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- Audio Rating: N/A
- Video Rating: N/A
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- Age Rating: All
- Region: 2 - Japan
- Released By: Bandai Visual
- MSRP: •10290
- Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Memories
By Chris Beveridge
January 01, 2000
What They SayThe Review!
© Bandai Visual
Memories is the most recent production that's involved Katsuhiro Otomo, the mastermind behind the Akira comics and the theatrical movie of many years ago.
While the Akira series encompassed a lot of plots and a lot going on, the Memories movie is three vignettes presented together. While each story may not be to everyone's tastes, there are likely to be at least one that you'll enjoy on some level.
The first story, Magnetic Rose, is one that most people are likely to enjoy, especially SF fans. A crew of space salvagers respond to a distress call on a massive yet apparently abandoned ship. Various incidents ensue, and the pasts of the characters are revealed through their memories, naturally. It's a very spooky yet engaging episode for the most part, and has some of the most gorgeous music attached to it.
I don't know who the singer was, but the opera style music and the incredible 5.1 sound on it make this a demo episode, providing you have time to show the entire episode. There are a lot of split effects, and the music truly enhances the show in every way.
The second story, Stink Bomb, is a silly good romp. Accidentally, a young bioresearcher takes the wrong pill, and combined with the medicine he's already taking, causes a side affect the creates a horrendous stink around him. Though I don't believe it was said, you can't tell if those affected are just unconscious or outright dead. With the level of which the military tries to stop him, I'm going to assume they're killed though.
This episode provides plenty of humor, a vicious yet accurate slam against the American military, and just a fun score to it. It's not a serious episode in any way, and getting to watch the Japanese military pull out all the stops to nail one guy on a moped is a sequence that needs to be watched.
The third story is the one most people are likely to hate, yet those who like it will most likely love it. Entitled Cannon Fodder, it follows a three person family and their single day in a world where war is all they know, and all they work towards. The father is a worker on the massive cannons that fire several times throughout the day at some mysterious and never seen "moving city". The mother works at one of the factories, while the son is in school and has dreams of one day being the person who fires the cannon (a position of royal authority it looks like) as opposed to someone like his father, who simply toils for the cannon.
I found this episode to be the most engaging and thoughtful of the series, much as I did the movie Wings of Honneamise. The animation is not normal style, and at times may feel very western in how it's presented. The colors and dark and drab, and some of the camera work is just perfect in how it slides in and around the various rooms we follow the family members through. It's basically a story where you can walk away from it with a number of different feelings on what the creative team behind it were trying to say.
The big bonus to this disc, besides a fantastic 5.1 DD mix, is the fact that it's got English subtitles. I'd seen a fansub of this movie about a month or so before, and the translations were very close, if not almost identical. I hope that English subtitles pop up on a few other theatrical features over there.
This'll be a toss-up for a lot of people, as it's an expensive disc for the usual US DVD buyer, but for those who routinely bought/by Japanese laserdiscs, it won't phase you much. The colors on the first episode are nothing short of gorgeous, the stories are fun and varied, and the sound is reference quality. Definitely my showcase region 2 DVD.
Dolby Digital 5.1 Japanese,Dolby Surround Japanese,English Subtitles,SSpecial bonus footage: 30 mins,Comes with an all-color 24-page booklet which is a reproduction of the original booklet sold at theatres