The Voice Acting
Running Time: 94 minutes
Estimated Rating: 12 and Up
Released by: FUNimation
With animation studios such as Gonzo, Studio Bones, and Mad House behind this, how well does it fare?
I used to be such an anime nerd back in my college days, going through series by series in a matter of hours or days. That passion slowly died out though, I was on the search for new material. Something as beautiful as 5 Centimetres Per Second gave me an addiction to find something so compelling and so visually stunning.
I was recommended to purchase Origin: Spirits of the Past and I did so last September, but the DVD case was sitting around the bedroom, fully sealed and barely untouched.
Once I decided it was time to give it a go, I inserted the disc and the title music on the menu screen was just the perfect indication I was going to enjoy it.
I know it sounds all so bizarre to judge a movie based on the title screen music, but the soundtrack to any sort of anime is dead important to me. If it’s broken, doesn’t fit or poorly composed; the anime won’t interest me much. I need music that drifts me into the emotion of the story and of its characters.
Composer Taku Iwasaki has done music for such things as the Rurouni Kenshin OVAs: Trust & Betrayal and Reflection. He has also worked on Tengen Toppa Gurren Laggan, Black Butler, Soul Eater, and others. His prestige of being a great anime composer was cherished throughout the movie.
Origin: Spirits of the Past is one of the best visual anime movies I have ever seen, not quite on par with the creme de la creme known as 5 Centimeters Per Second, but it’s creative, it’s different and the visuals are just so striking to the viewers eye.
The imagery feels half cartoon, half real world at times, for example there’s a scene where one of the main characters Agito is riding a stream of water and the detail of the water just looked completely realistic and fascinating.
If someone had told me this movie was made by Studio Ghibli, I would have believed them.
I had went back and forth at times between English dub and Japanese, just to get a taste of how both sets of voice actors panned out. I, like, quite a few of you prefer Japanese voice acting, as it details and gives quite a genuine expression of the characters themselves. However, the Japanese voice acting isn’t really of high quality in this movie. Honourably for English speakers, the English dub is probably the better option as it presents some of the best high quality English dub voice acting for an anime series/movie. Of course, FUNimation has presented a few great voice actors in other anime series.
Quite a predictable story from start to finish, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s quite similar to the way Pixar and Hayao Miyazaki present their stories.
Although Origin doesn’t quite reach that level of quality, but the storytelling is still done very well.
The story centres around a boy named Agito and a girl named Toola who comes from the past. Agito lives in a world where genetically altered plants from the moon (It makes sense once its explained in the movie) have wiped out most of mankind and taken over most of the planet.
Once Agito and Toola meet, it turns into a “save the world” and “live in harmony with nature” type of story.
Given the fact that Origin is only one and a half hours long, with a story that starts off to build slowly at the start, it could have been graced with more time. However, due to the simplicity of the story, it leaves no plot-holes and no sudden ‘What if’s’.
Origin is still a wonderful movie, one to be desired by many anime enthusiasts, children and all-in-all it’s just a brilliant family orientated enjoyment as a whole.