Growing tired and frustrated with caring for the elderly simply because it's cost demanding and physically taxing. The government plans on putting to action "Project Z". They build a supercomputer dubbed Z-001, which is in the form of a bed that is linked to a persons brainwaves, and in theory provides all of the essential needs to care for them, which sounds like a great idea. However, it's devoid of the caring emotion that one needs from other people. Their first unwilling patient is Mr. Takazawa. The nurse caring for him named Haruko is uneasy about his situation, and she attempts to free him, but there is more to the bed itself than originally expected. -summary
I'm not a rocket scientist and I never claimed to be one, but it doesn't take one to see the primary reason why this anime film is hailed as a classic. Can anyone guess why? Well, it's written by the creator of Akira himself Katsuhiro Otomo. Therefore, this film is great and it's a classic because he can do no wrong. Personally, I never bought into Akira's masterpiece status, and I don't buy into this films status as great anime either. I find it to be decent at best.
It appears that Otomo was shooting for something thought provoking and he succeeded. Roujin Z definitely has a very interesting concept. I do know what it's like to help take care of an older person who can't feed or wash themselves. It can definitely feel like a burden a lot of the time, and sometimes one could just wish that the person would go away. It's a very evil and selfish way of thinking but that's human nature. The film uses these feelings to establish an emotional link with the viewer, and at the same time it provides a solution to their problem. The peoples reaction to the first live display of the beds capabilities is proof. At first, the direction was pretty well done painting a picture of the selfish nature of people. Some of the folks in the audience were even uttering that they can now take a vacation. They completely ignored that the person still needs care from other human beings. Otomo had something serious and really deep going on here, but decided to turn it into a satire of Japan's feelings towards the elderly. I wish he could have been more serious with this one.
I really didn't care for the direction that the film went, and I wasn't gripped by the plot at all. The film dabbles between comedy and action in the form of a silly cast, as well as uninteresting mecha fights. The only reason why my rating doesn't plummet any lower is because the mecha battle and wacky madness is actually necessary. They play into the themes and the heavy symbolism taking place with Takazawa. The substance present in the film can seriously have some viewers saying "Wow!", once everything finally comes together. I really didn't have a problem with the music, because it fits well with the comedy and action, but there's nothing truly note worthy. This also goes for the voice acting which didn't stand out to me for either language.
The bit of comedy present certainly delivers through the animation and artwork. The facial expressions can be funny on certain occasions, and the action scenes have decent animation. The viewer gets to know several characters personalities somewhat, but there isn't much for character development outside of Takazawa.
Overall, I feel Roujin Z is worth a watch to the more serious anime fan. It's not something I'll be watching again and I don't consider it bad. I feel it could have done without the silliness. If you come into this searching for loads of blood and action, or even a dark angst ridden story shades of Akira. Then you'll definitely be disappointed. The movie has an 87 minute runtime.
-Realistic and interesting concept
-Typical characters, weak plot half way through
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Director: Tetsuya Nomura; Release Date: February 13, 2007
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