Movie Review by Nigel A. Messenger
Starring: Toshio Furukawa, Scott Weinger
Director: TarO Rin (RintarO)
As Japanese ‘manga’ animation, METROPOLIS is not a children’s cartoon. Based on the comic of the same name, this is the story of a detective and a young boy visiting the city Metropolis to track down a wanted criminal scientist who is building the ultimate robot, Tima, for Duke Red. Duke Red is plotting a military coup to overthrow the government and his ultimate goal is to put his robot on the throne to rule and use a super weapon he has developed to take over the world.
Meanwhile his adopted son is set on hunting down and killing Tima and the young boy who, separated from the detective is now trying to survive in the cities underworld. Also Tima doesn’t know she is a robot and thinks she has simply lost her memory to explain her inability to remember her past.
So are you suitably confused yet? Well you should be because this really is a very complex story. It also doesn’t help having to read the English subtitles. The manga animation is quite good. The backgrounds are very detailed and impressive but strangely the actual characters are quite simple. It’s a bit like a childs cartoon on top of complex animation. I didn’t really like this particular style and if anything the intricate backgrounds make the picture so crowded it only adds to the confusion of the storyline.
I would stress that I really don’t think this is suitable for children just because it is animated. Japanese manga has its own following and METROPOLIS will only be of interest to that audience. If you like manga – see METROPOLIS and make up your own mind.