August 7th, 2009

Art rei

The Sky Crawlers

I have a new AMN Anime/Eastern Image review for The Sky Crawlers, Oshii's latest philosophical epic.  I've taken to watching English dubs first, since I need to watch both versions and typically can't stand the English once I've seen the Japanese, and I'm not sure how much that may have impacted my initial impression.  The first time I watched it, I was honestly bored to tears for the first 90 minutes; it wasn't until the last half-hour that it felt at all rewarding or meaningful.

For the second viewing, I watched the Japanese version.  Apart from some terrible Engrish at some points, I did enjoy the Japanese version a bit better, but as far as I could tell, the English dub really was rather faithful for the most part.  I think it was having already grasped the elements behind the film and their relevance to the action that helped me better appreciate it the second time.  Either way, the film is beautiful both aurally and visually, and it does have good themes and meaning; it's just that Oshii's taken his trademark melancholic mood and pacing to new depths that might not be enjoyable for a lot of people.