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Movie Review of Sky Crawlers


After promotions and plugs on Anime News Network, Japanator… this news piled up on my RSS feeds of Google Reader until I found out about this event on Thursday evening. On a whim I decided to go to the screening of Mamoru Oshii’s new animated movie: The Sky Crawlers スカイ・クロラ. None of my friends actually wanted to go, but I was able to meet up with Omo who was there with his friend. I also saw Rym from GeekNights as well. This event was held at the Walter Reade Theater… which was next to Julliard, getting there was quite annoying with the scaffolding.

In a packed theater, the movie began at around 7:10-ish with a video message from Mamoru Oshii, who explained the movie’s setting and then asked theater goers to stay and consider watching the movie. This is a pretty humble verbal action. He also inferred to the culture of wanting to stay young forever, so this movie is a science fiction representation of a What-if scenario. Now what if there was that possibility of not growing old, and instead eternally doing the same actions over and over again?

I can say that the experience of watching this movie, was strange and wow. I don’t think I will want to watch this movie again, but this was an aesthetic experience I enjoyed.

As Omo verbally said, the movie was pretty. I agree with him, the sets were amazing. Some of the scenes were so realistic looking. This movie definitely shows off the fact that Japanese animation, with art and computer – makes scenes look realistic, even if they were not real locations. I actually felt a little dizzy from staring at the movie screen….

Still The Sky Crawlers was a pure artistic film, chock-full of symbolism and reminders that they were Mamoru Oishii’s work. Aside from the beginning and the ending credits, of course. There is a basset hound being featured in this movie, with more screen time – barking every time a plane arrived on the field. The drawings of the female character reminds me of Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, the mention of JinRoh as a character’s name, well… Jin-Roh – The Wolf Brigade… the planes and air field looked like a lighter version from Blood the Last Vampire… oh well enough comparisons now.

Minor rant of the ending, is the fate and destiny of the Kildren as being pretty abusive. Will they let someone rest? Now even though I don’t think I will re-watch the movie, some points that stood out in the movie for me are these:

  • Fuuko’s owl tattoo.
  • The streetcar that Tokino and Kannami took that darken city.
  • Shosuke Tanihara as the voice for Tokino.
  • The music of Kenji Kawai.
  • The manner in which one of the pilots folded their newspaper.
  • How there were many parts in the movie that was spoken in English, indicates the lingua franca power of English, or as I saw recently a poll- that many Japanese think it is cool to learn English.
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  1. toonleap
    December 14, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    I need to watch this movie…:)
    To be honest, from my point of view, Mamoru Oshii`s movies are a little bit hard to rewatch. I don`t know why…It is that his movies are not bad, but probably there is so much dialogue in there that at the end, my brain feels toasted.

    I think I will agree with you when I watch this movie…It is going to be hard to watch it again even if the movie is too good.

  2. miz
    December 14, 2008 at 1:03 pm

    Because even though I love watching Ghost in the Shell 2.. it’s been only a few times I have been able to watch it… still Oshii is a groundbreaking director for the American anime marker in terms of adult viewing… that has inspired others around him.. so I would definitely would support his movies…

  3. December 20, 2008 at 11:55 pm

    I really would like to check out his film, but I have a feeling that it will not be that impressive. Another anime I am waiting for is Genius Party Beyond.

  4. miz
    December 21, 2008 at 12:50 am

    The music is nice though, but interesting soundtrack for Genius Party Beyond.. wouldn’t mind seeing that movie one of these days…

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