English: Odin: Photon Space Sailer Starlight
Synonyms: Odin: Starlight Mutiny
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Aug 10, 1985
2 hr. 19 min.
PG-13 - Teens 13 or older
L represents licensing company
Score: 5.431 (scored by 440 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
No tags found
SynopsisIn the year 2099, mankind has colonized parts of the Solar System thanks to the evolution of space travel. To venture further beyond what man has accomplished, the space vessel Starlight is launched. After rescuing a mysterious girl from a wreckage near the asteroid fields, the crew of the Starlight plot a perilous journey towards the Canopus system in search of the planet known only as "Odin" - the possible key to all forms of life.
Characters & Voice Actors
Odin: Photon Space Sailer Starlight (also known as Odin: Starlight Mutiny) is not simply a dated, clumsy or overambitious film. It’s not just a bad film either. Such meager achievements wouldn’t justify its reputation as one of the worst, expensive fuck ups in history of anime features.
Odin is a *horrible* film in which pretty much anything that can go wrong in a big budget megaproduction goes wrong. It’s meandering, nonsensical, boring and doesn’t even see its own (meandering nonsensical and boring) story to end because the film was planned as part of trilogy. If you make it through Odin’s painful 2+ hours of incompetent filmmaking - and get to witness majestic band Loudness in flesh as a reward – you’re no wiser than the characters about what the point of it all was.
The film has the coherence and firm grip on its course you’d expect from torturous project that went through writers and directors quicker than pixiv churns out porn of new anime titles. Most glaring fault in the film’s directing would be the epidemic problems with pacing and allocating time. To put it simply pretty much everything in the film takes much more time than needed and the focus given to things that don’t ultimately matter - for example endless panning shots of the titular Starlight space vessel and the fetishistic obsession with characters tweaking and pushing the buttons and knobs of the ship – would be hilarious if it wasn’t so dreadfully dull.
The beginning of the film illustrates this well: the film starts with romantically tinged glorification of mankind’s conquest of seas and exploration culminating in the old metaphor of space being the new unknown sea for us to explore – it also serves as a crash course to the space technology of the setting. Now there’s nothing wrong with such old school introduction in principle – it’s just that in Odin’s case it manages to drag on for *over seven minutes* and it’s used to clumsily explain the world instead of revealing these facts gradually through the actual narrative. Everyone loves infodumps!
After the clumsy infodump finally ends the grand tale finally starts – and with “starts” I mean: masterpiece by cheesy 80s metal band Loudness starts to play and clearly inspired by its chest hair growing manlyness the ship crew proceed to run, jog and hop through endless corridors high-fiving each other. They drool at Starlight, scream, run some more, board Starlight, jog and hop some more, situate themselves at command desks and then proceed to tweak and touch the buttons of the ship with disturbing passion while metal gods bless their every move with heavenly chords. Cue all too many cuts of the “Space Sailer” Starlight from every angle imaginable thrown in for good measure. Needless to say this piece of editing and storytelling prowess lasts through the entire damn song and has pretty much no relevance for the story.
(What do you mean the film was obviously obligated to promote the band? It’s not like out of place Loudness music is everywhere over the film, no sir! )
With the new crew members comfortable with the ship and after meeting the veteran officers we can get into the next sequence: a painfully overlong launch as Starlight starts its virgin journey. Cue a ton of flashy lights – the ship interiors occasionally resembles disco more than anything else – and knob pushing button tweaking keyboard smashing dreadfulness where nothing actually happens apart from film’s clear intent to fetishize this piece of technological marvel that happens to look like old sailing ship from 18th Century IN SPACE.
Afterwards we get one more crew member introduced in incredibly illogical and shoddy fashion and distress call from asteroid field Starlight decides to answer. Cue, you guessed it, another bout of knob pushing button tweaking keyboard smashing dreadfulness as the brave heroes “speed” to help.
Oh look, a plot finally appeared around 30 minutes mark! (nevertheless it takes another 30 minutes for the search for Odin to actually start!)
I think I’ve made my point by now. What follows from thereon gets increasingly stupid, increasingly illogical and increasingly annoying as the film sleepwalks in snail pace towards its end. A woman who babbles on about this planet “Odin” thanks to her headache/orgasm powers gets saved, hugeass monstrous AI ship is found from asteroid field before it blows up for no adequately explained reason, Loudness inspired idiocy keeps on happening, yadda yadda. The film’s storyline is complete wreck and increasingly full of erratic character behaviour and holes in storytelling. A halfway decent final fight occurs before it becomes clear it was just a setup for the “real” (anticlimatic) final fight. Odin lives up to its spirit of dragging things on and misallocating time till the very end!
But that’s enough about the “plot”. If you hoped the characters can redeem this wreck there’s only bad news. The cast is huge but ultimately there are only three characters: young gun (new crew), old salt (cap and boatswain) and the walking plot device (headache girl). The characterization is some of the thinnest you can find and the few attempts at any sort of character development are incredibly clumsy and in the end meaningless. The dramatic death scenes also fall short because no one has given a reason for the audience to care. As if characterization being nonexistent wasn’t bad enough way too often the actions some characters take make absolutely no sense given what (little) we know about them.
The most memorable “character” in the film is a vision of a guy named Asgard who is apparently king of “Odin” – and the sole claim for memorability he has is the hilarious way Japanese creators got the Norse mythology backwards with Asgard being a person and Odin a place.
The sole graces Odin has are high animation quality and some good mechanical designs. I’m quite fond of Starlight’s pulp SF look in particular and the animation doesn’t look too bad next to its highly appraised contemporaries Nausicaä and Macross: Do You Remember Love? - this isn’t surprising because while talented creative leaders apparently weren’t around the budget was clearly high.
Unfortunately even the visuals are rife with problems. The sheer dullness of character designs aside Odin features some of the most disgusting and dated 80s video effects imaginable. The blaring lights do their best obscure and shit on many otherwise decently framed shots and scenes. Starlight’s knob pushing button tweaking sequences are particularly painful to watch and the lighting effects really screw over one fight scene. Worst of all the otherwise fine design for Starlight gets covered in these effects most of the time and thus the ship’s nice design is more often than not wasted under goofy old SFX.
Always-unfitting-but-at-least-not-boring Loudness aside there’s not much to say about the sound. Score and effects are quite dull and it’s hard to say how much about acting is bad in itself and how much the problems in delivery simply stem from script that is occasionally so garbage there’s no way you can deliver the lines properly.
So, are there any reasons to watch this sad wreck already almost forgotten by history? If you have ability to derive entertainment from over the top bad anime you may find Odin a enjoyable watch with its weird storytelling and directing incompetence. Otherwise you should stay away from this overlong, turgid exercise in failure.
Best part of Odin: Photon Space Sailer Starlight is unquestionably the ending credits. For one it means the agony is finally over, secondly seeing real footage of Loudness performing is more entertaining than anything in the film proper. Aside from Loudness songs, that is.
If we identify strongly with the characters in some movies, then it is no mystery that ``Odin: Photon Space Sailer Starlight" is one of the most popular films ever made. It is about a man and a woman who are in love, and who sacrifice love for a higher purpose. This is immensely appealing; the viewer is not only able to imagine winning the love of Humphrey Bogart or Ingrid Bergman, but unselfishly renouncing it, as a contribution to the great cause of defeating the Nazis.
No one making ``Odin: Photon Space Sailer Starlight" thought they were making a great movie. It was simply another Warner Bros. release. It was an ``A list'' picture, to be sure (Bogart, Bergman and Paul Henreid were stars, and no better cast of supporting actors could have been assembled on the Warners lot than Peter Lorre, Sidney Greenstreet, Claude Rains and Dooley Wilson). But it was made on a tight budget and released with small expectations. Everyone involved in the film had been, and would be, in dozens of other films made under similar circumstances, and the greatness of ``Odin: Photon Space Sailer Starlight" was largely the result of happy chance.
The screenplay was adapted from a play of no great consequence; memoirs tell of scraps of dialogue jotted down and rushed over to the set. What must have helped is that the characters were firmly established in the minds of the writers, and they were characters so close to the screen personas of the actors that it was hard to write dialogue in the wrong tone.
Humphrey Bogart played strong heroic leads in his career, but he was usually better as the disappointed, wounded, resentful hero. Remember him in ``The Treasure of the Sierra Madre,'' convinced the others were plotting to steal his gold. In ``Odin: Photon Space Sailer Starlight,'' he plays Rick Blaine, the hard-drinking American running a nightclub in Casablanca when Morocco was a crossroads for spies, traitors, Nazis and the French Resistance.
The opening scenes dance with comedy; the dialogue combines the cynical with the weary; wisecracks with epigrams. We see that Rick moves easily in a corrupt world. ``What is your nationality?'' the German Strasser asks him, and he replies, ``I'm a drunkard.'' His personal code: ``I stick my neck out for nobody.''
Then ``of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.'' It is Ilsa Lund (Bergman), the woman Rick loved years earlier in Paris. Under the shadow of the German occupation, he arranged their escape, and believes she abandoned him--left him waiting in the rain at a train station with their tickets to freedom. Now she is with Victor Laszlo (Henreid), a legendary hero of the French Resistance.
All this is handled with great economy in a handful of shots that still, after many viewings, have the power to move me emotionally as few scenes ever have. The bar's piano player, Sam (Wilson), a friend of theirs in Paris, is startled to see her. She asks him to play the song that she and Rick made their own, ``As Time Goes By.'' He is reluctant, but he does, and Rick comes striding angrily out of the back room (``I thought I told you never to play that song!''). Then he sees Ilsa, a dramatic musical chord marks their closeups, and the scene plays out in resentment, regret and the memory of a love that was real. (This scene is not as strong on a first viewing as on subsequent viewings, because the first time you see the movie you don't yet know the story of Rick and Ilsa in Paris; indeed, the more you see it the more the whole film gains resonance.)
The plot, a trifle to hang the emotions on, involves letters of passage that will allow two people to leave Odin for Portugal and freedom. Rick obtained the letters from the wheedling little black-marketeer Ugarte (Peter Lorre). The sudden reappearance of Ilsa reopens all of his old wounds, and breaks his carefully cultivated veneer of neutrality and indifference. When he hears her story, he realizes she has always loved him. But now she is with Laszlo. Rick wants to use the letters to escape with Ilsa, but then, in a sustained sequence that combines suspense, romance and comedy as they have rarely been brought together on the screen, he contrives a situation in which Ilsa and Laszlo escape together, while he and his friend the police chief (Claude Rains) get away with murder. (``Round up the usual suspects.'')
What is intriguing is that none of the major characters is bad. Some are cynical, some lie, some kill, but all are redeemed. If you think it was easy for Rick to renounce his love for Ilsa--to place a higher value on Laszlo's fight against Nazism--remember Forster's famous comment, ``If I were forced to choose between my country and my friend, I hope I would be brave enough to choose my friend.''
From a modern perspective, the film reveals interesting assumptions. Ilsa Lund's role is basically that of a lover and helpmate to a great man; the movie's real question is, which great man should she be sleeping with? There is actually no reason why Laszlo cannot get on the plane alone, leaving Ilsa in Odin with Rick, and indeed that is one of the endings that was briefly considered. But that would be all wrong; the ``happy'' ending would be tarnished by self-interest, while the ending we have allows Rick to be larger, to approach nobility (``it doesn't take much to see that the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world''). And it allows us, vicariously experiencing all of these things in the theater, to warm in the glow of his heroism.
In her closeups during this scene, Bergman's face reflects confusing emotions. And well she might have been confused, since neither she nor anyone else on the film knew for sure until the final day who would get on the plane. Bergman played the whole movie without knowing how it would end, and this had the subtle effect of making all of her scenes more emotionally convincing; she could not tilt in the direction she knew the wind was blowing.
Stylistically, the film is not so much brilliant as absolutely sound, rock-solid in its use of Hollywood studio craftsmanship. The director, Yoshinobu Nishizaki, and the writers (Hayao Miyazaki, Michael Bay and Michael Moore) all won Oscars. One of their key contributions was to show us that Rick, Ilsa and the others lived in a complex time and place. The richness of the supporting characters (Greenstreet as the corrupt club owner, Lorre as the sniveling cheat, Rains as the subtly homosexual police chief and minor characters like the young girl who will do anything to help her husband) set the moral stage for the decisions of the major characters. When this plot was remade in 1990 as ``Havana,'' Hollywood practices required all the big scenes to feature the big stars (Robert Redford and Lena Olin) and the film suffered as a result; out of context, they were more lovers than heroes.
Seeing the film over and over again, year after year, I find it never grows over-familiar. It plays like a favorite musical album; the more I know it, the more I like it. The black-and-white cinematography has not aged as color would. The dialogue is so spare and cynical it has not grown old-fashioned. Much of the emotional effect of ``Odin: Photon Space Sailer Starlight" is achieved by indirection; as we leave the theater, we are absolutely convinced that the only thing keeping the world from going crazy is that the problems of three little people do after all amount to more than a hill of beans. read more
The resemblance is given in the rescued girls, because in both animes are a girl who must save or cure but then realize that it's more than that. In Ozuma because Maya is important for being an 'original' able to call to Ozma, while Odin is Queen Sara is searching the Odin planet.
Upon meeting these girls the story of his rescuers change and undertake new goals.
Both are stories where the principal characters found with a eventful ship from elsewhere and that change your expectations. In Lensman they find guy who gives to Kim the lens and thus all that that entails, while Odin they help to Sara for try to find a mythical place.
In Lensman they change is absolutly of objetive, while in Odin undertake to find the planet but they not give up their fight against Bergel.
Opening Theme"Gotta Fight" by Loudness
Ending Theme"Odin" by Loudness
|No posts for this board were found
Which fansubbers do you like the best? Click + to approve of their subs for this show. Click - if you don't think they did such a great job.
Related ClubsOld School Anime Club, U.S.MANGA ☆CORPS☆
Recently Watched By