My original incentive to see this movie stemmed from its ethereal title that’s reminiscent of Ghibli. Moreover, it’s produced by the studio Brains Base, responsible for the highly regarded series, Baccano!, and has assisted on Soul Eater. It also helped that the production and character design were very similar to Ghibli, something that intrigued me.
To provide a backdrop, the story is based in a world where an ancient civilization lived, known only as the ‘Wind People’. This civilization was forced into near extinction by an evil empire (that wasn’t properly explained). The main character is the sole survivor of these people. Sadly, they never cared to explain why he was so during the entire film. This could have been overlooked, but it was just one of the many holes in the plot. The premise and the opening sequences were promising, whereby a family is seen running away from an unknown entity, with our main character. It definitely caught my attention and had the momentum maintained, this would have been an entertaining ride. Unfortunately, after the twenty minute mark, the movie took a nose dive into obscurity, where the plot and the characters are oversimplified and complete shifts in personality occur for no explainable reason. To address this, the characters just lacked any background, thus their actions weren’t clear. They didn’t seem natural or realistic. It didn’t help that the plot failed to sustain this, with many “Deus ex Machina” moments throughout. The setting wasn’t developed properly and the scenes were, as a consequence, decidedly disjointed, jumping to action-orientated scenes way too quickly, with no account for transition.
I’m trying to think of something ‘good’ to say about this movie, but it’s proving difficult. The production and soundtrack weren’t ‘bad’, but they weren’t fantastic (despite the promising character design, the likeness to Ghibli and the studio responsible). I’ll acknowledge that this was released in 2000, but when you have such series as Jin-Roh looking considerably sharper, both being three years its senior, from a studio like Brains Base, I expected more. In its ninety minute session (more or less), the first twenty were definitely the most enjoyable and there were a few amusing antidotes, such as the baker getting ready for battle, but overall, it just wasn’t explored sufficiently enough.
The rating I’ve given this series is generous, if only because I can’t allocate this alongside many of the ecchi (perverted) series, which have infinitely poorer production and script, but I can’t place it among many of the solid productions I could recommend or watch again, hence it will receive: