TAMALA 2010 a punk cat in space Premium DVD-Box - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: A
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: All
  • Region: 2 - Japan
  • Released By: Other
  • MSRP: �9800
  • Running time: 92
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Tamala 2010

TAMALA 2010 a punk cat in space Premium DVD-Box

    June 29, 2003
Release Date: May 23, 2003



What They Say
Fantasy anime written, produced, and directed by a team called t.o.L who also designed the characters. Tamala is a mysterious cat who embarks on a journey to find the place where she was born. Limited to 2000 copies.

The Review!
I honestly don?t know how to describe this weird little film. Words really fail me.

Audio:
The 5.1 track is really dynamic. The music and sound effects in the film are really well done, and this track really brings out the best elements of the soundtrack. I didn?t notice any drop-outs or distortions at all in either tracks.

Video:
All of the animation for this film was done on computers, so what they?ve done is just transfer the files onto the DVD. As a result it looks pretty flawless. I didn?t notice any problem with it at all. The subtitles are white, and are very good. I only noticed one grammatical error at the start of the film. The rest were perfect.

Packaging:
The DVD and extra goodies come in a rather thin and cheap cardboard box. On the front is the title of the film in English and lots of Tamala logos, and pictures of Tamala. It looks like a box you?d send through the mail, and I think that?s what designers wanted it to look like. Unfortunately the makers have decided to use shredded plastic to fill the empty space in the box so the goodies and DVD don?t move about during transit. It?s real pain to clean up once you open the package. The DVD itself is in a clear Amaray case with a picture of a bandaged Tamala on the front. The back has further shots of Tamala, a small section on the characters, and the usual synopsis and information box. Covering the DVD is a thick cardboard sleeve, which has the film?s title in English, and a picture of Tamala in her space suit floating out in space. The DVD itself has the same picture screen-printed on it.

Menus:
Unusual for most Japanese DVDs, this one has fully animated menus. Most scroll through a picture of the streets of Hate. The menus are mostly in English and are a breeze to navigate. Everything is laid out really well.

Extras:
Being that this is an ultra limited edition (limited to 2000 pieces), there?s some cool stuff in here. On the disc we have music videos for DJ Tamala?s "Hell Mix", which is a 7 minute house track with additional footage of Tamala mixing and scratching her heart out, and Trees of Life?s "Oneday for Maria", which is a nice little alternative guitar type track (they?re sort of like a heavier version of The Waifs). The DVD also has CG model clips of Meguro City and the giant robot cat Tatla, clips of storyboards, a gallery of the posters used in the film, and the theatrical trailer. One really odd inclusion is several magazine articles from the Japanese edition of Vogue, Elle and Figaro. Each magazine has done an article on an aspect of Tamala, but Vogue take the cake with CG versions of the robot cat Tatla modelling clothes on a catwalk. The DVD also contains pictures of Tamala merchandise, and a clip from a forthcoming TV series; "Tamala in Space".

The goodies in the box include a really well done Tamala and Penelope figure, a T-shirt with an abstract Catty & Co. design (in Japanese small size only), a rather small but arty poster, and a small holographic sticker. These extras are pretty good, but they could have been better. The figure is the only thing worth having here. There is a second limited edition set (limited to 5000 pieces) which only has the figure and DVD, which is much better value (and much cheaper too).

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
It is the year 2010. In an alternate universe (called the Feline Galaxy) inhabited by cats we meet Tamala, a childish one-year-old cat who lives in Megalo City on Cat Earth. One day she decides to head off to the Orion star system in her spaceship. Her 'human mother' doesn?t want her to go, so she covertly sends a cat mailman out to watch her and to foil her plans. The mailman shoots a meteor from his ship to stop her, and she ends up on the Planet Q. Here Tamala cons a young cat named Michelangelo into giving her a ride into the nearest city. They soon become friends (even though she continually calls him Moimoi much to his disgust), and they end up in a city called Hate. Hate is a very violent and seedy town, still Tamala and have a great time going to museums, bowling, and going to nightclubs.

One day Michelangelo and Tamala go out for a picnic. They are followed by a police officer dog named Kentauros. He?s a very seedy cop who keeps a mouse named Penelope in a cage. He enjoys sexually torturing her by trying her up and dressing her in S&M gear and taking Polaroid photos of her. He also has a gay boyfriend and enjoys beating the living daylights out of people on the street. Kentauros chases after Tamala and Michelangelo and he attacks them. Michelangelo manages to escape, but Tamala doesn?t, and it seems to Michelangelo that she has been killed. He returns to the city, but things seem to get weirder. Young children are having strange dreams about a giant robot cat, and Michelangelo seems to be having hallucinations. One night a maggot infested zombie cat comes to his house to tell him the secret of Tamala, her connections to the giant corporation Catty & Co., and a religion named Minerva.

This has to be the most surreal and bizarre film I have seen in ages. The film starts out as some sort of surreal black comedy, but heads into David Lynch territory about one hour into the film. It got a little too weird for me at some stages, but the odd slapstick humour was something that really appealed to me. At one point early on in the film, a giant robot Colonel Sanders with an axe stuck in the middle of his forehead is seen walking though Megalo City advertising Catty & Co. meat. There?s just something about a giant Colonel Sanders proclaiming, "Meat is good for you!" that just cracks me up every time.

Most of the film seems to work but there are probably a few too many characters in the film. Most of them seem to be there for one gag or scene. I did like the two transvestite cats who sat the bar waiting for their prefect man. They?re basically there to fill the viewer in on the city called Hate. The most probable reason for the over abundance of characters is that according to the Tamala 2010 website, this film is the first in a trilogy ("Tamala in Orion" should be the title of the next film). The film does leave a lot of unanswered questions, so I hope they manage to complete the other two films. I?m not sure if the creators were trying to make some sort of statement with this film about mega-corporations and globalisation or organised religion or if they just made the film for bizarreness sake. I find it works best if you just watch the film and not take it too seriously.

The style of the film is really unique. Most of it is in black in white and is in the style of early 1960?s anime. It?s got a real 1960?s retro feel to it. It?s very much in the style of Astroboy, Wonder 3, Kimba and other Osuma Tezuka anime of that period. It has of course much better animation, and is mostly 2D digitally animated and coloured. For the cat robot sequences, these are completely digitally animated in full 3D animation. This works really well. It makes quite an impact when the scenes go from black and white to colour. The 3D computer graphics are really amazing, and the opening scenes are quite life like. It?s obvious that the creators of Tamala 2010, t.o.L, are talented designers. A lot of work has gone into the designs of the worlds and characters. t.o.L not only direct, wrote the screenplay, designed the characters and worlds, they also wrote and performed most of the music. It varies from very up-tempo house music to dreamy guitar and vocal pieces and alternate garage band songs.

Overall this is one very odd little film. I would say that due to the style of the film, it probably wouldn?t appeal to a lot of anime fans. People who are into art house films and those who like David Lynch and David Cronenberg films will probably get a kick out of it though. It is mostly style over substance, but it mostly succeeds. It?s great that people are still willing to take a chance and do something experimental with animation. Check it out if you?re willing to try something completely different from most commercial anime that?s available out there.

Features
Japanese Language (Dolby Digital 5.1),Japanese Language (Dolby Digital 2.0),English Subtitles,Japanese Subtitles,Theatrical Trailer,DJ Tamala ? "Hell Mix" Music Video,Trees of Life ? "Oneday for Maria" Music Video,Art Galley,3D Tatla CG Model Clip,3D Meguro City CG Model Clip,Storyboard Samples,Magazine Articles,Tamala and Penelope Figures,T-shirt,Poster,Holographic Sticker

Review Equipment
Toshiba SD-2019Y DVD Player (PAL/NTSC, Region Free), 60cm Panasonic TC-59R62 TV set (PAL/NTSC)

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