May 21, 2014
Po_and_Dong (All reviews)
Before you go into this film its advised you know what you are getting into so you don't waste 2 hours on accident. Inverted Patema is a simple movie that probably wasn't envisioned to be some kind of trump card of 2013 anime when it was being produced. The characters have about as much depth as a children's film (not that much) and there are lots of moments during the story that may strike you as a bit silly or overly convenient, even if you go in just trying to enjoy the film and nothing more.

Lets talk about the characters first. Patema is very cute. I guess she would get on my nerves after a while but this movie really isn't long enough for that. She is pretty much a damsel in distress, quintessentially so. She bumbles around, has an accident, gets captured and needs to be rescued. Well alright, everyone has seen this before but there's more to every anime than just its basic tropes. Nonetheless it never hurts to do things a little bit out of the box, but as far as character dynamic goes thats not something Patema accomplished. Every damsel needs a hero, and that hero is Age. Age is a very courageous student. There is nothing else that can be said about him that is of note, literally. Even his appearance is unremarkable, brown hair blue eyes anime man haircut and school uniform. He looks exactly the same as some other students that make an appearance for like 10 seconds as he goes to school. For an anime that has visual design as its strong suit, thats kind of disappointing. Anyways, Age quickly falls in love with Patema so the plot can progress. While films pacing will always lack compared to series, and this they don't have the ability to develop certain subtleties that can be present in them, it still struck me as odd how Patema and Age fall in love so fast. Age risks his life to save Patema several times, after only knowing her for a day or two. It's one of those instances in the film that you may think to yourself, this is a little cheesy. There is nothing else to these two characters besides this romance and the conflict with the villain, so I'll first talk about the villain, whom is your run-of-the-mill, tyrannical governor who commits evil due to semi-religious ignorance. He has no motivation, and is only after Patema because she is inverted and the inverted are according to the history of the surface people "cursed." Not a very exciting villain, by any shape or form. Inverted Patema also suffers from a very run-of-the-mill script, in which characters talk lines that have been said in at least 50 anime previously. Age I understand you love Patema and she means the world to you, but after being cornered by the dastardly villain, do you need to proclaim so 12 times as you wait for the plot to whisk you out of the dangerous situation? Also, although the premise to this movie is cool, that is as far as the positives of the story section goes. The world is not very fully explored, and the only things that held my interest were the two plot twists. Well, if that was the intended purpose of the twists then they succeeded, but it left a bad taste. Concluding this section, I think the majority of Patema's problems come from a very lackluster set of characters, character motivations, character design, and script.

Patema is not without some merits, but frankly they just kind of balance out the other stuff, rather than making up for it and going beyond. The premise of Patema, is definitely cool, and it was what drew me to watch the anime in the first place. I had never watched any kind of movie, anime or otherwise, with the premise of a person with inverted gravity, so naturally I liked the idea. Even in the cocnlusion of the movie, I still liked the idea. What I liked even more, and what I think is a definite plus of this movie is the visual design concerning inverted perspectives. This movie looks pretty good, but I can't say it looks outstanding, not compared to recent films like The Garden of Words which blows technical visual power through the roof. Where Inverted Patema succeeds is in creative and iconic scenes. I was very impressed by the viewpoint of a character that is about to fall into the sky and sees the world upside down, it was fun just to look around in this perspective and eye goggle. This novelty of it wore off eventually, but not so much that these sequences become a burden on your eyes.

In conclusion, I thought this movie was ok. I wouldn't rewatch or recommend it, because its fairly run of the mill film. I was impressed by the concept and the how they implemented the reverse gravity scenes, but disappointed by a really trope heavy story that doesn't try to do anything outside of the box.