Anime Review: Planzet Movie

(Originally published on Livejournal on 12/13/10)

Anime Review:
Planzet

What this is about: I made the promise that I would review every new subtitled anime show (excluding blatant yaoi and/or porn) released during the Spring and Summer 2010 seasons, so now I am going back to review a handful of shows that I missed over the past few months for one reason or another. This time around, it’s Planzet, a computer-generated movie that debuted on May 22nd, 2010.

tl;dr review: Ragtag group mounts Earth’s last defense against alien invaders; Just a crappy Final Fantasy VII reject.

Click on the thumbnails below to view the picture in full size in a new window:

Movie Summary (with spoilers): Set in an alternate-reality future with Sixties-era technology, a giant asteroid with intelligent life has entered orbit around Earth and laid waste to the planet. It is now 2053, and as part of Earth’s last-ditch defenses, a handful of soldiers in a military base launch an offensive strike against the asteroid. But to power up the mountain-sized laser beam, they need to lower Earth’s shields for fifteen minutes, and three soldiers in giant robots are all that stands between humanity and the aliens. When the attack fails, a self-destruct sequence is initiated. But the last remaining soldier learns it is really a countdown to the activation of Earth’s ultimate weapon: a space-ship the size of Mount Fuji, which he pilots to battle. The asteroid is destroyed, flowers bloom, the end.

My Thoughts: First, a word about the animation. It’s all motion-capture, computer-generated stuff, the kind of animation that was shockingly awesome in, oh, about 1999. But considering how far we have come since that time, it was pretty pedestrian and average (read as: unimpressed). The designs were fine, but the character movements (especially the faces) were robotic and unemotional. And distracting. Uncanny valley indeed.

As for the story…well, all I can say is that it gets worse and more ridiculous as it goes along. Alien invasion, humanity on the brink, last line of defense? Pretty standard fare for the Independence Day/Cloverfield/War of the Worlds audience. Then, just to show that this is a Japanese production, throw in some massive fighting robots, with giant guns. Oookay. But wait, what if we turn Mount Fuji into a gigantic rocketship? Ooookay. Oh, and there’s also a story about the main soldier trying to live up to his dead father’s ideals, and protecting his younger sister and all that. Sorry, that doesn’t make it any better, either. This movie is nothing more than a FFVII reject — go back and watch Final Fantasy: Spirits Within instead, and you’ll find yourself infinitely more entertained

The Verdict: – Among the worst shows I’ve watched this year.

Oh yeah, and apparently there’s no more than SEVEN PEOPLE on the entire planet: The dad (killed early on), the sister, the three soldiers, their female leader, and the head of the Japanese military (seen in a recorded hologram only). A giant military base under Japan’s iconic mountain, and there is a grand total of four people there. Even the *aliens* don’t make a personal appearance, the Big Bad Guy just a floating moon-sized object in orbit, sending out spaceship drones to attack. Weak.

For more info:

My Anime List Entry: http://myanimelist.net/anime/8297/Planzet
IMdb entry: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1645129/y
Official trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GETDt37PRzg

Going backwards again, there are a handful of shows from the Spring and Summer 2010 Season that slipped through the cracks: Tatami Galaxy Special, Shin Koihime Mousou OVA

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