Jan 31, 2023
Overall Impression: A short (25 minutes, give or take) full CGI film about a boy meeting and falling in love with an escaped android, whose handlers will do anything to get her back. The CGI is not as bad as you'd think, but there isn't much here that's worth going out of your way for. This could have been more compelling as a full series, but there isn't much time to get to know or care about the characters with so much content crammed into the length of one episode of TV anime.
+ Positives: The CGI here actually looks pretty decent at times. There are
some parts where it doesn't of course, but it benefits from how the entire thing is in CGI instead of poorly-integrated CGI elements clashing with a traditional hand-drawn 2D aesthetic. The facial expressions are more emotive than I typically expect from CGI as well. Some of the action, in particular the mech showdown in the Buddhist temple (there is A LOT going on in this short film), would have been impractical for a project of this scope without CGI, and some of it even looks pretty good. The pacing is brisk (almost TOO brisk, arguably) and it gives you enough of a resolution to be called a complete story, so it rarely gets boring.
- Negatives: Threadbare love story between Shinichi and Toto that feels like it skips several steps to get to its conclusion in the allotted time. Almost like a speedrun of a Makoto Shinkai film in its heavy-handed use of romcom cliches and implied supernatural tragedy, even though it came out several years before most of his best-known works. CGI character models look odd when viewed in profile instead of straight-on. Muddled setting that allegedly takes place several centuries in the future, but is just modern Japan with robots and holograms for all intents and purposes. Overly tidy and optimistic ending that robs some tragic scenes of their impact. Very rushed overall, there's enough here that it could have been made into a full series of Shinichi and Toto going on adventures while evading Toto's handlers, but most of the promising elements for the future get cut off by the need to wrap it up in 25 minutes.
What did you think of this review?