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Stuff we want to talk about
Friday, August 04, 2006

I'm writing this late late Thursday night, as my friends are packing my things in the car to start the drive to Otakon. I'm tired, I'm excited, and I'm sure I'm going to make plenty of spelling errors. But here goes.

So, after the Rossman's original viewing of Saikano (aka She - The Ultimate Weapon) back in 2003, he swore off all sequels and/or manga-izations and/or remakes of it unless all they showed in a sequel or remake was "Chise getting ravaged by the Overfiend and all his tentacle pals from La Blue Girl all at once, followed by the bitch's decapitation and..." Well, it just gets a lot more disgusting and visual from there, but you get the point.

Anyway, some genius in Japan apparantly thought that the story wasn't told properly in the original anime, so he convinced a movie studio to make a live action (and by that I mean that it wasn't animated, not that it had any sort of real action in it) movie retelling of Saikano. For those who don't know, Saikano is all about this little, meek, high school girl who (for some reason that is NEVER explained) is turned into the Japanese military's "ultimate weapon", with lasers, and jet packs, and bombs crammed and hidden in her tiny frame. Chise, the weapon-girl, tries to live a normal life in her free time while all of Japan is being invaded by nasty gaijin, and she falls in love with a classmate named Shuuji who isn't sure he really loves her back.

Personally, I thought that the anime series was okay. I'm not one of those message board freaks who shits their pants and masterbates furiously to the very thought of this show, but I did not think that it was as horrible as the Rossman feels it was. So I went into the 2006 live action Saikano with an open and hopeful mind. Let me tell you something, hope doesn't float when it comes to most Japanese movies based on anime (oh man am I now worried about Death Note!).

The best part of the anime series was the building of the relationship between Chise and Shuuji. In the movie it's just glazed over and forced upon the audience.

"Shuuji, I... I love you! Long time!"
"Chise... Ummm, I kind of want to fuck this chick I used to know."
"Oh... Well then.. I guess I'll just go and kill more people now..."
"No! Wait! I DO love you, Chise! NOW go kill all those gaijin bastards!"

All the great character moments of the series were either forgotten or brushed over so quickly that it looked like the movie was mocking the source material. The hidden crushes and the love between people was brought up matter of factly RIGHT BEFORE each character dies! There's no lead-up into anything! And the actions scenes... WHAT action scenes? There are no cool "money shots" in this whole 2 hour movie. Yeah, the special effects on Chise when she turns into her Weapon self are pretty neat to see, but scenes with any cool effects are so very few and far between. And the fact that the super-science lab that Chise keeps going to for all her check-ups (keep in mind that she's the nation of Japan's LAST hope for victory in this confusing war, and she's jam-packed with tons of super, futuristic weapons and defense systems), this lab looks like the MegaPlayboy's damp and dank basement. Crappy lighting and old computer monitors everywhere with maybe some nekkid ladies displayed on the odd one. It's kind of like a mix of Ayanami Rei's apartment and NASA's 1960s mission control. Budget constraints much?

Anyway, they took all of the good parts of the TV show out, gave us a leading man who constantly looks like he's sucking on a lemon, and totally changed the entire ending. Eh, if I was rating it I'd give it a thumb down.

(The Rossman here: I caught the last 10 minutes of this pile of filthy shit and have to say that even the ending was much much worse than the TV show [which is entertainment for the damned]. I did like how Chise turned into Sephiroth at the end and fucking BLEW UP in space and all... but the fact that the entire bloody war ended with a truce, and Japan turned on the little girl who they butchered and mind fucked so badly up till that point?! Goddammit that just pissed me so the fuck off! They actually made a movie about a terrible anime series, and they made the feature WORSE. Only the Japanese could pull something this impressively craptacular off. Let's give them all a big round of applause!)

Now I'm off! Thanks to my friends for waiting! Let's roll out!

- Karen