Jun 23, 2008

Dead Leaves (Anime)


Dead Leaves is an anime film which is noted for its breathtaking visual flair and nihilistic attitude. These word-of-mouth nominations give clear praise towards the disgustingly short film (43 minutes) and it deserves every one of them. With a visual style comparable to FLCL, Dead Leaves does nothing but provide dick & fart jokes and blend it with a dystopian landscape which surface crawls with extreme carnage.


Retro & Pandy (aptly named) are two bizarre creatures who awaken on Earth with no prior memories to what caused them to crash land on Earth in the nude. After a 3 minute ultimate destruction spree to get weapons, food, and transportation, they are locked up and sent to a prison which is structured on what's left of the Moon. Together, they will have to put their heads...and their genitals together to escape and find out what really happened.


The plot is over-the-top and the action is ludicrous. The style of animation is a unique way of preserving the background while exclaiming the action and broadening the onomatopoeia's to give a "Retro" appearance and create it's own specific mood. The pacing is what really shines. At times, I couldn't tell if I was frustrated at this film or if I was just having too much fun. At the fragile run time of 43 minutes, It's hard to really get absorbed into something so fast, but it all pans out fine in the end.


The creatures which populate the world of Dead Leaves provides a Guillermo Del Toro-esque population which breathes life into the busy crowds the same way Stan Winston creates his fantastical caricatures of Aliens, Dinosaurs, and other beasties. 666 and 777 are the "sub-bosses" of Dead Leaves. Their designs seem to relate and/or borrow from various video game characters sprawling many platforms. 777 seems like a blue version of Potemkin from Guilty Gear and 666 is like Kiros from Final Fantasy VIII.


All in all, an excellent animation surprise forms a frantic, high octane action epic sprawling a ruler's length in time. Too short, but too sweet. I'd like there to be a 6 episode series as much as the next fan would, but I doubt will see more of these two's adventures. If you like your nudity bizarre, sexual situations deranged, and gore and violence extreme and comical, Dead Leaves is right up your alley.


-mAQ

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