Review: Metropolis (2001)

Directed by:

Distributed in Australia by:

This Metropolis isn’t the Fritz Lang version but it did give inspiration to Tezuka Osamu (Astroboy) to write his own version. And now we have the final product of Tezuka’s efforts and although he is no longer here to see his vision, I’m sure he would have approved.

It is only fitting that Rintaro was given this monumental task to bringing Tezuka’s work to life. A veteran director of many anime classics – he directed one of my favourites, Record of Lodoss Wars, and was also an old friend of Tezuka’s. If you still have doubts, another Japanese anime legend is also on the credit list, Otomo Katsuhiro of Akira fame!

This is a serious, kick-arse anime flick. Eye-popping and gorgeous visuals aside (and you will get a visual feast like no other!) everything else in this film is just superb.

Set in the futuristic city of Metropolis, we encounter this gargantuan city through the eyes of a young boy, Kenichi, who follows his detective uncle on the hunt for renegade scientist, Dr. Laughton. His wide-eyed amazement is also our amazement, as he tries to absorb all that is going around him in this overwhelming city.

Under the impressive technological gloss, there’s a revolution brewing, the oppressed citizens of Metropolis have had enough of the ruling elite, headed by Duke Red and his minions. However the appearance of a female android, Tima, changes the fate of Metropolis and the lives of all its unsuspecting citizens forever.

I can’t recommend it enough! I think it even requires multiple viewings because there’s so much to take in. It’s a refreshing piece of work on many levels – the art direction is Tezuka’s but with Rintaro’s touch and a departure from the usual lanky, skinny anime style that is so prevalent today. The music is toe tapping jazzy and Dixieland numbers – very infectious! Most touching of all is that you know that every frame that you see has been crafted with a lot of love and heart (Awwww!) I’m going to see it again!

9.5 doe-eyed androids out of 10.
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