13 March 2007

Ink Blots LIV - Steamboy

Steamboy, released in 2004 was Katsuhiro Otomo's highly anticipated directorial follow-up to Akira (Akira being probably the most well regarded Japanese anime, at least in the US). Steamboy cost a whopping $26 million, making it the most expensive full length anime ever made. But the big spending did not pay off, as the film only mustered $10 million in receipts, less than $500,000 of that coming from the United States. Personally, I am not a huge Akira fan ( I hope I didn't just blow my credibility) but I still am surprised this film didn't attract a larger audience.

The film is set in 19th century Manchester where steam power is like pre-nuclear age ultimate power. It can be compressed in little orbs and when unleahed it sprays superchilled ice. Basically there are 3 generations of Steamers voiced by Rogue, Doc Ock, and Jean Luc Picard. Rogue or Ray "Steam" as he is called must decide to follow either his Father in using super steam balls and the steam castle to usher in a new scientific age, or his Grandfather in resisting the scientific advancement as that with enlightenment also brings more weapons and war. Its a decent flick, though admittedly, the power of steam bringing in the apocalypse is a bit silly, as are some of the character names. "Hi, my name is Ray Steam. Oh, and did I mention, I love steam." There is also a character named Scarlet O'Hara.

The animation blend of 2d with CG machinery however is great. In fact, the animation throughout is fantastic. It is much like that in Metropolis but with more realistic people models. Sadly, the film is not as good as Metropolis, but it is still entertaining, and different... if you are into that sort of thing. This "steampunk" adventure earns a B.

Steamboy - Director's Cut (Widescreen Edition)



j said...

When you say "Rogue" do you mean that the girl that plays Rogue does his voice?

Chip Chief said...

yeah, i wasnt too clear on that. its good ol anna paquin.

Shiro said...

I agree with you on Akira, way overrated. I've been an anime fan since the mid-80's, and I only watch it subbed if I have a choice, so I don't think credibility is a worry for me. ~_^

Chip Chief said...

thanks for the vote of confidence shiro!