In 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.
This movie cost a huge amount to make and it shows... if you watch the proper 42 mins longer version which is sadly only available subbed. It gets panned by anime viewers but I can only assume most of them have only seen the dub. Odin was planned as the first in a trilogy so there are questions left unanswered, but considering this the film feels very self contained apart from one strand.
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WHY THE 2 HOURS 19 MINUTES VERSION IS WONDROUS
The film starts off with a sequence that sets the tone for
the whole movie. This is a film about exploration and discovering the unknown. This is a film about the excitement and significance of being an explorer. (there is then a long scene where people run a lot which you'll just kinda have to accept is going to take the duration of a whole song to do :P) Space anime reliably leaves me cold, but this was an exception.
The music is mostly by some japanese glam rock band who have a great theme tune called Searching For Odin. The music really adds a sense of dramaticness to the proceedings which is just perfect.
The visuals are where this film really shines – they make the ship stunning and the things that are discovered really interesting because plenty of care has gone into making their design wondrous.
Anyway, this film is an experience. It has a plot which has some good twists and turns, and you very much feel like you're one of the crew members experiencing everything as they are, with the same sense of being in the dark and discovering things for the first time ever as they have. The slow pace really helps build up the excitement of these things and the pay off is usually well worth the wait and made all the sweeter by it as you go through the emotions of anticipation and unknowing along with the rest of the crew.
Characterisation is this film's weakest point. In the rare instances there is characterisation, it's cliched. It's a good thing this film isn't about the characters but rather the voyage.
The end credits are the most entertaining end credits I've ever seen. By miles. I won't spoil it but wow it pays off the whole film so well in such an unexpected and hilarious way.
There is one element which is totally not sufficiently explained and I can only presume was intended to be explained in the sequels that never were... but whatever. I love this film, it is really really unique. There's a lot of people pushing buttons, which sounds boring but it somehow pulls it off because you know that every push of a button gets you closer to finding out more.
WHY THE 97 MINUTE DUB IS AN ABOMINATION
I just watched this version expecting a more punchy version of this fantastic film. I can only presume that whoever is behind this dub hated the original because they've changed the film so much.
The voices are actually pretty good compared to the original for the most part, and dialogue has been made better... sort of. But the film never takes a breath or any time to build up – all such things have been purged. FORTY TWO WHOLE MINUTES WERE REMOVED. The dialogue which they have is sometimes more engaging in the moment but makes you more disconnected from what's going on because the dialogue bits were never intended to be the focus of the film so when squished together they often just feel a bit disjointed, sudden and distracting to the plot.
The new more engaging dialogue is easier to understand and makes everything a lot more clear which would usually be a great thing and I understand why they did it, but for some reason it feels like it robs one of the experience of being on a historically significant voyage where no one is too sure of anything. I love things being spelled out so it's cool to have the dub doing that, but it just steals from the experience of the film. This film was about 'what will they do next?' but it has been changed to making the viewer ask 'what happens next?' I know it sounds like an insignificant distinction, but in the original you really feel yourself as part of the crew and you're as in the dark as everyone else as to what's going on or what will happen next. In the dub things move along at quite a rate so you're never left wondering anything coz it never gives you time to think. This film is now about experiencing the plot and people's interactions rather than the experience of a voyage, so in this new form it fails because it was not designed this way
The once incredible visual effects this time left me flat in this because of the lack of build up, which was a big surprise to me. From what I can tell they came up with new sound effects, which also contributed to the visuals seeming rubbish because the sound effects were brash and over the top.
I did not enjoy the dub. It was a weak, confusing and boring film. It somehow managed to even take the visuals and make them not work.
Space opera anime is nearly a sacred cow. Poor one who decide to say something but praise about LoGH. But LoGH is not the only one. Crest/Banner of the Stars, Mobile Suit Gundam, Battleship Space Yamato, even Cowboy Bebop is considered by some space opera...all of them are titles that the self-proclaimed anime reviewers has in a high-esteem. But, it's actually possible to exist an anime genre that every title is a masterpiece? Well, unfortunetly, no. Anime is made by men, so sooner or later you'll find some bad title. And here is, Odin.
Odin is, from the starst, forgettable. Your typical story about a human
crew in a spaceship travelling around the space. Every character is forgettable, from your typical hot-blooded main character that gets away with a lot of stuff because, despite putting constamtly im danger the spaceship and the crew, he "has guts", according to the rest of the cast, but i prefer to say "he has no brain, or common sense"; to the boring stereotypical passive heroine, who appears when the plot needs her and automatically dissapears when not, to appears again if the plot says it so.
Like i said, if someone in real life attemps to do the same things the main characters do here, they would have get rid of him, pretty soon. Here, he's not only easily forgiven, he's also praised for it. For acting like an inmature brat, that didn't consider risk to himself or the people who surronded him, and never face any consequence. That's not a character, that's a wish fullfillment really awfully written in the worst way possible. Because it's possible that some people who like hot blooded main characters that "weren't pussies like in the good old days when anime was good" would relate to him. But characters needs to grow, and made us grow as persons, not just satisfy our self-insert fantasies.
Well, after this reflexive moment, let me get this straight: Imagine every possible cliché on space sci-fi stories you ever thought. There would be here.
I'm not kidding, it would. The evil machine that takes over humanity? Check.
The extraterrestrail advanced lifeforms visit earth and manipulated species genetics? Check. The lost princess from the extraterrestrial civilization? Check.
I must give special attention to the music. Even the soundtrack is boring here. Your cheesy typical 8'0s hair metal, played in scenes it doesn't fit, at all. Or i should said never ending montages instead of scenes? Yeah, never ending montages are a more accurate term to describe it.
So, for its low quality, Odin is the space anime's black sheep. Extremely boring, full of cliches, with unidimensional, forgettable characters, and without any depth.
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