Saturday, August 30, 2014

ANI-MOVIES, *Legend Of The Millenium Dragon

Even though the English name for the title might seem, Onigamiden as it was originally known was based on a Japanese novel, even though the script was handled by sentai show-regular Naruhisa Arakawa, and animated by Studio Pierrot, which gave it a serious Ghibli look to it. It got a formal release in America through Sony Entertainment who regularly put out anime movies to a wide audience, although there wasn't as large a release for it in stores, despite all the advertising for it that was done on other video releases.

First set during the Heian Era of Feudal Japan, an ongoing feud between samurai and Oni(Japanese demons)has lead to unrest between the nobles and the countrymen. In order to end this threat, their head monk Gen'un uses special magic to travel into the future to find a chosen descendent who can control the large spiritual dragon called the Orochi. Gen'un taps the timid Jun Tendo who bears a special birthmark that allows him to control Orochi once it's summoned. The Oni show up to disrupt the Orochi's resurrection, and Jun gets taken by them. Jun learns that the Oni are in fact simple townfolk who can disguise themselves as monsters in order to use magic against the monks that work for the nobles. Jun turns against Gen'un, although he reveals that he was going to use Orochi to fuse with it and gains his powers. Gen'un is thwarted by his former disciple Reiko, a half-Oni/half-noble warrior that befriended Jun. Jun is then sent back to the future, and peace is restored to the past.

This was a visually bombastic animated movie, and seriously trying to appeal to fans of Haiyo Miyazaki. The main drawback though is the slightly weak characters and very limp dialogue. It's a great film to see on a large flatscreen or theatre, but mainly for the feast to the eyes that the animation itself brings.

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