Kôkaku Kidôtai (1995)
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I was underwhelmed. The visuals are great, but that's not enough to make a movie good. The film is surprisingly short: less than an hour and half, and I feel that was a major reason I didn't like it as much as I thought I would. The characters are interesting and the philosophical ideas are nice, and the few action set pieces (this movie had less action than I was expected) were memorable, but everything is so damned perfunctory. The philosophical ideas take center stage, but with such a short run time its difficult for them to rise above what you'd get in a freshman-level philosophy lecture. The characters barely had any time to express themselves or interact with each other, so they come across as shallow, and almost no time is given for world building. The audience is thrown into this sprawling sci-fi dystopia and before they know which way is up the plot and theme come hammering down. When the movie ended I had major feeling of "that's it?" I'm sure things are expanded upon in the sequels and manga, but good movies have to stand on their own, and this offered much less I than expected, especially since it's considered a classic of the anime genre.
I just finished reading Neuromancer, and wanted nothing more than to see a visualized version of it. Absurdly, decades after the novel first paved the way for cyberpunk, a movie version has yet to be made. This animated film is more than a sufficient substitute, however - dealing with many of the same themes (downloaded consciousness, artificial intelligence, computerized society, the cyborg, etc). Some great action sequences as well!
How can't you see anything human in this movie? guy down here is just exagerating. I think it's a good Sci-fi story about what does it really make us humans?
And isn't a " super complicated plot" come on, it's the same old big-corporation-doing-dirty-stuff-plot; really simple plot, huge stuff to think about.
And, obviously, really great visuals.
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In 11 official lists
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This movie ranks #4 in Paste's The 100 Best Anime Movies of All Time
This movie ranks #26 in BFI's 100 Animated Feature Films
This movie ranks #35 in BFI's 100 Science Fiction Films
This movie ranks #38 in OFCS's Top 100 Animated Features of All Time
This movie ranks #43 in IMDb's Animation Top 50
This movie ranks #64 in Total Sci-Fi's The 100 Greatest Sci-Fi Movies
This movie ranks #97 in Empire's The 100 Best Films of World Cinema
This movie ranks #199 in Jennifer Eiss's 500 Essential Cult Movies
This movie ranks #266 in Tom Vick's Asian Cinema: A Field Guide
This movie ranks #489 in The Guardian's 1000 Films to See Before You Die
This movie ranks #576 in TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films: 1001-2000