Set in the year 2077, this cyberpunk thriller starts off with a bang and unfortunately goes out with a wimper.
The story evolves around roughneck yet beautiful girl named Vexille who works for an elite military force codenamed: S.W.O.R.D. In a nutshell, Japan has elected to become an isolated country and decides not to play ball with the rest of the world. A semi interesting story ensues...
Fortunately, as soon as the movie starts you are well treated for some nice visual eye candy. As you would expect from a CGI heavy movie, everything is rendered with utmost detail. But almost immediately you will notice that
the characters are altered slightly than what you would normally expect. They appear to be more styled in a cel-shaded way. A little minor gripe with cel-shading is that sometimes theres a little TOO much 'shading' on the characters. The style may look a little weird (semi-simplified characters over an extremely detailed background) but you will most likely grow used to it after a few minutes. There are a few flaws in the animation but thats proof of how beautiful this movie is. You'll be actively searching for things in the artwork to nit pick.
A great thing about a cyberpunk universe is understanding the universe itself. The back story and technology throughout the movie will most definitely do its job in to pulling you into the Vexille universe as all the technology is pretty believable (for the most part) and cool to look at. Unfortunately what pulls the story down a few points is that the actual plot is very unspectacular. When the viewer discovers the plot, seasoned anime viewers will notice how cliche' the whole move is from the climax to the ending. Which disappointed me so much since they could have easily gone a unique route but decided to take the safe (and unimpressive) route.
With a weakening plot, unfortunately the characters have to suffer as well. As they are near replicas of other cyberpunk characters. It also means that the characters faces don't show emotions very well for some reason (i.e. happy, sad, etc). To add more salt to the wound, the characters don't speak as much which is good and bad. Good as in usually when they're not talking some kick ass action sequence is going on, and bad as in the character chemistry is virtually nonexistent. If you have been following any of my reviews, chemistry is what makes a good anime great.
Don't get me wrong, this movie was for the most part, pretty good and I am most likely going to buy the dvd when it comes out, but the storyline and characters started to wane (or letup) further into the movie. If they only kept its intensity and uniqueness all the way to the end, this would definitely be a 9, but this movie deserves no more than a 6.
Vexille is in the same vein as cyberpunk thriller franchises Appleseed and Ghost in the Shell. There is excellent animation and world/mecha design on display, with great music by Paul Oakenfold.
The story is intriguing and has moments of awe, but is overall generic and subpar. The premise of having the main protagonist from America and treating Japan like current-day hermit North Korea is very cool but not expanded upon creatively.
Vexille settles for obligatory action setpieces and clichéd villains to fill the running time. All stuff straight out of the Rebels-Fight-Empire 101 textbook. A textbook that is in need of a new edition,
I think we can all agree.
Vexille - 2077 Nihon Sakoku shares the same inspiration as Ghost in the Shell and Appleseed, following an almost straight forward cyberpunk plot line.
The story is fairly good and had some potencial. All flows around the isolation of Japan during 10 years because the disagreements in a Treatment for the preservation of mankind during the Robotized era. In short the denial of creating androids.
It is a simple plotline with good potencial for plot twists but unfortunatly it starts entering in a downward spiral to failure due to some bad decisions of the directors.
Art and Sound are simply Amazing. Superb animation not only for the
mechas but for all the scenarios the story passes by. Sound is also superb, with great tracks by Paul Oakenfold and great tracks choosen by the Sound Director (wich is Paul Oakenfold).
The Characters could be way better. They are just plain and simple with no really great mistery behind them. They are what you see.
Enjoyment: Vexille Is a feast to your emotions. Great Animation with Great music quickly lead you to forget about the mediocre plot line and plain characters. You can simply shut your brain after the first 20-30 minutes of the anime and still you will enjoy it.
Overall Vexille had the potencial to be a better movie but the story and the characters cripled that possibility. Still Vexille - 2077 Nihon Sakoku is a good movie that can be enjoyed not only by the CG and Cyberpunk fans but also by the normal watchers.
For the record, I didn't start off hating this movie. I'd actually been searching for it for a good year before they released it in June (July? Something with a J). I looked at it lovingly the whole way home once I'd bought it, and when I watched it for the first time, I felt...happy.
That was about for the first 15 minutes.
I've watched it 3 times since I bought it, and it never gets better. I don't know whether or not I'm biased towards Shirow or whether I just expect better from the producers, but something about this movie was a little off.
me just say that the graphics are awesome. The opening scenes with the snow floating in the wind--excellent. Graphics were not the problem I had with this movie. One of the main problems I had was the mech designs. I mean, you want them to seem as though they could work in real life, and these just didn't seem like they could. Maybe it's a small gripe, but when machines are the majority of your story, you should pay them a little more attention.
The main character, Vexille (I honestly, seriously, hate this name. Who the hell names a girl Vexille?! Whatever....) seems like a copy of Duenan without the spunk and vitality. I believe that they just took the template for Appleseed and slapped some weird black/grey/blond hair on it (I swear to god her hair changes colors). She doesn't really have a back story, there's no sense that she even really loved her partner Zack (or that he loved her back), and by the end of the movie, I just felt indifferent towards her. This wouldn't be a problem if you didn't have to spend almost the entire running time for this movie with her, but you do, so it is.
The story has a good twist about half way in, but it doesn't make up for the rest of the boring, drawn out, ultimately lame plot. It had a great concept, but a few things (Jags) just killed it for me.
Given the fact that Appleseed: Ex Machina was released before this, I really don't see why you'd really need to watch this. I mean, if its your first time, go for it, because at least the visuals can get you through this mediocre piece.
The story telling in Vexille is entirely unimaginative. Yes, that should be where this review begins; very little to no thought at all went into making the story line. Nearly everything is predictable far before it happens and the things that aren't you won't care about because there isn't any character depth to hold it together. This is not helped by the flashy animation style which accomplishes its shiny veneer at the cost of removing emotions from the faces of the characters. Seriously, it's not fair, the characters don't have that depth to lose. The fact that anime emotions are exaggerated beyond actual
human expression limits is not actually always a bad thing. The premise of the story on the other hand is somewhat original, but still entirely implausible.
Sound was unimaginative too, didn't stand out in most scenes, and those scenes had a plus as a result. Which leaves the art itself which, as has been stated, is very shiny. But it's kind of a painting over the hole in the wall rather than fill it sort of effect. The flaws are still there and fully visible.
If you enjoyed the visuals and sound design of Appleseed and Appleseed Saga Ex Machina, then you will enjoy Vexille. Indeed TBS has stolen alot from the Sega produced Shirow classic.
Alot of the mechanical design and environment design is clearly a Shirow knock-off, but it is executed fairly well. I did appreciate the thought put into the explanation behind alot of the technology represented in the movie, since technology is rather central to the plot.
But the plot was exactly the problem in this movie. Specifically around character development and motive. While the outside story resembles a crossbred of Appleseed and I-Robot and does
a fairly good job of suspending disbelief, until time constraints forces open various cliches plot-holes; the inside story is what literally tanks the movie. Perhaps if the writer made Vexille and Leon's relationship more as a mystery, or one that was more ambiguous...
Oh well...the soundtrack by Paul Oakenfold, with a brief bump by M.I.A. saves the movie from time to time, along with the standard post-Matrix cinematography. Worth watching if you're starving for some cyber-punk dystopia.
I watched Vexille not long after watching Appleseed; Ex Machina, and if the two weren't made by the same studio one of them needs to sue the other. However I found the CGI to be even more amazing in Vexille, a true feast for the eyes with razor-sharp action scenes and beautiful cel-shaded characters. If you hate 3D anime you may find yourself turned off by this, but unlike most 3D anime it's actually well done. It still feels like watching a two-hour video game cutscene at times, but at others it feels like watching a live-action movie, the animation gets so
photo-realistic. If anime characters came out of the monitor and interacted with us, they'd probably look like the ones in Vexille.
The story features Vexille, an American secret agent trying to infiltrate Japan along with a team of SHIELD ripoffs (SWORD in this case), who manages to get inside Japan's high-tech isolation shield and joins your atypical group of resistance fighters trying to struggle against the evil tech company that turned the country into a wasteland. It's nothing original, really, but the classic elements still fit well and there are a few nice swerves in there too. Vex herself strongly reminds me of the girl from Appleseed, both badass CGI babes part of a paramilitary outfit who try to protect their much larger, stronger male counterparts. She's tough but has more of a heart than the icy leader of the resistance, Maria; at one point the latter shoots a child point-black in the face without blinking.
Overall a pretty excellent piece of animation. Recommended watching, you can stream it on Netflix if you have that service (and most people seem to these days).
Story - 7 (nothing too original but the familiar pieces work well)
Art - 10 (some of the best CGI I've ever seen in a 3D anime)
Sound - 8 (good voices on the dub, nice BGMs, lots of explosions)
Character - 7 (again, nothing original here, but badass hot chicks are badass and hot)
Enjoyment - 8 (the fact that I fell asleep midway through is unrelated)
Overall - 8 (recommended for those who like action, CGI and/or cyberpunk themes)
This dystopian flick can be summed up in two words - implausibly childish.
The film initially casts the hook with mystery and intrigue surrounding an technologically advanced but sealed Japan - a Pandora's Box! How exciting! We're enticed with glimpses of fancy gadgets Japan exports to America, Logic dictates the country itself must have something even better hidden behind its doors worthy of all the hype, right? Giant robots? Flying cities? They've been done before but hell we can never get enough of 'em!
What's the extraordinary secret it all builds up to? Drumroll.....
A SINGLE BACKWARD SLUM ON A PANCAKED FLAT DESERT.
No, seriously, the film's imagination goes
only so far as one two-dimensional slum as flat as the rest of geographical Japan. Why is Japan, 73% of which is mountainous, with some of the best sceneries in the world, FLAT? Hell if I know! Animation studio ran out of budget? Or their render engines can't handle some bumps on the ground?
And what's the supposed reason for flat Japan? Wait for it... A MAN-CHILD scientist managed to gain political power, so turned the ENTIRE JAPANESE POPULATION INTO HIS TOYBOX.
A BABY ROBOTICISED AN ENTIRE COUNTRY TO PLAY WITH ANDROID TOYS.
It's not even the fun kind of mad scientist - the chief villain literally showed up for less than 10 minutes and had an equally pathetic death! HOW DID THIS CHILD MANAGE TO DESTROY A COUNTRY? WHO EVER TOOK THIS BUFFOON SERIOUSLY?
Oh wait... this is 2018 where Trump managed to control the world's biggest superpower, well sh......
Final Fantasy Advent Children had more believable environments and character animations - the characters of Vexille move more robotically than robots, with one-too-many-botox-injection stiff faces to match, and isn't it obligatory to at LEAST throw in abandoned skyscrapers in any dystopian film? They didn't even bother with that! Nothing! The background is literally one 2D square filled with sand texture!
It feels like good people have tried to make it work, but with UNLIMITED possibilities who wrote such a painfully LIMITING treatment? I actually dozed off during one action sequence, it is that generic!
All that anticipation built up to NOTHING - it's like seeing a flat desert beyond the clouds shrouding Laputa - and the central reason behind all the death and carnage? A man-child having fun with robot toys? What the hell!
At least throw in some pseudo-philosophical nonsense as the main motivation for the villain, without the 3D software's fancy lighting, the story is a big, fat, 0.
In one line: "Awesome graphics, very Appleseed-like. Nice OST. Unimpressive characters in a very much cliché'd story."
Overall rating: 8/10
The story revolves around a hardened military girl named Vexille who is a member of S.W.O.R.D, which is some kind of high-tech military force. According to the plot, it has been 10 years that Japan has withdrawn from the U.N and became a loner, completely sealing off its frontiers, using high-end technological wizardry to filter incoming and outgoing transmission. It literally vanished off the world map. Then, the S.W.O.R.D is assigned a mission to infiltrate Japan and see what's going
on there. When they reach, they find a land devoid of all humanity.
- [ Animation - 9/10 ] -
Animation and graphics is definitely Vexille's strongest point. The graphics, à-la Appleseed, is pure CGI and cel-shading. It really matches Appleseed's quality and fluidity. The level of detail is simply outstanding. I thought Appleseed was the sole ruler, but now it has a rival! A real feast for the eyes by all means.
I must say that the Animation is so "perfect" that the characters look too artificial. Like painted dolls. I attribute this to the sometimes excessive shading and lighting effect. Not too noticeable, but still it's there.
- [ Sound - 9/10 ] -
Sound really got my attention in Vexille. The OST is really good, with pumping music that really brings renewed vigor to the action scenes. Really gets your heart pumping at some moments. I also appreciated the Orient-sounding instruments, which brings a nice touch to the general sounds. Overall, I liked the choice of music. It really befits Vexille.
Nothing to complain about the voice actors too. They performed resonably well. Nothing too special, but it works.
- [ Characters - 6/10 ] -
The characters are unimpressive. This is because there has been no extensive character development in Vexille. They are just plain generic Military personnel. They are not particularly likeable, and you will definitely not be identifying yourself with any of them! "Emotionless." That's the word that describes the characters best according to me. I'm sure that in a week's time, I'll forget all of them. None of their backgrounds are overly interesting or touching, nor are their actions during the course of Vexille. Just plain automatons.
To illustrate my point: if one character dies, you are not going to be missing them, since they are not very likeable. Most plots have you totally like a character, then when they dies, you feel sad. This sadness is nowhere in Vexille. Remember Kamina from Tengen Toppa? Nothing like him in Vexille.
Another flaw. Only 2 or 3 characters get most of the screen-time. Vexille, Maria and some others. There is almost no male lead in Vexille. The main male character, Leon, vanishes from the screen at the start, and appears at the end, with almost no role to play in the plot! That's bad use of characters in my opinion.
- [ Story - 7/10 ] -
First the good points. Vexille's plot brings a number of new elements to the Sc-fi genre. I liked the way they showed a completely new Tokyo. We usually know Tokyo as a tech city. Not in Vexille. I won't spoil, so go see yourself. There are also the Jags which are an essential part of the plot. I liked the change from plain "bad cyborgs, good humans" stories. The story also has its points of suspence, which really keeps you stuck to your screen. There are not many of them, but they are evenly scattered, so it's satisfactory. You'd probably not believe, but the story will also give you some things to ponder on, about humanity and immortality. Unexpected by all means!
Briefly, expect to see cyborgs, humans and some weird things like Jags. At the start, and ending parts, you will get some fast-paced action scenes which accelerates your heart-beat. Not bad actually.
The bad? The second part of Vexille and the ending are totally cliché. I'd go as far as saying that it was rushed! Basically? Rebels vs the bad guys. Lost love, then re-found. Loss of friends. You get the idea. That's what you will see in the second part of Vexille. You can actually predict what is going to happen after a while. Forget suspence, there is hardly any in that second part.
The plot-line actually held some potential if it was correctly exploited, but it was rushed, not paying enough attention to details. There are some plot-holes like what Jags actually are. Instead we are just told "failed experiments", nothing more. Another example? There is nothing mentioned about the Japan government. Everything is about Daiwa industries. What is lacking is the detail elaboration, making the story somewhat mediocre.
- [ Enjoyment & Rewatch - 7/10 ] -
Here, I'll be biased. I'm a CGI-animation lover, so I really liked Vexille. Just for the high-quality CGI and the good OST, but not for the characters and the story. The story is not that bad in fact, but the characters are no good.
If you like good quality CGI animation, see Vexille. If you want character development and story, keep off Vexille, and go see Appleseed or similar.
- [ Conclusions ] -
Vexille is a good CGI animation movie, comparable to Appleseed in terms of animation, detail-level and quality. The music is good too.
The bad part is that it severely lacks in character development and a good, non-generic ending. It's again the plain "good guys win flat out" kind of ending, so nothing special here.
Again, if you want to see a well-made CGI animation, see Vexille, but don't expect too much from the story and characters.
Watching Vexille is like watching the most beautiful yet uncomlete painting. The art is fantastic, and the elements within the story contain everything a good story needs. All the elements to make this the most innovative anime are there.
Art is perfect, like watching appleseed again.
Story is rushed, though full of many great elements it falls short and feels incomplete.
Characters are decent and would have been great had they truly been expanded upon. The hero alone never feels much like are hero or even important.
Sound was very good with some very good musical picks and pretty good voice acting.
feels like they are not put together. Most of the fun in this show comes from things not meant to be funny, yet end up being hilarious. At best I would call Vexille a rental.
Sooo....a first not-so stellar review. Though I liked Appleseed Ex Machina I went into this movie expecting something along those lines. I did get what I was expecting but..uhmm less of it. Vexille wasn't interesting and despite the action and the glittery explosions (and I do like explosions), as well as the cyber-punk dystopian themes, it was dull..dull like's story, characters, music, and etc.
Story: The story itself is good. The idea of Japan isolating itself once again and the disastrous results that came from such isolation was something that got me into seeing the film. The theme of technology
erasing humanity as a consequence of our dependence on it is one I have seen before (many..many times), but I never get tired of it. And I did feel the paranoia of the government wash over me as a reminder of why we should ALWAYS question the government and those who make decisions without the people's knowledge thus consent.
So the story itself got a lot going for it. It was just executed in a manner I didn't enjoy...and that mostly came from the characters...the unconvincing romance...the thrown in action sequences...and so on so forth. I liked the themes it presented.
Characters: I disliked Vexille. Normally I love strong female characters. I envy and connect with them. But Vexille was just so...boring. For an brash American, she was downplayed and ignored even though she was the most seen character on screen (and the TITLE character mind you). There was little life to her, and when she showed signs of life, it was forced. Sometimes...she felt as mechanical as the androids she is so wary of. Leon was also near lifeless...and well...showed very little life..at all. Sure both these lvoers can polite and fight well...but once again so can those androids. And the romance? The chemistry? Nothing. I got nothing.
Everyone else is as dull as predictable. Main villain being a evil genius hell bent on being God? Seen it, easily dealt with and pathetic...as well as boring. Silent stoic henchmen? Check.
And those rebels....I...didn't care about them at all...except for Maria. In fact she was the only character I connected with...which sucks, cause she was woodened and morose.
None of them were fun, none of them were good. I kinda wanted all of them to die in some semi-heroic fashion, but I never got what I wanted from this film.
Art: The art went back to that annoying cell-shading I did not care for in Appleseed, but the animation was nice. The architecture was very well done, though unlike Ex Machina, I wasn't wowed. The weaponry, suits, and machines were pretty cool.
The characters however...I saw little emotion, little reaction to even the most tragic of times. Everyone is so...damn...stoic. well more like emotionless and robotic. Especially the main characters, which stinks cause i have to watch them show the SLIGHTEST hint of love and sadness in the only the convenient of times. The animation was nice but again the character designs and the lack of conveyable emotion hurt this score.
Sound: Voices were all right...but meh, no real emotion, not really impressed. Music was standard cyber fare.
Overall: This could've been better..I wanted it to be better...but I was not engaged.
A very cool premise with a wonderful soundtrack and animation, Vexille gives you a beautiful protagonist set in an almost built upon world with a really, REALLY lackluster story. The movie has a very promising start, but fails to do anything with it. It shortly falls into a rebel alliance vs. the empire plot-line. However, it also fails to do this well.
It was basically like if you watched Star Wars, but you only watched the cantina scene up to Han shooting Greedo, then the meeting about the run to blow up the Death Star(in a somehow extended version) and then the actual run to blow
up the Death Star. Then the movie ends...YAAAAY...?
There was so much room to do so much more and they just didn't.
Also, there was one part where Vexille was all 'OMG YOU WERE IN JAPAN?! to her boyfriend' and she's upset, but it's just never elaborated on or addressed ever again. I'd say that's a spoiler, but it's really just not relevant.
I'll be honest here and now, in case anyone does wind up coming to this movie: I think that, irrespective of the aged CGI, its a good movie. I first saw this movie in 2007, and then saw it again this year - in 2007, I didn't note the title, but liked it. And my opinion about why I liked it, hasn't changed.
Now, going into details:
It is an action adventure movie. A straight forward, engaging, non intensive action adventure movie with strong machinima themes - think Ghost in the Shell (GitS) or Metal Gear Solid (MGS) minus the philosophy (and in the case of
MGS, exhausting backstory), and a more intensive action oriented approach. You have a clearly defined villain, the hero's motives are developed till the end, and you root for the hero. With that said, the key plot point used is well tackled, and it incites thought - especially seven years later when the whole concept of machinima seems almost hauntingly true. If you've seen GitS then you probably get what I mean.
I'll only say that the art is dated. And for me, it fitted the time when it was released, but definitely has room for a reboot. For me, I find it is functionally adequate, and that is good enough. Nevertheless, I give credit to the concept of the "Jags" which were introduced through this movie, and near the ending of this movie.
THIS, is why I rewatched this movie. The characters, even now, stand solid. The protagonist is focused on her mission, and frankly speaking, the best part of this movie was its support cast, in my opinion anyway.
*Big fat full metal alchemist degree spoiler alert*
Maria, one of the support characters in this movie, is bad ass.
*big fat full metal alchemist degree spoiler alert close*
The soundtrack was solid. The atmosphere which the song "Close our eyes" sets, feels so good (and interestingly its now become a personal favorite of mine. The overall acting was solid - not irritating at all, and yet strong enough to maintain the credence of the plot and the plot progression. In that respect, they compensated for the art through the sound, and it is a good sign.
Overall, I recommend it. This movie's nice - it has a good plot, nice sound, and overall it had a satisfying ending. For me, that's good - its a good sign that a movie, nine years down the line, can still hold strong.
She’s smart, strong, sensitive, clever and beautiful. But foremost, she’s a warrior. More survivor that the superhero type, she still a woman who can kick butt when she need to. Did I mention smart? Hmmm... Just checking. As it so happens, Vexille is living in a future where fear of out of control technology has lead the United Nations (the deciding world body of the time) to declare specified limitations. Japan, far beyond the rest of the world in research and development, refused to comply. As a nation, Japan withdrew from the U.N. and closed itself off from the rest of the world. When a
meeting of world leaders was called to reconsider the Japanese position, a surprise attack is launched against the facility where the meeting is being held. In the ensuing battle the Japanese representative looses a leg. Under laboratory examination it is determined the leg is an artificially grown biometal. By extrapolation, it is also determined the owner of the extremity was a fully artificial being indistinguishable from other humans; an android! The existence of such a creature breaks scores of international laws and treaties. An army of sucvh creatures would be unacceptable. Obviously, something must be done! Vexille is motion capture animation with the soft, muted color of acid washed film. The story fun, even exciting as it builds in both suspense and intensity all the way to its strong conclusion. The English language version is perfectly performed plus the disc contains a Japanese version with English subtitles. Take your pick. Either way, if you’re at all into anime, you gotta love Vexille!
In the year of 2077, Robotic Technology has advanced greatly in the world where robots where used for simple every day tasks. Japan leading in the robotics industry decides to sever its ties with the U.N. so they can research and develop androids ( Human Robots ) which has been banned by U.N. policy. After severing its ties with the U.N., Japan sets relay towers around its country which scramble all communications and basically make the country invisible to spy sattelites. A very good anime in which the graphics and sound were outstanding, kind of reminds me of animes like resident evil degeneration and final
fantasy advent children. The story was good but it could have been better, i would have liked it more if it had more mechas fighting, but over all it was ok. i recommend this movie if your bored. 8/10
I see the lower rating this one had and it is hard to believe. The drawing/art is not like most other anime and maybe that is why it is lower rated by some. This is an awesome movie. The story is outstanding.
Everyone writing reviews here seem to just retell the description. ROFL. I won't do that. I think if you are reading this and have not seen this movie then please watch it. You see my rating on this one. Thumbs Up! Don't let the overall rating fool you, watch this one and you will be
happy you did; at least if you are a sci-fi type of person.