Miyazaki envy can be the death of an anime director. Just look at The Boy Who Saw the Wind: By itself it's an enjoyable story. A bit trippy, but fun, in a rainbow sniffing sort of way. The only problem with the whole thing is how the story is told. It's told as if director Kazuki Omori thought he was Hayao Miyazaki (director of Kiki's Delivery Service, Laputa, and Mononononoke Hime), and ran head first into a wall several times before filming began in order to really drive that desire home.
Yeah, I've heard that the story of Boy was actually written a loooong time ago by some Brit, and that it was only animated recently (therefore, it came before anything Miyazaki)... But I honestly doubt that the original author had this final technicolor product in mind when he originally plotted it out. It's very obvious (from the way the villains are portrayed, the forgotten powers of the past are remembered, and the friendships are formed) that the director took detailed notes of Laputa, Castle in the Sky, and then put everything he learned/stole into telling the story of the Wind Boy. Only he just missed the formula by that much.
Okay, let me get into the meat and potatoes of the whole thing. A loooooong time ago man could fly. He could see the wind and ride it like the X-Men's Storm fucking a tornado... All wild and sexy-like. But soon man forgot about the wind and began getting greedy. We're told that because humans "wanted more" food and possessions and stuff that they weighed down their pockets and became too heavy to fly... Hey, I'm still with it at this point, just wait.
Anyway, the Golden Snake Brigade soon came into power (ride the snake), and began conquering the world. Then they wanted big bad weapons to do it faster. Amon (the main character who's a boy despite the fact that he looks like an ugly girl in all his close ups) and his mom and dad are basically the Golden Snake Brigade's bitches. Amon's dad is the chief weapons scientist in the country of the Ssssssnake and he discovers that Amon has the power of "light play".... Which means that he can go all hippy trippy and cause light to dance around and shit. And obviously this light can fuel big bad weapons of war. Do you see where this is going? Well, Amon's pop doesn't want his androgynous boy to become a power source for the military (why I have no farking clue, as he wasn't against creating horrendous weapons of mass destruction for an uncaring military in the first place. But I guess he just didn't want anybody else to share in his glory), so he burns his lab down and runs off with the fam. But the Golden Snake doesn't like that and they kill ma and pa and capture the boy anyway. Amon soon escapes from the Snake (and his dad's treacherous bitch assistant) by jumping out of a very high in the sky Snake blimp (if you didn't feel you were in a Miyazaki wannabe flick before, this mode of transportation would definitely flip that mental switch for you). With the help of a talking eagle (wha?), Amon quickly learns to fly himself and then meets a giant bear/giant sloth creature who tells him all about the ancient people who used to be able to fly... Just like he just did. Then the creature gives Amon an ocarina (seriously, what the fuck is the fascination that the Japanese have with ocarinas?).
Christ, then it gets even more bizarre. Amon does some stupid stuff and ends up in a coastal town where he meets a girl (who looks like an ugly girl in all her close ups... Hmmm, come to think about it, the character designer was really kind of shitty at his job. All his "cute" designs really suck). This girl is strong and knows how to ride the water with the help of animal friends, but don't read anything into that. They don't really hit on the yin-yang relationship between water/wind and fish/birds that Amon and Maria (the fugly girl) have. In fact, they soon blow the living tar out of the whole coastal village and kill all the characters that we just met and never learned to care for faster than you can say "Faster, Pussycat!" As a matter of fact, that was one thing that really confused me about this movie: the switching between "light childhood adventure" story to "all out blood and guts kill 'em all" drama in the blink of an eye. The Boy Who Was Trippin' to See the Wind would get a hard PG13 or an R rating if it ever got released in the States. Not really for the kiddies.
Where was I? Oh yes, the Village of the Dolphins is leveled and Amon and Maria then head back to Snake City (Why? I have no idea) and then some tangled storytelling occurs and the bear/giant sloth thing gets incinerated, and then the big ending happens. Now, this "big ending" (as they were sure to have called it) is kind of big, but reeeeeeally far out, man. Seriously, the citizens of the Snake coup d'tat I got, but everything after that ominous gunshot (see the movie if you want to know) is just a mindtrip and a half. It's like they wanted to do the typical Miyazaki ending, but then halfway into it said, "Whoooooa, man! Like, wouldn't it be groovy and funktastic if we like made it all spiritual in the end even though there was no lead up to that kind of finale at all in the first 120 minutes of the movie? That would be like wiiiiiiild, man!" Looking back on it with sober eyes now, it is just beyond comprehension. The ending to this thing is just so weird... Not even in an End of Eva weird where you were expecting it. Just a weird weird that defies the laws of logic and pleasant storytelling.
Not to say that The Boy was a bad movie. I want to make it clear that it was okay. Not great, but fairly enjoyable. It was obvious what they were trying to do with it, but also obvious that they just didn't have the talent to reach the high mark of excellence that they were reaching for. And that ending... Seriously, that was more bizarre than FLCL's conclusion. Just not as funny. And no hot alien chick on a Vespa.
Ummmm, was I supposed to be taking notes during that? I think I kind of got a bit confused while watching this thing (too many ugly girls running around and flying with golden sparkles) and missed the point. Did they say that humans could and can fly? Because that's a load of cow patties if I've ever heard one.
First of all there's the whole "wings" issue. No, not Paul's band from back in the day... And most definitely not that crapfest show with Antonio the cab driver. No, I mean man doesn't have wings. Sure, I've been known to graft a pair of feathery or leathery wings onto the back of the closest baby I could find, but that only drove them into mad killing sprees. Flying mad killing sprees where dirty diapers rained down on the masses like unholy dirty bombs from above. But that just went to prove that man was never meant to fly.
Sure, I've tinkered with Bob From the Future's anti-gravity gun and tried to merge anti-gravity particles with human DNA with unholy results. But that only produced evil creatures from another dimension that craved baby intestines (Hmmmm, it all goes back to babies, doesn't it), not flying men.
And then there was the part of the tale in which they tried to tell us that anybody who wants to rule the world is automatically evil. Why, back when I was first starting out in the mad scientist biz I caught the bug to build a doomsday device in order to get the world leaders to call be "daddy" just once in unison. I learned my lesson (mostly that if you get all the leaders on one video phone call at the same time and you're not wearing any pants, don't let the camera show you below the waist), but that doesn't make me evil. I hate it when all mad men are lumped into one all encompassing category of badness just because the writer has a small mind. Screw them all!
Arrrrrrrr. This movie would be the death of me if me mates and I didn't steal all that Aztec gold way back when and get cursed to never taste mead again fer the rest of me days. Arrrrrrrr.
Seriously, I put a bullet in me own head about halfway through this tale of treason and testicular cancer... But to no avail. I even asked the Rossman to somehow snuff me out so that the movie would not own me soul, what with all the hideously deformed children and their gay little way of flyin' through the skies like seagulls lookin' fer a place to shit upon. But I think the Rossman misheard me and instead tried to make a "snuff film" that revolved around me anus and me own pegleg, co-starring a parrot and a hooker with no left eye. Arrrrrrrr. If I did go that way, I don't know whether I'd be happy or glad anyway.