Ryo is sent out by the people of a village to kill the monster which has been attacking the villagers. It is rumored that this monster is a cat-woman named Bagi. As Ryo waits for the monster to come to its watering hole, he thinks back to how he first met Bagi as a kitten who learned how to write, and later reenters his life on a quest to discover who and what she really is. But now she has gone wild, and as the time of her arrival approaches, he strengthens his resolve to kill her.
I actually enjoyed this movie pretty much, the story is strong, as you would expect from Tezuka. It deals with genetic manipulation at a time where it wasn't so common to hear the issue and it's well constructed, except some plot holes here and there. What pushes down the film is its horrible animation, yeah, even for 1984, you would think that it was taken from early seventies not '84. The first series of Lupin in 71 are better animated that this movie. And the voices are often out of synch with the characters mouths.
Well, to be able to enjoy this one, you'll have to
forget the terrible animation and the whole production and be able to focus yourself on the story. Unfortunately, Tezuka, the Grandfather of anime, didn't got a good budget for this, otherwise it would be a total classic in this day.
Occasionally one may come across one of those old anime made in the 80s, and despite not liking 80s art or 80s anime, winds up loving it anyway. Bagi, the Monster of Mighty Nature, is one such anime movie. Perhaps the enjoyment of this movie can be attributed to Osamu Tezuka, who many consider to be a master of manga. He's done a few anime as well, such as Black Jack and Kimba the White Lion. I particularly enjoy his artwork, as it looks a bit different and kind of nice, and even the, what I would consider, ugly art of the 80s doesn't affect
this movie much. His work very often seems to look very good and distinctive.
Speaking of Tezuka's art, as I said, his art style is prevalent in this movie, which may make this movie watchable for those who don't like 80s anime because of this art, as is what happened to me. That said, the animation for the movie is another story. While still watchable, there are a few parts in the movie where the animation becomes very very choppy, however luckily this does not last for very long. That said, the animation isn't exactly amazing regularly, but it isn't bad either. I've seen some complain that the animation wasn't up to par for what most 80s animation did, and perhaps since I'm not particularly good at animation, I'm not a good judge of the animation. It is said that this looks more like 70s animation. Still, I will at least say that the animation is watchable and isn't frustrating, unlike some of what some companies like Gonzo will do.
The storyline isn't something brand new. The idea that science trying to create life can cause very bad things to occur is something I believe we've seen before, though considering this was made in the 80s perhaps its forgivable, as this may have been a much newer concept back then.There are many things one wouldn't expect to happen in this movie, so despite the story, the movie isn't exactly something one could predict the events of very easily either. Then again, I usually don't make predictions while watching movies as far as I know. It might be worth mentioning that Tezuka made this as a critique of Japan's recombinant DNA research at the time.
The characters is where this movie shines. While many are archetypical, from the bad guy working for a good cause who regrets their work after a higher up uses it for evil to the delinquent school kid gangster character, this movie uses plenty of archetypes. Still, the characters are very likeable and a few are even downright cool. Bagi in particular was an interesting character since Bagi had a very fleshed out personality. Bagi could seem to be a dangerous monster at times, could be an beautiful romantic at times (which for some may seem very weird considering she's a pink cat girl, and unlike other cat girls in anime, this one is very furry, rather than just having cat ears and maybe a tail), and could even seem like a poor distressed girl trying to find out her own identity. Bagi had an identity crisis. Having been made in a laboratory, she couldn't figure out if she was human or animal, and she wondered if there were others like her. She is someone you could care for. Someone you could respect. Its even worse in that the character begins to turn feral as time goes on, and this is particularly distressing to many.
Overall, I'd say this is a great movie definitely worth watching, and I highly recomend you go and watch it right now. Still, a warning. This movie has a few shots of what seems to be fanservice of Bagi in particular, which may weird some people out and push some away. It isn't in too high amount however and I'd say its fairly forgivable.