February 19, 2010

Justify My Netflix: Parasite Dolls

(Like many Netflix customers, I too can get quite lax with the timely watching and returning of my movies, which of course defeats the entire purpose of having a flat-rate rental plan in the first place. To combat that, I am now writing standardized mini-reviews of each and every movie I end up watching through Netflix, both instantly and on DVD. Don't forget, all previous 'Justify My Netflix' reviews can be found on CCLaP's main movie page.)

Parasite Dolls

Today's movie: Parasite Dolls, 2002 (Amazon | IMDB | Netflix | Wikipedia)

Why I added it to my queue: Because as regular readers know, I am using Netflix's instant streaming service these days as an excuse to finally get schooled on the basics of anime (or manga, or Japanimation, or whatever you want to call it), of which I know barely anything and am ashamed of myself for it. This particular "movie" (in reality three half-hour vignettes) is a spinoff of the legendary '80s series Bubblegum Crisis (one of the first-ever anime series available to American audiences), concentrating on a special secret branch of the futuristic police organization that fueled the main show.

The reality: Meh. It's all right for what it is, I suppose, although "what it is" is a badly dated relic of the '80s, pretty much a combination of ripoffs from Akira, Blade Runner and Ghost in the Shell (so in other words, it's the story of a post-disaster Tokyo now ruled by a series of shadowy corporations, where a high-tech police force battle rogue androids that may or may not have human souls, which I've been learning in the last year is pretty much the milieu for around 75 percent of all anime projects that have ever been created). And also, although I don't know that much about anime at this point, I have to agree with what many online reviewers have to say about this, that for a post-9/11 movie it sure has a strong look and feel of cheap '90s animation-factory work, with the producers pulling the classic bait-and-switch trick of creating a cutting-edge poster and opening credits in order to get people's ticket money before they know any better. Although not really that bad, this is only going to appeal to hardcore anime fans, and I suspect that there are a plethora of better projects out there still waiting for me to discover.

Worth your time? Yes if you're already an anime fan, otherwise no

Filed by Jason Pettus at 11:03 AM, February 19, 2010. Filed under: Movies | Reviews |