Pandy and Retro awaken naked on Earth with no recollection of their past. They embark on a devastating crime spree in search of food, clothing and transportation, but are captured by authorities and sent to the infamous lunar penitentiary named Dead Leaves. While incarcerated, they quickly discover that Dead Leaves is also a top-secret cloning facility, occupied by villainous guards and deformed genetic experiments. Ultra-manic chaos and hyper-violent bedlam ensue as they organize a prison break with the aid of their fellow mutant inmates.
Dead Leaves is the kind of show that would probably blow your mind if you watched it stoned or drunk. It is so completely insane that it almost doesn’t make any sense if you’re sober. The first thing I am reminded of while watching this was another wild and crazy series, Furi Kuri. By the end of that show I wasn’t sure if I liked it or not. That’s not the case with Dead Leaves, it was a great ride that I recommend strongly.
The story for Dead Leaves is as nutty as you might expect. A couple find themselves naked
and without memories and turn to a crime spree in which they are eventually caught and sent the moon's prison called Dead Leaves for life. They soon manage to free themselves and the other prisoners and find themselves in a life or death struggle to escape, and to recover their own memories that seem to be related with the prison. It’s not incredibly deep but the action is furious and nonstop. Don’t blink or let your attention wander because you’re bound to miss something and become confused.
A word of warning for anyone who is going to watch this. This one is not for the small kids. The humor is perverse, highly sexual, graphic and gory. The body count and level of death is shockingly high. I have railed against violent humor before in the past but Dead Leaves is one in which this actually works. Dismemberment has never been so much fun or humorous.
Characters are a real strong point as this movie features some of the most enjoyable I have seen to date. The two protagonists are Pandy and Retro. They are both drawn in a very bizarre style like everything else in the show. The first thing that will probably strike you is why does Retro have a TV for a head? There is good chemistry between the pair and I can’t see anyone not liking these two from the start. There is a plethora of supporting characters, many of them are quite hilarious. Most noticeably "Dick Drill" and the Doctor. I’m not sure if it’s even possible for me to describe these two to someone who hasn’t seen this anime. Just watch it, if you don’t think they are hilarious then check your pulse because you’re dead.
The animation, well it’s unique. I would say that it is a masterpiece really but I can’t really justify it. It is so odd and so bizarre that it is sure to not appeal to everyone. I thought it was perfect because it set the tone so well for both the story and the characters personalities. It all really fits together well. Like I said before those who have seen Furi Kuri are going to find a lot of similarities here. The acting is also top notch. With so many crazy personalities the cast does a wonderful job of bringing out all these quirky and insane people and giving them life.
I really recommend this movie highly to everyone. If you like zany, graphic, and wild comedy then this show is definitely for you. FLCL fans should also check this out without fail. I would also recommend another series called Trava which is very similar in art style and story pacing. Dead Leaves isn’t for everyone, but I think everyone should give it at least a try.
Anime: Dead Leaves is a 55 minute OAV that was created by Imaitoonz (who also did work on the 3D mechanical designs on Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann), was produced by Production IG (known for their work on Azumanga Daioh and the Ghost in the Shell series), and directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi (who also directed Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann and FLCL). It was released in Japan on January 17th, 2004, and was licensed Stateside by Manga Entertainment, who released it on September 28th, 2004.
Story: Retro, a guy with a TV screen for a head, and Pandy, a girl with a panda-esque mutation mark
over her eye, wake up naked on Earth with no idea of who they are or how they got there. They promptly decide to go on a crime spree to get food, clothes, and transportation in Tokyo, and are promptly captured and sentenced to time on the lunar prison known as Dead Leaves. Little do they know what awaits them there.
There is but one thing you need to know abotu this OAV: It is cracktastic. No other word for it. Utterly cracktastic. And when you look at the director's previous works, it's not all that surprising.
There is no real overarching plot and character development is minimal. The OAV moves along very quickly from sequence to sequence, sprinkled liberally with sex and mayhem and violence and insanity.
It's a hell of an OAV to watch, and definitely worth it, in my opinion. Just don't expect much in this department, and just let the crazy wash over you.
WARNING: Very crude (one character has a drill for a dick), sexual acts/references, over the top violence, and some nudity.
Art: The art on this is absolutely insane. And I love it. The entire OAV is animated smoothly, which makes the freneticness of the entire thing that much more awesome to watch. There are very sharp contrasts in this, along with striking color choices, which I absolutely love. The character designs also score major points for originality; all the designs are just as crazy as Retro, Pandy, and drill-dick guy's.
Music: Nothing that stood out too much here.
Voice Actors: I watched this dubbed, which is pretty unusual for me. The VA work on this was excellent, and I'm amazed at their ability to keep up with the speed of the lines that was required.
Dub: Not covered here, as I don't have much to compare it to.
Length: Seeing as I am convinced this is crack in a pure, distilled form, this was about all that I could take; any longer, and my brain would have exploded, any shorter, and it wouldn't have made a bit of sense.
Overall: Cracktastic. Definitely worth a watch, if you can stand a lack of sense, and crudeness.
No words can begin to describe how ridiculously epic this anime is, this is just a film on another level. The film is just in-your-face action on the top end of the awesome scale. Dead Leaves is an anime that will have you stuck to your seat the entire time, the sheer amount of action in the film is like an adrenaline rush that takes you there so fast it’s like being on a rollercoaster ride. Sure there are moments where the film gives you moments to breathe to explore the story and characters, but once that point is over you are on the move
in a flash.
In terms of art design the film has a highly stylized look that is fabulous to look at, it’s very sharp full of bright block colours that help the animation stand out greatly and when the animation moves hold on to your seat because this film just moves like a crazy carnival ride. The animation is completely consistent and never lets up and there are points when so many things are happening at once while the screen moves from place to place you may up incapacitated.
The sound in the film is very nice, the choice of music is very upbeat and helps amplify the chaotic action and while it’s not really memorable in any kind of way it works for the film itself. The characters in this film are cool, Retro is just a madman who knows how take care of things in a crazy fashion and the fact that he's voiced by Kappei Yamaguchi just adds to the character too. Panda is hot chick who is packing heat when the action starts, she seems to be calm in every situation she's in and is almost the opposite of Retro outside of the battlefield. The villain of the film isn't half bad and the supporting characters are really funny bunch of people.
To be honest I totally loved Dead Leaves, I thought it was great, while the story wasn't ever going to be really engaging it had a unique concept behind it and was good for what it was. I recommend this highly for anyone looking for a little epicness in their lives. And lastly if there are any people who have watched Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann should give this a go for sure.
I thought I had seen it all, then I saw Dead Leaves.
From the mind of Hiroyuki Imaishi (director of FLCL and Gurren Lagann) comes this cracktastic adventure of the bizarre and insane. Get ready for a 45m long wild ride on ludicrous speed. It goes full plaid.
Retro- a guy with a TV for a head, and Pandy- a woman with an enormous red eye wake up in the middle of nowhere with no recollection as to how they got there, or what the heck they were doing in the first place. Their inhibitions flung to the wind, they take up arms and
go buck wild on the city, only to be rounded up and sent to the prison Dead Leaves, which is located on the half munched-off remainder of the moon. Hilarity, violence, and madness ensue.
Everything about this OVA screams Hiroyuki Imaishi. I loved seeing his unique art style on display- Everything in this looked like the bumper slides from Gurren Lagann for reference, and I thought it was awesome. Crisply animated, and so so so many quick cuts, flashing lights, and fast, fluidly moving action pieces. Vibrant colors, and those glorious stars.
I watched this in sub, and the voice acting was appropriately outrageous and manic. The energetic music pumped along to the explosions, gunfire, and general mayhem going onscreen. Great stuff.
Okay, so, Pandy the Red-eyed asskicking leading lady, and Retro, the deranged TV head team up to figure out just exactly what the heck is going on, along with a skeevy doctor that looks like Zoidberg, but swap the tentacles for bad teeth, some dudes with some not-so-subtle reproductive organ parts for heads, and Mr. Chinko Drill, who has an enormous golden drill for a penis. That's right, a drill, and he's not afraid to use it.
They all play their parts with equal bits psychosis and thirst for violence, and it couldn't be much more entertaining to watch.
What a rush. Nonstop, quick cut, over the top, sheer craziness from start to finish. It never lets up. Blink, and you might as well be watching something else- it goes FAST. Story on hyperdrive, action on lightspeed- I had to rewind several times after trying to find my jaw to put it back on. The absurd situations, the crude jokes, loved all of it. Couldn't stop laughing the whole time.
Overall: 8.8 (rounding this one up, because it was too much fun) - 9
In typical, addictive Imaishi style, it is extremely irreverent, edgy, and a bit crass, but when combined with his incredible art, a tasty soundtrack, and more gonzo than you've seen since Inferno Cop, and we have a formula for success.
Note: I see this as a sort of spiritual predecessor to Gurren Lagann. The art style definitely was inspired by this, and no-one can deny the introduction of the awesomeness of Spiral Power that we have Dead Leaves to thank for.
Anime aimed at teens is a lot of fun. But anime aimed at an older crowd is on a whole other level! You get more violence, gore, nudity and sex than you bargained for...which isn't entirely a bad thing.