In a future where a massive disaster has devastated Earth, most of humanity has abandoned their physical bodies and relocated in digital form to DEVA, an advanced space station orbiting the ravaged planet. Free from the limitations of traditional existence, such as death and hunger, the inhabitants of this virtual reality reside in relative peace until Frontier Setter, a skilled hacker, infiltrates the system and spreads subversive messages to the populace.
Labeled a threat to security by authorities, Frontier Setter is pursued by Angela Balzac, a dedicated member of DEVA's law enforcement. When the hacker's signal is traced to Earth, Angela takes on physical form, transferring her consciousness to a clone body and traveling to the world below in order to deal with the menace. On Earth, she is assisted by Dingo, a charismatic agent, and during her journey to uncover the mystery behind Frontier Setter, she gradually discovers startling realities about the wasteland some of humanity still refers to as home, as well as the paradise above.
Rakuen Tsuihou was a joint project between Toei Animation and Nitroplus, which won the Best Animation of the Year Award at the 24th Japan Movie Critics Awards. It was first shown at ConFusion in Sweden in December 2014. The movie was imported to the United States two days later by Aniplex USA and shown in fifteen theaters nationwide.
Rakuen Tsuihou: Expelled From Paradise, is Gen Urobuctcher's (sorry, couldn't resist the bad jokes) new original animated film that explores the meaning of humanity and personal reality. The movie offers a few interesting twists and introduces some extremely intriguing ideas about sci-fi and humanity itself.
This movie is about our cute female protagonist, Balzac Angela (voiced by Kugimiya Rie so end of review, 10/10 :P ) sent from Deva, a new world created based on data after a certain apocalypse in earth that turned the whole world into a never-ending desert (portrayed as the wild west), to stop a certain someone or something who was
recently hacking into the Deva system to convey a certain message that contradict's Deva's values. Angela, along with our male protagonist "dandyman" Zarik Kajiwara, sets on a mission that will redefine the many things that She was taught on the Deva.
Story : 7/10 As explained earlier, the story tries to explore many different themes and tries to convey them in many different ways; however, the story is not extremely smooth and well told mainly because nothing in the movie was explored well enough.
Character ： 7/10 Much like the story, simply underdeveloped. There was pretty much only 3 in the movie characters and none of them were extremely well developed, but being underdeveloped does not mean they are boring characters. All of these characters have a very lovable personality and these personalities are well portrayed through their actions. Regarding the 3DCG, I actually think it contributes to the storytelling extremely well mostly due to the story partially being the exploration of the difference between a digital reality and a traditional human being.
Sound : 9/10 The Soundtracks are very well developed, playful, and fits the situation very well. The voice actor/actresses fit the roles extremely well and the ending song is also great.
PS: don't skip the ending. Enjoy the song a little and wait for a tiny cute and heartwarming treat at the end :)
Art : 9/10 The whole film is made in “3D" modeled animation. Like a refined version of (RWBY) It was well made so it was not too distracting most of the times. Some of the scenes had awesome cinematography and some other scenes are extremely well drawn. Also, the fighting scenes are extremely entertaining and contains some great CGI
Enjoyment ：8/10 The way this story is told could get boring at times, but some of the really lovable characters and original ideas from the anime can really bring the audiences back. Again, great cinematography and mech fight scenes.
Overall : 8/10 Only if the story and characters were more developed. Everything else could be better, but they were already quite nice. I would definitely suggest this movie to anyone who is looking for something a bit different and doesn't hate the 3D animation.
Final words： I really like this animated film a lot, and it has a 10/10 on my personal ratings because some parts of it really does deserve that score. Sadly, there are too many things in the anime that prevents me from doing so in a formal review.
I thoroughly enjoyed Rakuen Tsuihou, as well as Gen Urobuchi's other works, namely Psycho-Pass, Madoka, and Gargantia.
As an introductory aside, I want to start by strongly disagreeing with people who highlight Urobuchi's tendency to kill off character ("the Urobutcher") or his aptitude for plot twists as his main appeal. They are not. What draws me -- and I believe many other viewers -- to Urobuchi's works is their philosophical undercurrents; everything in his films and shows touch upon some aspect of society, humanity, or morality, and the story is often a sidekick (although an exciting one). For example, Psycho-Pass is focused on the impact on
having a benevolent, all-knowing, but tyrannical autocracy on society; while Gargantia revolves around reflections of a soldier faced with peace and prosperity, and learning to throw away his inculcated beliefs.
With that said, I think Rakuen Tsuihou's main appeal is along the same lines. There are no real plot twists in this movie, besides perhaps the identity of Frontier Settler itself (for the longest time I expected this nefarious hacker to be some evil genius or something). Everything generally works out the way you expect, and I think it's fair to say that most of us know, going in, that Angela won't stay with Deva for long.
But this movie is not about some futuristic sci-fi world of people living in virtual reality; sure, that's the backdrop, but that's not what it's really about. It's main focus is on the dichotomy of Angela and Dingo, and the two societies they represent. This is a dichotomy that exists in today's world just as much as it does in the world of the movie. These two societies might not be spatially segregated as in the movie, but we still have it: the increasing disparity of the haves and have-nots.
Every commentary on this issue in today's society talks about it as if it's a problem to be solved, as if there are only negatives. We live in the world where ambition and the drive to succeed are unconditionally praised, even when that drive leaves us with no time for relaxing or pleasure or trying to truly learn what we are meant to do. I see Rakuen Tsuihou as a commentary on this, and while Angela doesn't exactly do the best job of defending her "high-society" ambitions, I think the movie as a whole does a great job illustrating how this sort of all-consuming career ambition can leave us blind to the true pleasures of life.
This was a travesty. An absolute insult to any mecha fan or Urobutcher fan. It's hard to believe great talent, be it writing or VA or w/e, were all roped in for this mess. All at a high budget too.
Lets begin with our main heroine, Balzac, whose name is hilarious, has no redeeming features beyond her stupid funny name. She is the embodiment of every cliched terrible tsundere character rolled in and condensed into one terrible package of fanservice. She is unlikeable, she makes poor and questionable decisions, and she barely contributes to the plot, of which there is very little of. She whines so
much in this I wished that somehow, in Butcher tradition, shed be silenced in one way or another (It didn't happen). She's nothing but a useless fanservice girl. Alongside Balzac is generic bounty hunter secondary protagonist guy, who've you've also seen a thousand times before. He's the epitome of genericness, he knows what's right, and serves as one of the competent members of the group who does stuff properly at least. And lastly is Claptrap, who's there to prove his existence to the world or something. Claptrap is easily one of the less horrible characters in this (alongside that dealer person I like somehow). Heck, that one exposition scene with him is one of the only ones I liked.
Plot wise this whole farce is barebones to its core. In the beginning, with the help or closeups of Balzac's tits and arse, the film seems to hint at something more than just a typical Hur-Dur authority is evil Hur-Dur kind of movie. It isn't. It is as generic as generic can get. If anything the biggest plot twist in this is how obvious the plot twist is as that authoritarian totalitarian entity turns out to be , surprise, not as benevolent as previously thought! And for a mecha anime, there really isn't much in mecha action, hell, less than 30 minutes in and the mecha is sold for christ sakes.
I used the term "anime" throughout very lightly. Most of the film's character models are terrible 3D cell-shaded models that greatly resemble MMD stuff. They greatly feel out of place amongst the (I must admit) very well done backgrounds, and amongst the 2D extras. Animation wise, the 3D character models also seem to operate at a different framerate from the rest of the backgrounds. I dunno a good way to describe it, but it feels out of place. If anything it feels like a video game at times. A pretty video game I give it that.
The fight scenes, few as they are , are terribly done. While on paper they seem pretty decent, a high budget mecha on mecha action kinda thing, most of the action scenes are messily edited, with unnecessary closeups that detract from the main fight. Also every few minutes, the fight deviates to give us a closeup of Balzac's tits and arse and her screaming. The fights aren't particularly clever either, most of them are just your standard fare, no planning or strategy here, just brute force mostly.
Overall, a better way of spending your time in a similar manner would be to load up MMD and mess around with it for an hour or so. Because hey, you'd get more enjoyment out of that than this. (Speaking of MMD, all the female character models feel like they're lifted from vocaloid).
Fun fact : this film can't even be used to play butcher bingo properly. It only has like 4 out of 25 squares.
Gen Urobuchi is usually referred to as the "Christopher Nolan of Anime".
This claim is, to be fair, a bit flawed, as one is a script writer and the other is a producer, but when these two are put under comparison, many can see some similarities.
For the oneiromantic science fiction thriller "Inception", there is Psycho-Pass, a criminal-investigation science fiction thriller. For the infamous sequel of the Dark Knight Trilogy, "The Dark Knight", there is a prequel of a famous game with a similar taste of ending called Fate/Zero.
And, before and after the release of the movie, Rakuen Tsuihou: Expelled From Paradise is compared to the infamous
sci-fi thriller that shook the world this November, Interstellar.
Before I begin the review, I'd like to mention that Rakuen Tsuihou: Expelled From Paradise, henceforth to be called Rakuen Tsuihou in this review, is one of the first attempts, and most likely the best attempt at creating a full 3D motion animation picture done in Japan animation exclusively.
Also, *THIS REVIEW IS ABSOLUTELY WITHOUT ANY SPOILERS TO THE CONTENT*. Any information given beyond the explanation shown at myanimelist.net's description page is unintended.
Then, without further adieu, let us start the review.
Putting aside the fame of the script writer or the amazing animation, the story itself is actually not a grandiose one. With the description of Rakuen Tsuihou at myanimelist.net at December 16th, 2014, the date this review was written, being "Gen Urobuchi's original anime movie", there is not much I can reveal, except the fact that there are two main characters, one female and one male, from different uprising and different beliefs.
Gen Urobuchi has been gaining notoriety from the anime subculture fans known as otakus through his fluid style of writing, creative world settings, lack of fanservice and shocking plot twists. His works in Fate/Zero, Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica and its sequel movie Rebellion story and Psycho-Pass has been praised by many of the members of the community.
However, for better for worse, this movie lacks any of his key styles of writing except fluid pace and creative world setting, which is understandable and even admirable, considering that the movie is only an hour and 43 minutes long. The pace was quite packed, as to not make the viewers' attention fly away, but not too packed as to confuse the viewers. The setting of the world was quite well-made that it could have easily been remade into several more movies or a whole tv animation of 2 cour or more.
Still, that is no excuse for receiving no praise from the story segment of this anime. There was, in exchange for moderate pacing, no plot twists that made people go on their feet, nor was there absence of fanservice that drew people more to the story than the characters.
At best, this story deserves neither a praise nor a criticism. It was an enjoyable plot for a 100-minute-long movie, and for that I gave it a flat seven.
The problem is that this was made by Gen Urobuchi.
For a movie for which the only description is "Gen Urobuchi's original anime movie", it does not deliver Urobuchi's style. Because of this, there is bound to be a severe underrated reviews that should follow, and Urobuchi almost deserves reviews more critical than my own, which is why it is stated at the beginning of the story segment of this review that I will put aside the fame of the script writer of this anime. If one does not linger on the fact that this is a film made by Urobuchi, the anime should be a pleasant experience.
And above all, there is another reason that this anime should be pleasurable.
3D animation has been done in Japanese animation several times before, and some has been praised for its deliverance while others failed miserably and were criticized severely. However, there has been almost no case of a full-3D animation that has received a praise.
Rakuen Tsuihou is undoubtedly the best attempt at full-3D animation in any reported case in Japanese animation.
The animation was done by graphinica with no works in the past worthy of mention except maybe Hellsing Ultimate, which was not a personal animation project. Despite the lack of worthy mentions, however, graphinica delivered a spectacular performance of full-3D animation. Although this may not be as fluent yet as some of the earlier works done in Disney's Pixar motion films such as "Frozen", this anime's 3D-rendered model of a character is closer to the general form that is shown on Japanimation, or the so-called moe animation, than the characters in Disney animation films.
The detail of the animation of superb. From the little detail of the facial expression to the movement of the hair and the edge of the characters, everything was very similar to the orthodox movement and animation of the general Japanimation.
Then there is the battle scene, which was genuinely awesome. The movements of the robots or "mecha" as called in the anime community were not at all awkward unlike many of the other 3D animation of mecha shown.
In a word, this is a "revolution" for 3D animation. This is most likely not a first attempt at animating everything on the screen with 3D modelling program, but it definitely is a splendid attempt at it. It is not an overstatement in saying that this anime deserves praise simply over animation.
The OST was (not the ending theme), without hiding the truth, horrible.
First of all, it did not do a good job of supporting the scene presented on the screen. Moreover, it was almost a pain to hear some of the battle themes in the anime. The repeated sounds and basic tone of the music was too basic that it felt like listening to an anime theme song of early 90's.
For that, I give OST portion of the sound sphere a low 2.
However, the other two portions almost forgave the OST's misses.
First of all, the voice acting was splendid. Kugimiya Rie's performance deserved praise over praise as she voiced from teenager to grown woman to a child, with mood changes clearly shown in each tone of the voice. Miki Shinichiro's voice acting was just as splendid as he was able to clearly voice the feelings and tone of the character presented to the viewers. Kamiya Hiroshi's voicing of the robot was splendid as well.
For this I give voice acting a perfect ten.
And as for the ending theme song sung by ELISA, it was quite literally a musical in my ears. I felt myself melting over the beautiful melodies of the music. I could feel her music in my bones.
And, for this, I give voice acting a 9, with average of 7 for the score of sound segment.
For a film with only 100-minutes, the characterizations and developments are actually pretty well done.
For the clearly-fanservice-heavy character, Angela Balzac, there is a "respect" given for her. She is not our everyday tsundere big-boobed annoying teenager that gives headache to the male lead. Her actions and her growth are perceived actually rather well throughout the film. Her characterization and her back story, as well as her development were all present without taking up too much screen time, which I cannot complain for. The same is done for Zarik Kajiwara, who is not just an overpowered know-it-all main character that today's anime world adores and tends to follow upon, but a man with considerable reasons behind all his actions and with much characterization and development without, again, taking much too much screen time. Frontier Setter, as well, is quite a nice character that showed favorable character despite being on air for the least time among the three characters.
An argument could be made that Frontier Setter's development and characterization are rather speedy and not full, and this film being a 100-minute-long should not be an excuse for that, but it actually is a valid excuse. If this were a tva with 1 cour or less it would not be an excuse, but when it's a film where people choose to go watch it or not, it is valid an excuse. To top it off, the argument that Frontier Setter's development is rather slim and too hasty is not false but an invalid argument. Frontier Setter is not a main character, but a side character that appears halfway through the film. There is not expected to be any kind of development for said characters. However, despite being a side character, Frontier Setter shows quite a lovely characterization and a considerable development, making it almost seem like a main character despite being a side character.
For this, I give character 9/10.
To be honest, I was a little let down myself.
I have expected to see more of urobutcher (pun intended) in this anime, especially being that the female lead had a voluptuous body (refer to Tomoe Mami from Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica and Funahara Yuki from Psycho-Pass...) and the premise and the preview to the movie showing a lot of promises towards the stellar version of Psycho-Pass.
That is not to say that this was not a pleasurable experience.
The animation quite literally made me go on my feet, with art and facial expressions of the characters being beyond superb, and the ending theme song pleasing my ears. It was a pleasurable 100 minutes. I would have loved it more if there was a dark theme to this or some kind of plot twist, but I perhaps should not have had my hopes up, since I would end up underrating this show.
For that, I gave 8/10 for enjoyment.
Granted, it was a letdown for a work done by Urobuchi, but it is a film pleasing to watch. I highly recommend watching this film.
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