertical caste system, the oppression and mistreatment of servants, both human and robot. The people and atmosphere are kinda made like 1920’s era - fashions, old street lamps, blimps, even characters that are drawn and animated as they might have been at that time (think old mickey mouse eyes) - but this is done on purpose. Images of old rotary phones and a nest of wires rigged into some advanced technology and extravagance in the face of so much poverty gives you a sense that these people might not yet be ready to handle the responsibility that comes with the power that technology can provide.

    January 16, 2007

    SFAM said:

    Hi Steve, that’s a wonderful post! You should be doing movie reviews! Seriously, I’d like to add your comments above if you’re interested.

    May 15, 2007

    jude said:

    your move is very good.. i like it.. hehehe

    June 25, 2007

    MiNGo_GO said:

    It’s the best movie that I saw

    November 13, 2007

    reaperking-q said:

    This movie is so cool Tima is the coolest girl ever

    May 14, 2008

    daniel said:

    cel ma rumos film pe care l-am vazut

    February 11, 2009

    Anonymous said:

    wow this movie roxs

    April 5, 2009

    PinkyHellbitch said:

    I just gotta say that it is awesome !
    ^-^ I totally love it !

    June 16, 2011

    Chr1s said:

    Hi, thanks for putting me on to this anime - it was great, especially the cityscape and the soundtrack. However, your plot summary seems to be a little confused - did we watch different versions/translations?

    April 29, 2013

    Avtomat said:

    How is this movie deep and “exploring the nature of humanity”? This kind of morale has been done hundreds of times before and the script is completely cliche and childish. I’d rather watch Akira or GITS: Innocence.

    September 15, 2013

    Sa7Ke said:

    Awesome movie, i recommends to all anime lovers to watch

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