Memories

By Mark McPherson, 20th May 04
Mark McPherson profile
Koji Morimoto, Tensai Okamura and Katsuhiro Otomo collaborate on one of the most imaginative anime films ever created. What originally started as production for an OAV series quickly turned into a theatrical masterpiece. The film combines together three creative animated films from each director.

Episode 1: Magnetic Rose A group of space junkers embark on a rescue mission at an abandoned space station broadcasting an SOS in the form of an opera song. Two of the men enter the space station only to discover it is a hologramic paradise haunted by the image of an old opera singer by the name of Eva. Magnetic Rose acts as a science fiction ghost story combined with breathtaking visuals and superb opera music. The backstory on the main character is carefully flushed out as the holograms begin to reflect his actual life. The animation is smooth, the dialogue perfect and the story moves at a slow, but very progressive pace. Another interesting part about this piece is that the physics

of outer space have also been taken into account. This an excellent piece of animation that doesn't get bogged down in theatrics or loses it's storytelling. Magnetic Rose is, simply put, a science fiction marvel.

Episode 2: Stink Bomb A young man who works at a lab has a nasty cold. One of his co-workers suggests he tries the new cold-medicine on the bosses desk. He takes one and has a light nap. When he awakes, all of his co-workers are out cold. He is then contacted by his superiors that he must grab the pills on the bosses desk and bring them to Tokyo at once. However, as he makes his way to Tokyo, everything around him dies. It soon becomes clear that the pill he swallowed is somehow causing everything around him to die. The government must now take every step to kill this man to ensure the safety of Japan. However, that is easier said than done. Stink Bomb was made right after

the production of Roujin Z and it shows. This piece is to act more or less as a comedy. From the way it sounds, it seems pretty serious, but the comic character designs and upbeat music suggest otherwise. The animation is above average, but compared to the other episodes of Memories, it's the weakest and less creative of the bunch. Still, it has a story not too different from that of Doctor Strangelove. If you like dark comedies, Stink Bomb is a good choice.

Episode 3: Cannon Fodder Katsuhiro Otomo's episode in this film is a very original departure from the norm of anime. In this piece, we are introduced to war-crazy society in which everyone in this city has devoted their lives to defeating an unknown enemy. There are cannons mounted on every building, almost everything is powered by steam and pro-war posters are posted all over. It doesn't seem too different from what life was like in the 1930's. The films follows around a

family composed of the father, a cannon loader, the mother, a shell maker, and a school boy who dreams of becoming the one who fires the cannons. Although the whole film is just a peak into their average lives, it works very well as a piece of animation. There are entire scenes that will act as a huge camera pan with a different action happening in each one of those pans. The use of transition from one scene to another is also a nice touch. Cannon Fodder also has come odd, but very creative character designs. It may not be everyone's favorite, but it fits very well into the film.

Overall, Memories is a must have for any anime collection. It may not have the elements of anime you are use to, but it serves well as a creative collection of animation. In terms of being far-thinking, original and imaginative, Memories is by far one of the best animated films out there.

10/10

By Mark McPherson, 20th May 04

Memories

Memories anime review

Country of origin
Japan

Format
Film

Running time
3 episode movie

Year of production
1995

Directors
Katsuhiro Otomo

Production
Bandai, Kodansha, Shochiku Films

Memories Reviews

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