MEMORIES (1995)

 

Format: 3 short stories present in a movie format totaling 114 minutes

Rating: PG-13 (AC, V)

Type: Sci-Fi (assorted)

American Production: Columbia/Tri-Star

English Dub Production: none (this movie is not dubbed)

Japanese Production: Mash Room

 

Grading

Magnetic Rose

Stink Bomb

Cannon Fodder

Premise:

B+

B+

B+

Story:

A-

A-

B

Writing:

A-

A-

A-

Character Design:

B+

B+

C+

Animation:

B+

B+

B

Artistic Merits:

B+

B+

C+

English Dub:

none

none

none

Musical Score:

A-

B+

B

Songs:

A-

n/a

n/a

 

Humor Content:

n/a

B

n/a

Action Content:

B

B+

C

Drama Content:

B+

C

B

 

DVD Presentation:

B

DVD Extras:

B-

 

OVERALL:

B+

B+

B

 

Synopsis – Magnetic Rose

      A space salvage crew in 2091 investigates a distress signal from a region of space littered with junk due to its dangerous magnetic fields. The two men who go aboard the apparent derelict find themselves drawn into a magnificent world created by the memories of a onetime opera singer.

 

Synopsis – Stink Bomb

      A young chemist suffering from a bad cold unwittingly takes an experimental drug being designed to protect against biological weapons. The drug interacts with his cold medicine in an unexpected way, instead transforming him into an unstoppable biological weapon. Things really become problematic when he sets out for Tokyo to deliver some important papers to his boss without realizing what he’s become.

 

Synopsis – Cannon Fodder

      A slice-of-life story concerning a family’s day in a city entirely focused on firing cannons at an unseen enemy.

 

The Long View - All

      This collection of shorts, each directed by a different director, was assembled under the guidance of Katsuhiro Otomo, who is best-known as the creative force behind Akira. Here he wrote the first short and directed the third, while the other two stories were directed by directors who would later go on to make their names with bigger recent projects (Koji Morimoto with Animatrix, Tensai Okamura with the upcoming Wolf’s Rain). The shorts are run back-to-back, with credits only at the overall end, and without an English dub; only a subtitle is available. The project was mostly forgotten by the anime industry until Columbia/Tri-Star rediscovered it in the wake of the resurgence of popularity for the re-release of Akira last year. It is an impressive find.

      The artistic styles of each story vary widely, as does the tone: the first short is a heavy drama, the middle is much lighter despite its subject matter, and the third (and by far the shortest) is a “slice-of-life” story. The musical scoring also varies between the short, with the first (and strongest) being operatic in nature, although the scores for the other two are respectable and effective. All are inventive and well-written stories, with the technical merits on the first two being quite good; whether or not you like the artistry on the last is a matter of personal taste, but it didn’t quite work for me.

      The rating given for Memories is primarily for some violence in the first short and the subject content of the second. It is a relatively mild movie overall, though, and any child or teen able to handle subtitles should, at the least, understand and enjoy the second two shorts.

      Memories is a great sampler of what anime can accomplish. It is well worth a look and should be in the collection of any true anime connoisseur.

 

DVD Extras

      The DVD itself includes company trailers and “Memories of Memories,” a making-of featurette about 20 minutes long. The DVD menus earn bonus points for being heavily cross-referenced. A booklet included in the case depicts concept art from each of the three shorts.

 

 

 

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