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Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 19, 2002
Producers: None found, add some.
Duration: 1 hr. 30 min.
Rating: R - 17+ (violence & profanity)L represents licensing company
Score: 6.791 (scored by 780 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
Popular TagsNo tags found
May 1, 2008
Tamala is about a pretty little female Cat, Tamala, who sets off from Cat-Earth on a journey to get to her home planet where she was born, Orion. Along the way her spaceship is damaged and she lands on a Planet, where she meets a male cat Named Michelangelo(Though Tamala keeps calling him MoiMoi). The movie basically follows what happens while Tamala is on that planet.
At first the story sounds very simple, and the animation style can trick an individual into thinking its an anime for younger audiences. That is far from the case. Despite its initial appearence, Tamala has loads of adult themes in it and there are deeper mysteries behind the plot. The biggest of these mysteries is "Who/What exactly is Tamala? Who is the Robot in the dream sequences in the movie?" There are other mysteries too, many concerned with the omnipresent Catty & Co. company that dominates the commercial/political universe of Tamala.
As I said before, don't let the art decieve you. As a matter of fact, though many seem to be put off by the simplistic art style, I think that for this movie it fits nicely because it lends beautifully to the Surreality of the atmosphere. Add to this the fact that there are spots in the movie that suddenly shift from the standard, simplistic style to CG rendered hyper reality, and it completes the formula that makes this movie such a strange and interesting journey.
Unfortunately I didn't really notice anything special about the sound, though it didn't seem to detract from the movie either. There is one song that recurs at multiple points in the movie that has an ethereal sound to it. I thought it was okay.
The character development was very well done for a 1.5 hour movie. Tamala comes across as a very spicy character despite her youthful appearence and childish way of speaking. That too is part of the surreality. Tamala speaks like a small child in the way she pronounces her words and phrases her sentences, like at one point in the movie when she says he has to go to the bathroom. She uses the japanese word a child would use, kinda like a little kid telling his parents he has to make pee-pee. But then there are times where she says some really adult things in this childish tones, even dropping the f-bomb(in english, mind you). This uneven matching of innocence and maturity makes Tamala an interesting character.
The supporting characters come across very nicely too. Michelangelo has a common-sense, mellow feel to him, and it's cute at times to watch his growing attachment to his new friend Tamala. Kentarou comes across well as being the mean jerk he is, though even he is shown to be a human character in the end.
I gave this a little lower scoring because of the fact that it took me a good half hour of thinking "what in the world am I watching, and why?" before the pieces started to fall together sufficiently to get me interested. The harsh language/content matter combined with the simplistic style almost threw me off. Once I started to get interested, though, I enjoyed this movie thoroughly. Other than that My only real complaint is that the movie seemed to end on to much of an open note for me.
Overall I really enjoyed this movie and hope that others manage to find it and give it a good shot. read more
Feb 20, 2013
The thing to understand about Tamala is that it’s a very artsy fartsy indie film. It’s a struggle to come up with comparisons in anime because it’s so different, but its directing style reminded me a lot of 2001 Space Odyssey. Reality is distorted. A lot is said without words, really drawing out certain scenes in order to hammer home the point. It’s a frying pan to the face method of metaphor-driven storytelling.
My problem with these kinds of stories is I seriously struggle to get engaged in the message when there’s a disconnect between the story and the secondary story told through the imagery. The way the story is told makes the meaning harder to grasp. Tamala doesn’t do this. The leading story about the ills of capitalism and corporations and marketing images is both the metaphor and the surface story. It just also happens to have a very unusual method of getting this message across which doesn’t exactly conform to reality.
Tamala, the lead cat character, is the face of the Catty and Co brand that own 99% of the earth and has turned it into this dreary place where it rains the whole time, surrounded by massive skyscrapers covered in advertisements for Catty and Co brandishing this cat as their logo. She is Hello Kitty, an all purpose logo character to put on everything they create. When she escapes to the rundown shithole planet, Catty and Co isn’t there, and she spends her time just living the dream. And by the ‘dream’ I mean doing whatever the fuck she wants with no paying heed to consequence.
It’s a very Rebel Without a Cause movie. Having the word ‘Punk’ in the title isn’t to just sound cool or anything. The things Tamala do are very destructive, spur of the moment decisions that have no sustainability. She’s rude to everyone and everything, damaging property and wasting money doing whatever she wants. There’s a rather alarming amount of English-language swearing in this too, on top of all the regular ‘kuso’ Japanese swearing. It’s not quite Panty and Stocking “Motherfucker, Fatherfucker” levels, but it’s the next best thing. It’s not about trying to appear hardcore or anything, which is why heavy swearing usually appears in entertainment. It’s about tying it into this punk-life attitude she has when she’s trying to get away from the corporation.
What’s interesting about the movie is that, while it’s critical of the capitalist machine, it doesn’t have much positive to say about anything else. The shithole planet is covered in dirt, the streets are full of dying bodies and prostitutes, and the police chief is a thug who keeps a lady mouse in his house as a prisoner so he can sexually violate her. When Catty and Co swings into town, ultimately nothing changes, except now the streets are covered in Catty and Co advertisements instead of graffiti.
The ultimate goal of Catty and Co was to create some sort of hive mind mentality of all the young people, following their lead and consuming Catty and Co products like zombies. The ultimate betrayal of that lifestyle is Tamala, their own logo. Anarchy and punk lifestyle is destructive and harmful, but it’s the only way she gains her individuality outside of being this logo. Throughout the movie she’s trying to get to Orion, where supposedly her real mother is before she was taken and starred as the logo. It represents this time before she lost that innocence, a bit like what Rosebud represents to Kane in Citizen Kane. Gosh, I’ve referenced 2001, Rebel Without a Cause and Citizen Kane in this post. I’m not trying to sound overly poncy, I swear! It’s just this is such a strange movie that I really have to delve into the back of my memories to come up with some other sort of touchstone to ground my thoughts.
Tamala doesn’t reach Orion. According to Wikipedia, the movie was planned as a trilogy, but they never made more. Not entirely surprised either, given that it was the strangest artsy film I’ve seen in a long, long time, and does have some serious issues, even accepting the bizarre way it tells its story and some of the eccentricities that come with that. There’s a terrible bollocks of a scene where the movie drops all attempts at at visual storytelling to instead have some old bloke sit on a coach and narrate for 20 minutes about what the point of the movie was. It was a real stupid scene and dragged it down several points in my estimation.
But I did like Tamala. Somehow the mood managed to grab me and send me into this weird psychedelic haze where I wanted to run outside in my underwear with a baseball bat, smash a billboard or two and yell ‘down with the man’. I think a large part of that was the music, which is one of the best I’ve ever heard. It’s like a cross between the Hotline Miami soundtrack and The Pillows, which to me is like some sort of glorious combination of my two favourite types of music in the world. Even taking my taste in music aside, it’s perfect for the tone of the movie and went a huge way to making the more pretentious, eccentric, slower parts of the movie tolerable.
Recommending Tamala is incredibly difficult, because I would have to know you as a person. I could see someone thinking it was the biggest load of pretentious artsy nonsensical bullshit ever, and I could see someone else thinking it was the most profound daring movie that captured a tone so perfectly that they thought it was the greatest thing ever, and I would totally understand where both sides are coming from. If you like artsy films, and are in the mood for something genuinely completely different from absolutely everything else out there, give Tamala a shot. At the very least, it’s worth it for the music. read more
May 29, 2012
Tamala 2010 is pretty much what I would call an experimental movie, likely auto produced. As such, the movie possesses strong points and weak points, which makes it hard to give it an overall mark.
Looking for qualifiers, I first thought of "cyberpunk", but the visual simplicity makes it barely adequate here (compare to Tetsuo), plus the usual cyberpunk questionning of existence also lacks. Tamala nevertheless has a punk attitude, and is akin to a somewhat dreamlike SF black and white Happy Tree Friends (without the gore).
That said, the mix is quite effective, and would probably have been awesome if not for the lacks in direction/writing, with a cool but thin plot, cool but underdevelopped characters and an overlong moment which could have been splitted or handled differently. But then again, these things are secondary to an experimental movie probably realized with a very small team (2D Flash animation could have been done by 3-4 people), and shouldn't be judged with the usual anime eye.
Fritz the Cat was my immediate comparison, but Tamala 2010 isn't as talkative, or as thought provoking. Its strong point is the art, and the clever use of contrasts and colours, which made me wish more than once wish I had experienced it in a movie theatre instead of my laptop. The OST is another very strong point: through drones and pads it succeeds in setting various moods that keep the viewer entertained.
Overall, the parodic/symbolic elements inherent to punk entertainment (compare to Sunabouzu, Tank Girl) had a certain fun value, as had the visuals. So a lot of unrealized potential, but as far as experimental anime goes, an interesting experience . read more