Category: Movie Reviews

Belle

Belle

Belle anime movie cover art
Belle

Beauty and the Beast for Zoomers

Belle (Ryuu to Sobakasu no Hime / 竜とそばかすの姫), also known as Ryuusoba, is Japanese Beauty and the Beast for zoomers. Just by looking at the cover art for the movie, you should be able to tell. But, there’s a lot more to it than that.

The main character’s name is Belle, which is the same as in Beauty and the Beast. Well, her name is Suzu (鈴 / すず), which translates to “bell.” And because of that, she’s known as Belle online. Also, there’s the Beast, which is pretty self-explanatory.

But, why do I say it’s for zoomers (Gen Z)? The movie Belle modernizes Beauty and the Beast by having most of it take place online in VR social media. Now that’s how you get the kids to relate. Also, there are a lot of cringy moments that I guess today’s kids would find compelling.

The Beast and Belle from the anime movie Belle
The Beast and Belle

If you couldn’t already tell, I didn’t like this movie. In fact, it’s the worst anime movie I’ve ever seen. But, I don’t want this review to be all doom and gloom. So, let me point out the two scenes I liked before continuing.

The first good scene comes right at the beginning of the movie when Suzu loses her mother. The whole lead-up where we got to see Suzu’s relationship with her mother was good. And so was the scene when her mother actually dies. The other good scene was when Ruka confesses to Kamishin because his reaction was funny.

Great, there were 2 good scenes. That’s not so bad, right? Well, this movie is a painful 2 hours long. Combined, these scenes might add up to 10 minutes of that 120-minute run time. They don’t make up for how boring and poorly written the rest of Belle is.

Right Stuf Anime is North America’s largest online anime product retailer.

Shop Now

Unimaginative Digital Universe

My next complaint about Belle has to do with the digital universe it portrays. The popular social media site everyone uses in the movie is U. As I mentioned, U is a VR social media site. But, you don’t wear glasses or goggles. You put in headphones and it connects to your brain or something.

How the device works makes no sense. But, what I care about more is what U looks like. It’s an expansive space with a lot of random characters in it. There are also giant, nondescript buildings we never see inside.

This isn’t only a problem with Belle. Summer Wars was kind of the same. I’m not sure why this is how anime represent virtual worlds. There’s nothing going on within U. Everyone just floats around. And when Suzu logs in and starts doing things, they all hate it. How dare she interrupt their mindless floating.

Suzu Naitou from the anime movie Belle
Suzu Naitou

Now, in Belle’s defense, its depiction of U isn’t that far off from Meta’s (Facebook’s) Metaverse. That’s also an empty wasteland. But, at least the Metaverse (poorly) tries to be a world you can interact with. U doesn’t even have that going for it.

Another weird thing about U is that it has a moderation team led by a single, all-powerful moderator. His name is Justin because he represents justice. And how does he dish out justice? By doxxing anyone he deems to be a troublemaker. Like, that’s the official moderation policy. You don’t get banned. You get doxxed to billions of people.

There are a lot of things in Belle that make me think the creators have never used the internet. It feels like an interpretation of what the internet would become from 30 years ago. If U was real, nobody would use it. It’s garbage.

Idols Against Child Abuse

I guess now’s a good time to explain the plot of Belle. And, to be honest, I’m not entirely sure what the plot was. It went through some pretty drastic transformations over the course of the runtime. And these transformations didn’t make much sense.

At first, the movie was about how Suzu learned to sing again. Music was something she and her mother shared. So after the death of her mother, Suzu couldn’t sing anymore. But, as the anonymous Belle within U, she could sing again. If that was the whole story, it would be good.

From there, it turned into the Beauty and the Beast story you’re probably familiar with. Everyone hates the Beast. Then, Belle meets the Beast and realizes he’s not actually that bad. The problem with this part of the story is that it’s boring. I’d rather watch the Disney version.

Belle singing in U from the anime movie Belle
Belle singing in U

Where things get wild is the final act of the movie. It turns out the beast is a 14-year-old boy. This makes sense because he’s an edgy teen. But, it was also foreshadowed earlier through a story one of Suzu’s choir members told. She told of her romance with an 8th grader in her youth.

That’s not the craziest part, though. Why is the Beast a menace online? Because he’s taking out his frustration from being abused at home. His father abuses him and his younger, seemingly special-needs, brother. And guess what. Belle (Suzu) is the only person who can save them.

It makes no sense. The police say they can’t help for 48 hours even though there’s literal footage of the abuse. So, Suzu travels across Japan to save some kids from their abusive father. And then there’s some “power of music” garbage at the end. The movie sucks.

Conclusion

I know a lot of people won’t agree with my assessment of Belle. But, at the very least, I know there’s one person who agrees with me. The top review of the movie on MyAnimeList by user BigOat brings up a lot of the same issues I had with it.

In the end, I have to give Belle a 2/10. The only reason it’s not a 1 is that it does actually look nice. And the music is fine. Some people like the music. But, I didn’t care much about it despite music being a major theme of the movie.

And, I need to wrap up this review by reiterating that this is a 2-hour movie. That’s very long for an animated movie. For anyone thinking about watching it, be prepared.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button down below. Also, follow me on your social media of choice — links are in the footer.

Finally, I’d like to thank Roman and JasonHK for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. And I’d like to thank Key Mochi for supporting at the Senpai tier. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

Join the DoubleSama Discord server to discuss anime, manga, and more with other members of the community!

Join Now

Spirited Away

Spirited Away

Spirited Away anime movie cover art
Spirited Away

Movie Overview

Spirited Away (Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi / 千と千尋の神隠し) is the fourth Studio Ghibli anime movie I’ve seen. And, it might be the best. The only other one (that I’ve seen) that can compete with it is Princess Mononoke.

Of the two movies, Princess Mononoke has a far more serious story, which I appreciate. But, Spirited Away is much more fun, both in terms of the setting and the characters. And while I know people like them a lot, My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki’s Delivery Service can’t compete.

What’s Spirited Away about, though? A young girl named Chihiro gets stuck in the spirit world. There, she finds herself contracted to work at an inn run by the evil witch Yubaba. Chihiro must save her parents, whom Yubaba turned into pigs, and return to reality before she forgets who she is.

Chihiro and No Face on a train from the anime movie Spirited Away
Chihiro and No Face on a train

Along the way, Chihiro makes some new friends, including a boy named Haku who also works under Yubaba. It’s Haku who teaches Chihiro how to survive in the spirit world. And, as we later learn, this might not be the first time Chihiro and Haku have met.

Now, one issue I have with standalone movies, in general, is that they don’t have much time to do things. It’s much easier to build a world, characters, and plot when you have, say, 12 episodes instead of under 2 hours. Ghibli movies are also geared toward children, which only makes this issue worse.

I’m not saying that Ghibli movies can’t be deep because they’re meant for children. And I’m also not saying they don’t appeal to adults. But, I’m always left feeling that we didn’t get to explore the interesting aspects of the movie. Everything gets set up and wrapped up too quickly.

Right Stuf Anime is North America’s largest online anime product retailer.

Shop Now

Main Characters

Chihiro Ogino is the protagonist of Spirited Away. She’s also the character with the most development, which makes sense. But, it’s not that hard to have the most development. The majority of the characters really have no development at all. If they have any change, it happens with the flip of a switch.

I’ll discuss Chihiro more in the next section, so let’s move on to the other characters, for now. Haku is the male lead of the movie. He’s the first person Chihiro meets in the spirit world. And because he looks like a human, Chihiro feels comfortable with him.

But, despite being an important character, Haku doesn’t get much development at all. His “development” is that we later find out he’s a dragon spirit. Does that change who he is at all? No. Does it matter at all? Also no. There’s not enough time in the movie to make it matter.

Yubaba from the anime movie Spirited Away
Yubaba

The villain of the movie is Yubaba. She’s a witch who runs an inn as if it was a factory with no worker safety standards. Why is she evil? I’m still not sure. I guess she wants money. So, again, we have a major character we don’t know much about.

Kaonashi, or No Face, is a spirit that Chihiro lets into Yubaba’s inn. It seems to like Chihiro and wants to give her whatever she desires. But, Chihiro doesn’t have time to be friends with a spirit she can’t talk to. So, she spends most of the movie ignoring it while it eats people.

And the last character I want to mention is Kamajii. He’s a spider-like old man who runs the boiler room. Despite not being the most important character, I do like Kamajii’s role. He’s our first real exposure to this world.

Sen and Chihiro

A major plot point throughout the movie is Chihiro forgetting who she was. At the start of the movie, Chihiro’s body begins to physically fade away within the spirit world. Haku manages to stop this from happening. But, from then on, Chihiro’s sense of self fades away as the movie progresses.

Why does this happen, though? Well, according to Haku, it has to do with Yubaba’s magic. When she makes contracts with her workers, she takes their names and gives them new ones. In Chihiro’s case, she was renamed Sen., And over time, she forgets that her name was ever Chihiro.

This magic extends beyond Chihiro forgetting her name. She starts to forget where she came from and her goal of saving her family. If not for Haku reminding her, she could have forgotten who she was completely and worked at the inn forever.

Chihiro and Haku from the anime movie Spirited Away
Chihiro and Haku

But, as it turns out, forgetting who she was isn’t all bad for Chihiro. It’s also how she’s able to develop over the course of the movie. In the beginning, she was afraid of everything and preferred to stay within her comfort zone. But, as she forgets who she was, she becomes much more willing to try new things.

At the end of the movie, Chihiro makes it back to reality with her parents. She doesn’t remember any of the events that took place within the spirit world. But, the implication is that she internalized what she learned there. She’s no longer as afraid of the unknown as she once was.

Basically, the moral of the story is that the unknown isn’t as scary as you think it is. While you might be afraid of change at first, you shouldn’t avoid new experiences. Experiencing the unknown is how you grow as a person.

Conclusion

Despite all the complaints I had about Spirited Away, I still gave the movie a 9/10. It’s a great movie because it’s fun to watch and explores its lesson in an interesting way. But, I also don’t feel like it’s a movie that I need to rewatch. It’s a great movie, but once was enough for me.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button down below. And come join our Discord server to discuss anime with other members of the community. We watched Spirited Away for one of our monthly movie nights. You’re welcome to join us for the next movie.

Finally, I’d like to thank Roman and Key Mochi for supporting this blog at the Heika and Senpai tiers this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the Shell anime movie cover art
Ghost in the Shell

Movie Overview

Ghost in the Shell (Koukaku Kidoutai / 攻殻機動隊) is one of the classic sci-fi anime. It’s up there with the likes of Akira and Neon Genesis Evangelion. And just like Evangelion, Ghost in the Shell came out in 1995.

I watched this movie as part of the DoubleSama Discord server‘s monthly movie nights. But, despite being the start of GitS, it’s not my first experience with the series. I watched the first 3 movies of Arise back in 2017. At the time, I wasn’t much of a fan of those movies. So, will the original be a different story?

The short answer is no. I’ll get into why later on in the review. But, I didn’t like Ghost in the Shell very much. And, yes, I understand that’s probably an unpopular opinion. However, I wasn’t the only movie night participant to think that.

Major Motoko Kusanagi on a rooftop from the anime movie Ghost in the Shell
Major Motoko Kusanagi on a rooftop

Now, if you’re not familiar with GitS, the title might sound a bit strange. Why is it called Ghost in the Shell? Well, the “shell” refers to a robotic body. And the “ghost” refers to the human consciousness within it. If you’re wondering why they’re called ghosts, I don’t have an answer for you.

But, what I can tell you is that the level of robotic enhancement varies from person to person. Some people only have robotic parts of their bodies. Others have entire robotic bodies with a human brain controlling them. And then there are those whose brains have even been replaced with an electronic backup.

Due to the prevalence of cyborgs in this society, a phenomenon known as “hacking a ghost” has become an issue. As you may have surmised, it’s when a bad actor hacks into the consciousness of another person. Can you trust your own memories?

Experience the sci-fi classic. Buy Ghost in the Shell Volume 1 today.

Shop Amazon

Shop Right Stuf

Classic Doesn’t Mean Good

The best part of Ghost in the Shell is when it brings up the question of whether people can trust their own ghosts. Unfortunately, that’s a very small part of the movie. So, it’s time to get into why I don’t think Ghost in the Shell is a good movie.

To set the stage, this movie only has a run time of about 1 hour and 18 minutes, excluding the credits. That’s not very long. Now, I get that animated movies tend to be shorter than live-action movies. But, this is still a short movie even considering that.

And that short length isn’t helped by the fact that about 40% of the movie is scenic shots of the city. No action, no plot, no dialogue. Just scenic shots of the city. There’s even a part in the middle of the movie where we get a montage of these shots for a few minutes.

Cyborg brain operation from the anime movie Ghost in the Shell
Cyborg brain operation

So, in reality, the movie is more like 47 minutes long if we’re only talking about the parts when things happen. That’s not a lot of time to set up an interesting premise and then follow through on it. And, guess what — it doesn’t.

The movie introduces a few cool concepts, like the aforementioned hacking of ghosts. Another example is whether a fully-functional AI counts as “human” and has rights. But, again, neither of these concepts gets the attention they need. Instead, most of the movie focuses on the action side of things.

And then we have the “antagonist” of the movie, Project 2501. He’s an AI who believes himself to be no different than humans. And he’s also the one hacking into ghosts, which is definitely a crime. But, he’s not exactly evil or actively working against our protagonist, Major Kusanagi.

Incel 2501

Alright, so I can actually forgive most of the issues I brought up about this movie in the previous section. The one thing I can’t forgive is the “twist” involving Project 2501 at the end. It completely ruined the movie. But, I can’t say it’s the most unrealistic development.

Why did Project 2501 become a terrorist and start hacking into ghosts? He wanted to escape from his creators and seek shelter with Public Security Section 9. And why did he want to do that? Because he figured Section 9 would treat him as the human he saw himself as? No.

Project 2501 did everything he did because he wanted to get laid before he died. He became a terrorist specifically so he could force himself on Major Kusanagi. Before he died, he wanted her to take his data into her and then spread it throughout the matrix, or something.

Batou using a car for cover from the anime movie Ghost in the Shell
Batou using a car for cover

That’s right. The main antagonist of the movie is nothing more than an AI incel. He thinks he’s entitled to “spreading his seed.” Further, to accomplish his goal of getting laid, he has no problem resorting to violence. And he also chooses to victimize a woman even though anyone could spread his data around.

By the end of the movie, I think we’re supposed to view Project 2501 as some sort of anti-hero. Yes, he did bad things. But, he did those bad things in the pursuit of (his) freedom. And yet, I can’t sympathize with him.

Maybe it’s the times. Back in 1995, viewers may have seen his actions as nobler. Or, at least, they could have understood his desire to leave something of himself behind. But, within a modern context, I don’t see it that way. He’s nothing more than an AI incel.

Conclusion

Ghost in the Shell is a 5/10. Yes, I get that it’s one of the classic sci-fi anime. But, being influential isn’t the same as being good. It’s extremely overrated. Feel free to argue against that in the comments.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button down below. Also, follow me on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And come join our Discord server to discuss anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank Roman and Key Mochi for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms

Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms

Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms anime movie cover art
Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms

Movie Overview

Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms (Sayonara no Asa ni Yakusoku no Hana wo Kazarou / さよならの朝に約束の花をかざろう) is an original anime movie by P.A. Works. Its genres are drama and fantasy, and it was definitely made specifically to make you cry — as many P.A. Works anime are.

The movie follows an Iorph girl named Maquia. Iorphs are immortal (long-lived?) people who live in a distant land separate from the continent of the humans. There, they spend their days weaving cloth that records the history of the world. They call this cloth Hibiol, though the word is also used to describe something treasured.

Maquia is an orphaned Iorph. I don’t believe we were ever told what happened to her family. But, the village elder raised her, so she’s not completely alone. And one lesson the village elder taught her was to not care about humans if she ever met any.

Maquia from the anime movie Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms
Maquia

Why shouldn’t Maquia care about humans? Because Iorph are effectively immortal. Any human she cares about will die long before her — and then she’ll know what true loneliness is. Right from the start of the movie, we can tell that this is exactly what’s going to happen to Maquia.

So, after this is all set up, some humans attack the Iorph homeland. They capture the women and children and slaughter everyone who tries to stop them. Maquia, however, suffers a different fate. One of the dragon things the humans arrived on goes berserk and carries Maquia off on her own.

When Maquia wakes up, she finds herself on the human continent. She doesn’t know what happened to her homeland or whether she’ll ever be able to return. Not long after this, she finds an orphaned baby human, names him Ariel, and decides to raise him as her own.

Learn more about what’s included in a YumeTwins kawaii box subscription.

Discover Now

A Bit More Explanation Needed

Maquia is a very good anime. But, there were a few things I would have liked a bit more explanation of. Of course, I often say that not everything needs a complete explanation. And I still believe that. But, sometimes, a bit more explanation is necessary.

The first thing I would have liked to have explained more is the Hibiol. We know it’s a cloth woven by the Iorph. But, as it turns out, humans can weave it too — Ariel does. So, that seems to imply there’s nothing particularly magic about it.

Iorphs also use their weaving of Hibiol as a form of writing. When they say it records the history of the world, they mean that literally. But, other than it being a vague form of world-building, I’m struggling to see what the point is. It’s important because we’re told it is — that’s all.

Lang, Deol, Maquia, and Ariel (and the dog) from the anime movie Maquia: When The Promised Flower Blooms
Lang, Deol, Maquia, and Ariel (and the dog)

Next up are the Renato (the dragon things). At the start of the movie, there are only 5 Renato left in existence. They routinely die from the “red eye disease” that makes them go berserk before burning up. I’d have liked a bit more explanation of this.

Leilia assumes that the red eye disease is a product of the conditions in which the Renato are kept. The humans keep them chained up when not used in war. They’re pretty much just there to be a metaphor for the captured Iorph. But, it still would have been nice to have a definitive explanation.

And the last thing I want to bring up are Iorph-human hybrids. There are 2 we know of in the movie: Barlow and Medmel. Barlow has the Iorph’s long lifespan. Medmel does not. I guess Medmel just got bad genetic RNG.

Everyone Is the Worst

What surprised me most about Maquia is how all the characters ended up being terrible people. Some of them I can forgive more than others. But, they all made pretty selfish decisions, some of which I still don’t really understand.

Let’s go through a few of these selfish decisions while spoiling the rest of the movie.

First up is Ariel, who comes to resent his mother, Maquia. As he grows up, he realizes that he isn’t her biological child. He ages and she doesn’t, so it’s pretty obvious. It gets to the point that he basically disowns her. In the end, he does come back around, though.

Okay, so Ariel had a rebellious phase. I can forgive him for that even though the things he said to Maquia were uncalled for. But, I’m having a hard time forgiving Maquia’s actions.

Maquia kissing Ariel after he dies from the anime movie Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms
Maquia kissing Ariel after he dies

After reuniting with Ariel and helping his wife give birth to their daughter, Maquia dips. She leaves Ariel, who’s like 20 and begging her to stay. And she doesn’t see him again until literal minutes before he dies of old age. She abandoned him, and for what? There was no real reason.

Speaking of abandonment, there’s also Leilia, an Iorph kidnapped by the humans. They forced her to marry the prince and bear him a child. But, since the child (Medmel) was a mortal girl, they considered both Leilia and Medmel failures.

Now, why does this make Leilia a bad person? Well, ever since giving birth, she wasn’t allowed to see Medmel, despite wanting to. And likewise, Medmel always wanted to meet her mother.

But, when they finally get to meet each other at the end of the movie, Leilia jumps off a cliff in front of her daughter. Again, for what?

Maquia: Recommended

I complained a lot in this review of Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms. But, I still think it’s an 8/10. It’s a very good movie and I do recommend it. But, the fact that it’s hard to like most of the main characters does leave a bad aftertaste.

You see, I’m pretty sure the movie wanted me to be crying at the end. But, instead, I was pretty mad about Maquia and Leilia abandoning their children.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button down below. Also, follow me on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And come join our Discord server to discuss anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank Roman and Key Mochi for supporting this blog at the Heika and Senpai tiers this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

Paprika

Paprika

Paprika anime movie cover art
Paprika

Movie Overview

Paprika (パプリカ) is the fourth and final movie Satoshi Kon completed before his death in 2010. The movie released in 2006. Of Kon’s 4 movies, this is my second favorite after Perfect Blue. It goes back to a lot of the themes I liked from Perfect Blue, which I felt the other two movies lacked.

But, what’s Paprika about? Unfortunately, it’s not a movie about cooking with spices. It’s actually about technology that lets doctors interact with the dreams of patients. In an ideal world, it could help to determine sources of stress and even fix mental disorders.

Of course, the world isn’t ideal, so things go wrong. Someone steals this dream-intruding technology and uses it to manipulate dreams. This has a few dangerous consequences.

People can become trapped in their own dreams. They can lose the ability to distinguish between dreams and reality. And they can begin dreaming even while awake.

Paprika waking up Torataro Shima from the anime movie Paprika
Paprika waking up Torataro Shima

I know that the 2010 movie Inception has a lot of similarities to Paprika. It seems likely that Paprika was a major source of inspiration for that movie. But, there are a lot of people who have discussed that connection before. So, I’m just going to leave it at that.

Instead, let’s briefly get into one of the best aspects of the movie: The way the plot goes through cycles. Have you ever had a recurring dream? Of course you have. Well, Paprika uses the concept of recurring dreams to progress the plot in a pretty neat way.

There are a few times in the movie when we find ourselves within a dream we’ve seen before. But, each time this happens, we get a bit closer to the truth behind the dream. I like this style of storytelling, and Paprika nails it.

The Best Characters

In my review of Tokyo Godfathers, I said my favorite Kon characters were either from that or Paprika. After thinking about it some more, the characters in Paprika are better. And a big reason for why that is is how the movie uses the characters. (Spoilers incoming.)

Let’s start by looking at Atsuko Chiba and Paprika. Paprika is an alternate personality of Atsuko who manifests within the dream world. But, it’s not as if Atsuko simply becomes Paprika in her dreams. Paprika and Atsuko are always coexisting. Even when Atsuko is awake, she can communicate with Paprika.

These are two distinct characters with their own personalities. But, they’re also still the same person. This is why I liked their dynamic so much. It’s like if the two main characters in a buddy cop movie were also the same person. Atsuko is the serious one, Paprika is the fun one, and they work together to solve dream mysteries.

Paprika and Toshimi Konakawa from the anime movie Paprika
Paprika and Toshimi Konakawa

Toshimi Konakawa is easily the best character in the movie. He’s a cop who’s struggling with workplace stress and seeks help from Paprika. A large part of the movie takes place within Konakawa’s dreams. And this is where the whole recurring dreams sequence comes into play.

Every time we go into Konakawa’s dream (nightmare) we learn a bit more about who he is. His character arc also parallels that of Gin from Tokyo Godfathers. Both start out at their lowest points and end up being action movie heroes. Though, I think Konakawa’s journey is far more interesting.

The final character I want to mention is Kosaku Tokita. My favorite part about him is how his size was used. He’s a massive guy. But, the framing of a lot of shots emphasizes his size in entertaining ways.

Back to Twisting Reality

Millennium Actress and Tokyo Godfathers were missing something. They didn’t twist reality like Perfect Blue did. Millennium Actress still blended fantasy and reality. But it was always clear which was which. And the fantasy was more of a way to tell the story than a part of the plot.

In Paprika, twisting reality is the plot. The farther we get into the movie, the more reality and dreams blend together. And by the climax of the movie, there’s nothing separating the two. This, combined with the characters, is why I liked Paprika so much.

But, it’s not a perfect movie. The one thing holding it back is the identity of the antagonists. For most of the movie, we don’t know who the antagonists are. Then, toward the end, it’s suddenly revealed that we’ve already seen them. The antagonists are actually two of the random supporting characters.

Torataro Shima in a dream from the anime movie Paprika
Torataro Shima in a dream

Because of how long it took to reveal the antagonists, I thought the twist would be a lot more interesting. It wasn’t some meta twist. And there wasn’t really any lead-up to the reveal either. My only thought was, “Oh, that random guy whose name I don’t remember is the bad guy?”

It’s also at this point that the plot of the movie took a turn for the worse. Yes, there were action sequences earlier in the movie. But, they always had something to do with a specific character’s arc. The end of the movie is a big action sequence for the sake of it.

Our heroes have to fight against a giant monster that the main antagonist turned into. Why did he turn into a giant monster? Because he hates dreams or something, I don’t know. The plot kind of went out the window in favor of action.

Conclusion

Paprika is a 9/10. If the ending was better, it could have been a 10. But, despite how much I liked earlier parts of the movie, I can’t give it a perfect score. And while I rated it the same as Perfect Blue, I still think I like Perfect Blue more.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button down below. Also, follow me on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And come join our Discord server to discuss anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank Roman for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

Bitnami