Thursday, September 19, 2019

Animated Reviews: Promare

Y'know, as a rule, I don't like dogging films. Offering constructive criticism? Sure. But flat out telling people not to see a movie? That's really rare for me.

You see, I understand better than most how difficult it is to bring a film from concept to screen. Sometimes compromises must be made due to money or production time or dictates from on high by the suits who control the purse strings. Sometimes, even though you have a decent concept, you end up becoming a victim of your own previous successes.

And while the animation in the film was decent enough and I liked the concept -- a group of firemen who are called upon to stop mutated pyrokinetic humans from burning down the city -- however, everything from the story to the characters personalities and character designs to the frenetic camerawork to the plot twists all looked like they were lifted from Studio Trigger's previous hits: Gurren Lagann and Kill la Kill.

Galo Thymos? He was Kamina from Gurren Lagann. Aina Ardebit? A cross between Ryuko Matoi from Kill la Kill and Yoko Littner from Gurren Lagann. Lucia Fex? Nonon Jakuzure from Kill la Kill. Vulcan Haestus? Ira Gamagoori from Kill la Kill. Even the whole climax of the film felt like it was ripped from the final episodes of Kill la Kill as they battled the villain on a big ship. They even got the same voice actress who played Nonon Jakuzure (Mayumi Shintani) to play the exact same voice stylings for Lucia Fex.

Needless to say, the whole film really disappointed me as I walked out of the theater feeling like 'yep, seen it all before and done much better in the originals'.

And I felt the same way with the ending of Satoshi Kon's Paprika with it's overt parallels to the ending scenes of his earlier series Paranoia Agent, so it's not a problem unique to Studio Trigger.

I honestly got the impression that Promare was a film where the studio was pressured into making a feature and tried to take elements that they thought were successful in their other hit series and combined them to make something that they hoped would speak to the die-hard Studio Trigger fans.

I'm still in Studio Trigger's corner and I do look forward to their next production (BNA: Brand New Animal, due out in April 2020). But, I'm sorry to the Studio Trigger fans who like me enjoyed Gurren Lagann and Kill la Kill, I just can't recommend this movie. You're better off spending your time going back and watching episodes of Little Witch Academia.

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