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Poll: Gedo Senki Episode 1 Discussion

Oct 7, 2014 9:01 AM
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 17
I enjoy elder Miyazaki movies mostly for the interesting aircrafts. I've always hated the environmentalist, anti-capitalistic stuffings. Something strange about his and Disney's animated movies though, I could never bring myself to re-watching them. Well, I actually did re-watch Howl's another time, but only b/c it was a hi-def version versus the SD version the first time. That said, Gedo Senki is something I enjoy returning to once in a while. Personally, I think GD is the weakest of the Ghibli movies. The soundtrack does not compare to those composed by Joe Hisaishi. GD's main theme is interesting during the first 30 seconds but quickly becomes repetitive and monotonous. Hisaishi's themes are interesting for the whole duration. That said, I praise GD for having re-watch value whereas all other Ghibli movies are something like Disney's Aladdin, it's top notch, but you watch it once in your life and that's about it...
Modified by hirobo2, Oct 7, 2014 9:11 AM
Nov 5, 2014 10:12 PM

Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 1528
A slow start with some awkward exposition that doesn't even go anywhere, but some of the stuff on the farm was pretty good. Arren's difficulties in figuring himself out are actually fairly interesting when this kind of thing is usually overblown or mopey.

The highpoint of the whole movie has to be Arren coming upon Therru singing in the pasture. Here would usually be a puppy-love moment but instead her song makes Arren terribly sad. Her hatred for him was interesting because it was based on an accurate perception of his character and he can't disagree, and it's equally interesting when she stops hating him because she can sympathize with feeling alone. This love story has a lot stronger base than most that appear in adventure movies.

Unfortunately, it just collapses in the last half-hour. There's so much leaden exposition and bland, uninspired plotting here, not to mention inexplicable stuff like Therru turning into a dragon. It really drags the movie down. After the pasture scene set such a high bar for the romance, the scene in the castle bedroom totally let it down.

As usual, a Ghibli movie is beautiful to look at. The ancient Mediterranean feeling of Hort Town (although apparently not as warm since people wear more clothes) was a interesting, and the way the physical structure was crumbling but the city was still vibrant was a rarely nuanced sight. Usually fictional cities are either gleaming and perfect or wrecks. Seeing a city which in some sense is past its prime but is still very much alive gives a great sense of a larger world and history being there even if we don't get to see much of it.
Nov 16, 2014 3:57 PM
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 3569
looking back at it, this film is just that terrible.
Apr 5, 2015 11:09 AM

Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 5708
Nice art, excelent animation and good music but the movie itself felt really empty, too slow and boring.

And I'm saying this as reader of the books that were great. But sadly the story didn't translate well into this movie.

4/10 Very forgettable movie.
I am glad Goro improved and build up on this mistake in his next movies.
May 5, 2015 11:49 AM

Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 2403
Ghibli's art never fails, there were many moments that were visually stunning to the point that I wouldn't mind pausing the screen just to be fascinated by the scenery more. While the art is somewhat simplistic at times, it can also be very sophisticated, as the roads, buildings, trees were really detailed. Sometimes without the need to pause as some scenes are extended. The music (especially early on) was simply outstanding all-round.

I, too, found the adventure aspect of the show much more mesmerizing than the said story at the end. Yet the theme of "balance" is pretty strong throughout the entire film. Having to lose something, to gain something in return. Using laziness as an example, by being not "lazy", we gain the act of not being lazy, while we lose the act of being lazy. Like for the town, if it was all new-looking, the liveliness wouldn't match the town at all, especially the "poorer" people living there.

I did appreciate how "death" is what makes life worth living. Taking things for granted, while we can still perceive it as good and bad, it is no longer special. I did like how Arren's shadow was actually his light all along. How the good can easily be judged as evil, due to how blindly some justifications are, or how cowardice impacts us. It really is nothing out of the extraordinary, the theme, that is. But I just really liked it for some reason, the simple discoveries of life in a sense portrayed in a fantasy setting. The magic, the dragon, it really was far from great, but it still delivered.

The gradual acceptance of Arren as Therru and Arren got to spend time together. It really is quite natural in the sense how people are complex, yet so straightforward and simple at times. Being forced to understand and start liking and appreciating the other person's companionship even if they aren't the best of the people. How we all fly alone, yet walk together. Wanting to speak, yet there are things we can't talk about, the song sang by Therru really "grasped" the essence of the film.

As always, this really was a feast to the eyes.
Feb 24, 2016 1:42 PM

Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 3911
I'm surprised at how decent this film was considering all the negative things I'd read about it beforehand. I haven't read the books though so I suppose I'm not comparing it to anything (some parts did feel rushed and missing plot points though). It didn't have the normal Studio Ghibli 'feel' to it and was fairly dark in places. Overall 7/10.
Apr 18, 2016 10:41 AM

Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 2073
"Meh", This isn't my least favorite Ghibli film but it's certainly not one I'd be all that willing to rewatch, I felt like it had a lot of good ideas just adapted awkwardly. It felt like playing an average JRPG, throwing around random terms without much explaining, and man that villain was lame, like he whispered all the time that just screams evil wizard.
Apr 23, 2016 4:05 PM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 4
Can anybody say me where can i find this video in youtube? or where can i download this song in mp3? I've been searching for the original song but i didn't found it in youtube... and also didn't find it in download pages....
Aug 12, 2016 1:56 PM

Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 2078
Very sad that this was adapted so poorly. :L
Movie was visually stunning, no doubt the art was top notch! Just like the OST. Studio Ghibli never fails on that. And just because of that, I can't rate this very low.
Dec 29, 2016 5:25 AM

Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 26
I think that someone that has read the books should reallly comment here and give all the missing explanations that remain unsaid in the movie. At least that's what I was looking for in the discussion post (:
Feb 4, 2017 8:07 AM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 59
just one of the best animes I have seen in a long time but there were a few things that did not make sense stiil I give it a 9 out of 10
Apr 18, 2017 6:20 AM

Joined: Dec 2015
Posts: 14912
Other than being very beautiful visually, this movie basically sucked.
"At some point, I stopped hoping."
Apr 21, 2017 5:41 PM

Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 21106
Wanted to like this but it was just boring ... I didn't care for any of the characters really and the world had so much potential but was left so unexplored to follow a really dumb plot. Arren was basically useless for the entire movie and I only really thought Sparrowhawk was cool. I wanted to see more of the world and the history of what happened! How did he meet Cob and Tenar? There was basically no explanation for the ending at all, I mean Therru just randomly turns into a dragon at sunrise WTF?! I swear I've seen many of these character designs before too, or at least they seemed really familiar. I even thought the art and music weren't as engaging as always :( Oh well, I guess they can't all be good ... 5/10
Mar 10, 2018 8:38 AM

Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 7622
It will be the fourth or fifth time I've seen it, and I must say that I liked it even more than last time. Since I missed my comment here on MAL, I saw this film again and I appreciated even more certain aspects that previously escaped me. Although many say that Ursula K. Le Guin's novel is much better than this animated adaptation, I maintain the opinion that the film is still beautiful. Narration with many events, but with tones of compassion and with an unchecked rhythm as in the best dilm of Studio Ghibli. The backgrounds have a medieval flavor, and the style can be misleading, but they are really well done. The soundtrack is very catchy.
May 25, 2018 2:48 PM

Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 1773
I ran into the final scene of this movies on TV two years ago. I didn't know the name of the movie or how to get to it. It came on my mind a few days ago but I had no clue how to reach it. It came to me on its own. It seems I have the power to summon movies I want.
Jan 14, 2019 12:56 PM
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 80
Art - stunning and great as ever when Ghibli is trying something.
Soundtrack - good as ever.
Characters - hmm, some things were missing, but still okay.
Plot - WHERE DID IT HIDE??? :( There was no suspense at all, no real motivation/goal for the characters to act as they did, and there were multiple plotholes and not given explanations (for example: why the hell did the boy kill his father in the beginning? and what did this have to do with the rest of the story, except for making his soul darken?).

This movie is still a little better than Ponyo, but until now the 2nd worst Ghibli movie I have seen.
Feb 6, 2019 6:48 PM

Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 6434
I still don't understand Therru's backstory well, and it didn't make sense for Arren to stab his father! But I'm glad he had to pay for his sin.

This movie wasn't that good but it was okay in my taste, although I didn't like Arren. Sparrowhawk was my favorite character and he was given little platform in the end, unfortunately.

¡Ay, caramba! --- Bart Simpson

Mar 7, 2019 12:14 PM

Joined: Nov 2018
Posts: 460
Interesting enough, I liked it slightly more than Princess Mononoke. The backgrounds were really good and I liked the animation as well. The story wasn't that bad, though not that amazing either I guess. I loved Therru's song part the most, felt natural and heartfelt; have loved that song for a while thanks to nana app and it was totally worth it. Also when they were working. Shame it didn't do the original books justice as the author n people have said, I personally haven't read them but I can understand the disappointment. Personally, I rather liked it.
Modified by OrangeClouds, Mar 7, 2019 12:18 PM
May 25, 2019 10:04 AM

Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 1085
Films that I consider really beautiful, not so much as a graphic quality (however very high, but not like in other Ghibli films) or for plot, not even for the richness or finesse of costume design and prop design. The fact remains that although an apparent simplicity in props and environments, there is a sort of beauty that seems made for this story, as well as the soundtrack; so catchy. Going back to what I saw as pleasant and interesting in this movie, it is the dialogues and concepts that are the basis of the narrative: Albert Pine and Victor Hugo could be mentioned in certain contexts. The film, in all the vision, is permeated with moments that refer to important themes that it is impossible for me to say that it is not worth looking at it, but rather seeing it more than once. Certainly it does not live up to its paper namesake, the work of U.K. Le Guin is much more, but for those who haven't read the books and manage to have a detached eye, you'll find this film beautiful.

Jun 5, 2019 12:10 PM

Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 4694
As someone who hasn't read the book, I'm not sure how good of an adaptation this is but as a standalone movie, it sucked. Uninteresting characters and a lot of unexplained events and some matters that just don't make sense. The main character especially has no redeemable points and the villain is menacingly boring. Started off pretty good tbh but just fell apart. One of the worst Ghibli films I've watched.
Dec 27, 2020 3:46 PM

Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 550
this wasn't very good. maybe because my expectations for anything ghibli are really high, but, meh, not lost time, but not that good either.
Feb 26, 8:05 AM

Joined: Feb 2020
Posts: 796
It was a good movie and visually stunning (Though had many problems in plot as many other Ghibli movies). My biggest problem was ged was supposed to be a arc mage, but he felt so useless. I feel like u should have prior knowledge of the original novels for things that happen in the movie to make sense because their are are many scenes in movie whose explanation are present in novel and not in movie (like dragon girl, tenar situation, even ged losing power etc felt like recalls of original rather than in story explanation)
Anyways still a nice movie to watch, enjoyable in it own way (definitely not the worst Ghibli film for me)
Modified by Adampk, Feb 26, 8:16 AM
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