HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Assassins
Fish That Saved Pittsburgh, The
Synchronic
Capote Tapes, The
Night, The
Show Goes On, The
Furnace, The
Tyrel
Iceman
Blue Sky
Tokyo Dragon Chef
Pittsburgh
12 Hour Shift
Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud, The
Spoilers, The
Killer Therapy
Man Upstairs, The
Bloodhound, The
New Mutants, The
Tesla
Flame of New Orleans, The
Ham on Rye
Imperial Blue
Tenet
August 32nd on Earth
Don is Dead, The
Seven Sinners
Body of Water
Away
Soul
About Endlessness
Let It Snow
Ava
Deliver Us from Evil
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
Midnight Sky, The
Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, The
Mon Oncle Antoine
Blast of Silence
Blackout, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
   
 
  Argento Soma Frankenstein, Anime Style
Year: 2000
Director: Kazuyoshi Katayama
Stars: Houko Kuwashima, Souichiro Hoshi, Jouji Nakata, Kikuko Inoue, Sayuri, Takehito Koyasu, Yui Horie, Yuuji Takada, Chafurin, Hiroshi Takemura, Shinichiro Miki, Yuki Makashima
Genre: Drama, Animated, Science Fiction, TV Series, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: In the year 2054, broody college student Takuto Kaneshiro (voiced by Souichiro Hoshi) is vexed because his girlfriend, Maki can’t spend any time with him. What he doesn’t know is she is part of a top secret science project researching giant alien mecha life-forms invading planet Earth. On the very day Takuto plans to pop the question, he stumbles across the underground research station where Maki and her fellow scientists have reassembled a mecha-monster from scattered alien parts, a creature they name “Frank” (Yuuji Takada).

Upon being activated, Frank suffers a relapse and inadvertently destroys its creators, killing Maki and hospitalizing Takuto. Members of the ruthless alien-fighting organization FUNERAL, led by alarmingly butch Commander Lana Iness (Sayuri), scramble their Zark transformable robot-jets to track the monster menace, but it’s top hat-loving, blonde moppet Harriet Bartholomew (Houko Kuwashima) and her faithful dog Walten who run across Frank amidst the lovely Alpine hills. The pair develop a symbiotic relationship, with Harriet able to control the savage beast with her lilting love song, and several other uncanny powers. With clearly more to her than meets the eye, FUNERAL fighter pilots Lt. Heartland (Jouji Nakata), Guinevere Green (Kikuko Inoue), stuffy Brit Dan Simmonds (Takehito Koyasu), and plucky youngster Sue Harris (Yui Horie) recruit the innocent child and soulful monster into battling alien invaders.

Elsewhere, Takuto is mysteriously reborn as Ryu Argento, a facially scarred, half-silver haired superhero with a grudge against Frank and a freaky, Shakespeare quoting stranger (Hiroshi Takemura) appearing in his dreams. The ranting spectre somehow helps Ryu become FUNERAL’s latest hotshot Zark fighter pilot, where he finds himself torn between revenge and defending the Earth alongside Frank and young Harriet, who bears a haunting resemblance to his beloved Maki.

While its title sounds like a composite of an Italian horror film auteur and a mythical Hindu love-drug, Argento Soma is actually Greek for “the Silver Body”, and the anime itself offers a space opera twist on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Aside from the monster’s name, several sequences recall the classic Universal horror movie, including a laboratory sequence complete with mad scientist ranting “It’s alive!” and the lyrical lakeside encounter between Harriet and Frank that conjures instant memories of the Frankenstein Monster’s meeting with little Maria. Except here the youngster charms the monster into saving her life.

The series delivers an ingeniously crafted, consistently intriguing mystery, with creative twists and turns. Although strong on ideas, the show had the misfortune to arrive around the time when anime was going through on of its periodic upheavals, resulting in lower budgets and lacklustre animation. Shukou Marase’s character designs for the supporting cast are somewhat unappealing, although Harriet has a sprightly, kawaii cuteness to match her sunny personality and there is a neat visual parallel between the misshapen mecha monster and the scarred, schizophrenic anti-hero. The solid screenplay asks challenging questions, including if mankind really did encounter alien life, “would our collective intelligence combat our base, biological instincts” or would we “attack first and ask questions later.”

Anime has repeatedly shown child heroes forced to fight in wars, but after the groundbreaking Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995), television shows from the late nineties into the new millennium began to address the consequences and probe the scars of World War Two. Here, the military cynically manipulates the trusting Harriet for their own ends (only Sue objects) and seems content to sacrifice innocent civilians to win a war. As in The Iron Giant (1999), the ultimate defiance sees an idealistic child teach a monster it has the choice not to be a living weapon.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 4312 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
   

 

Last Updated: