All told in hindsight, three seemingly unrelated tales intertwine to paint a more complete picture.
In the far reaches of space, after tracing a distress signal to a large abandoned space station, a pair of engineers—Heintz Beckner and Miguel Costrela—find a derelict mansion and decide to explore on foot. Their investigation reveals a dark secret surrounding the fate of Eva Friedel, a renowned opera singer with a tragic history. Hallucinations soon begin to plague them, and they must fight to retain their sanity in order to escape the station alive.
Hapless lab technician Nobuo Tanaka consumes some pills at his laboratory to cure a cold. Unknown to him, however, the pills are actually experimental drugs that enhance his flatulence to a lethal degree. As the toxic gas escaping him kills everyone in his vicinity, he is ordered by his superiors to retreat to the company headquarters in Tokyo. The journey to the city is made all the more arduous as Nobuo struggles with his deadly odor while the police, military, and foreign adversaries are hot on his trail.
In a fortress city filled to the brim with cannons, a young boy wishes to surpass his father by becoming a revered artillery officer. Despite no proof of an enemy nation, he cannot resist the urge to partake in the daily bombardment routines organized by the city. Whether at school or just before bedtime, he only dreams of someday firing a cannon for the sake of his homeland.
Memories is an anime movie co-produced by Madhouse Studios and Studio 4°C, and it also was co-directed by Tensai Okamura, Kouji Morimoto and Katsuhiro Otomo. It is a collection of three short movie, each directed by one different director and every one are adaptations of three of Otomo's short stories.
I am going to address every story separately, as I think everything will be clearer this way. I am also going to say my final remarks at the end.
This is the only short of the three that deserves to be called Memories. The atmosphere is done in an incredible way that always leaves the
viewer on the edge of his seat, expecting something to happen and creating even more tension in the process. The visual style plays a big part on that and it also is pretty and well-detailed, but visually old.
This short as a whole is incredible, actually, I think that it would have been actually better as a sole and full-length movie, as that way we would have been able to explore this wonderfully tragic story with more time and it wouldn't have to be paired with the other movies. Needless to say after that, Magnetic Rose is my favorite short of this collection and the best one, by far.
Supposedly, this short was comedy, but no one in the room I watched it laughed. More than that, the story feels unimaginative and the characters are so ridiculously dumb that it makes you wonder how they became scientists of that level. Despite that, I got to say that it is very pretty, albeit a bit old-styled.
This was, for me, a terrible short. I actually was glad that it ended. The quality drop between the two first short is astounding actually. I can't really recommend it to anyone.
This short is, at least for me, a well-defined criticism to some cultures and elements of our society. In that it is pretty successful, but it doesn't manage to tell a particularly interesting story in the process.
Its most marking characteristic is its visuals, specially when paired with the awesome soundtrack that accompanies it. I would categorize the visuals as experimental and unique. Also, it is not really possible to explain it, you just got watch it to understand it. Also, it uses a trick similar to the recent Birdman to make it seem as if the movie is just one continuous shot.
Cannon Fodder is experimental and interesting, but it definitely isn't something everybody would enjoy. I would recommend it to people who enjoy experimental stuff or this style of criticism.
As a collection, Memories fails, its title doesn't fit, the themes have nothing in common and, overall, it isn't that good. The only great short it has is Magnetic Rose, that is an incredible sci-fi. Because of that, I can't recommend it whole-heartedly to anyone. My advice is: watch only the first short and, maybe, give the third one a try if you enjoy that type of stuff; just skip the second one, for your own sake.
This movie has three lil movies inside, I'll name them in order of appearance -"Magnetic Rose", "Stink Bomb" and "Cannon Fodder".
The first episode "Magnetic Rose": I felt that it reflected the title pretty well- the theme definitely correlates to memories. This was probably the most impressive in terms of story and art- the only complaint is that this would've been ideal if it was turned into a full-length movie instead of being thrown into a 3 episode movie. But that's just me. The story is basically about two space dudes from the future exploring the interior of what was once home of a famous
opera singer of the century (our generation).
The second episode "Stink Bomb": I'm not sure how it relates to the title at all. This was the most humorous and light-hearted of the three. It's about a chemist who takes a pill right before he sleeps and then he wakes up with everyone around him dead- it sounds very dark and depressing but they managed to keep it surprisingly mellow somehow believe it or not. I enjoyed this one a lot as well.
The third and final episode "Cannon Fodder": This felt a bit underwhelming in comparison to the first two, no offense. In terms of visuals this was probably the most unique- it's very rough and gritty but it can be very charming. Its about something comparable to the Industrial Revolution and the war around the early 1900s. I always kind of waited to see the little boy the majority of the time as he felt to be the main character but sadly he doesn't get as much screen time as i hope he would. The only thing that corresponds to memories is the little boy saluting a general from the past and he dreams of eventually becoming one instead of being a cannon launcher like his father.
Overall: It's pretty good- but if i were you i'd watch it all in reverse (episode 3 first, episode 2 second then episode 1 last). It'd probably be more satisfying than if you did it in order. There isn't a chronological order to it anyway it's just three different movies with some connection ..with i guess the theme of memories tucked inside.
Memories is a collection of three anime shorts: "Magnetic Rose" directed by Koji Morimoto, "Stink Bomb" by Tensai Okamura and "Cannon Fodder" by Katsuhiro Otomo, and Music by the amazing, outstanding and perfect Yoko Kanno.
the best of the 3 no doubt about it, this story is all about reality and illusion. Would you want to live in a perfect world, where there is only happiness? Of course you would. But what if this perfect world is nothing but an illusion? That's the question this movie asks.
The movie handles the question very well and doesn't really give an answer, leaving the viewers to
form their own opinion. The last scene in particular is extremely beautiful and will keep you thinking long after the credits roll.
This is the most lighthearted of the three movies, as you might expect from its hilariously absurd premise. It belongs to the genre of dark comedy. People die all around our helpless hero, the upbeat, weird-fun, jazz soundtrack makes this even more awesome. The lighthearted Stink Bomb was meant to be just that: A fun little romp that should elicit a smile after the grim Magnetic Rose.
"Everyone is provided for ... but no one is truly happy", the best thing one can aspire to be is the commander of a cannon. The setting itself is simply neat to watch in its industrial glory, and the message it tries to convey seems to be an indictment on the extreme level of conformity inherent in socialism.
Overall- This was an amazing experience for me and without a doubt i will be re-watching it every year for the rest of my life.
"Memories" consist of three entirely different short movies, which, as I'm going to argue, may be not bad individually but as a compilation aren't probably worth anyone's time.
It's not even fully comprehensible why these films ended up bundled together. They are not tied by any single concept. E. g. first two look like adaptation of some short-story of the month from random SF magazine, while the third much more resembles short-film with focus put on visuals (and it's the only one which is actually short). The first movie has significantly more complex plot than second and third - the latter ones explore one idea
only in a hit or miss manner. The first and third movie are dead serious, second one is supposedly more light-hearted. Of all of them only the first has some connection to the title of the collection. And all have distinguishably different art style. Thus it's quite probable that the viewer will like only one or two of them, while not liking the rest.
Therefore it's probably more reasonable to watch the movie in more than one go. Also diversity makes it difficult to rate this as a whole or even particular parts relative to each other. But I'll try to do it briefly anyway. In the order they were in the movie:
6/10 - It's a story about fateful encounter in deep space - crew of garbage disposal ship answers SOS call from a dangerous region. Standard SF concepts ensue. It's not bad, but most people probably saw/read something similar many times before. And animation is beginning to show signs of age. I was a little bit bored by it, but generally, it's pretty average. I'll give it +1 point on assumption it was not as behind the times in 1995 as it is now.
?/10 (my personal enjoyment - 1/10) - It's essentially "Akira" made shorter, simpler and goofier. This story works only if one finds its idiot protagonist funny. I didn't, so I found Stink Bomb daunting and irritating. And much too long - idiocy of the protagonist is the only source of humor (and driving force of all the events) for almost 40 minutes. Nevertheless, many people don't share my sense of humor (or lack thereof), so you can give it a try.
8/10 - The shortest one which I liked the best. But it's only good as a short movie, when compared to Magnetic Rose it comes out as shallow. Its main strength is creative art style and depressing dystopian setting. When one doesn't like it one won't find anything interesting in it.
?/10 (my personal rating 5/10)
I think most people would like at least one of these stories. It is questionable however if it's good investment of your time to sit through all three parts to find out which one you'd like. I strongly suspect it is not, all the more neither is particularly exceptional. Find yourself something more fitting your taste.
Before he was one of the greatest anime directors of all time, Satoshi Kon was a manga artist. From early success in college to ambitious collaborations with the likes of Katsuhiro Otomo and Mamoru Oshii, his manga work is highly recommended to better understand his genius.