Review: Anime Classics (3 Feature Collection) (2001)

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Distributed in Australia by:

This Anime Classics collection contains three feature films, which could not be more different in both content and style. The first is the Gothic tale of a vampire hunter at war with himself. The second is a film showcasing non-stop action in a fight to save the world from extreme evil power. The third is a touching story of a young girl’s search for eternal love. All three films have been previously reviewed here at Heroic Cinema, but with the re-release of the films as a collection, I will add my two cents and tell you what I think about each of them.

In Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust, the central character D is hired by a wealthy rancher to bring home his beautiful daughter, who has been ‘kidnapped’ by the vampire Meier Link. The animation is uniquely Gothic. The sound effects are excellent, ranging from the sounds of machines and weapons to those of screeching bats and trotting horses. The story is interesting and told well. There is plenty of adventure and action to be enjoyed. The characters are interesting, and character development occurs throughout the film. I love the mythical creatures, beasts and other fantastically strange beings. And D is such a cool character. This anime is an accomplished work of art, and a really enjoyable ride.

Spriggan tells the story of an elite team of fighters, the Spriggans, who battle to save human kind against monstrous half human cyborgs who acquire the hidden power from the recently uncovered Noah’s Ark. Visually, the film is splendid. Many scenes are complex, showcasing very detailed backgrounds and realistic human movement and facial expressions. The film even succeeds in achieving the feat of making darkness look good. The music is outstanding. The action is fast and furious, and the gunfights are fantastic. The story may be a touch philosophical but is nevertheless intriguing. Supervised by the director of Akira, Katsuhiro Otomo, Spriggan is an exciting anime that will please all action fans.

Millennium Actress is a touching tale of lost love. Chiyoko meets a revolutionary who gives her a key before disappearing. She goes on to become an actress, and through her movies, she acts out her real life search for this mysterious young man. The narration of this film is cleverly and skilfully done, moving effortlessly between fantasy and reality as the story unfolds. The animation is rich, with the snow, the trees and the flowers all looking really beautiful. The inclusion of scenes from many different movie genres could be seen as a tribute to the wonderful Japanese films from the past. And just in case you’re getting the impression that this film is the odd one out amongst the Anime Classics collection, there is no need to worry, because it actually does contain a small amount of exciting action.

This Anime Classics collection is truly remarkable. Here we have three films that are unique in their own ways, demonstrating the range of subject matters and animation styles that are seen in anime. The quality of the three films is simply amazing. If you are an anime lover, then chances are that you already proudly own this collection. But even if you are not a big fan of anime, I would still encourage you to check out these films, for I am very confident that there is something in this little collection that you will really like.

9 swords used by different anime characters out of 10.
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