Monday, July 14, 2008

"Blade of the Immortal" debuts

Subject: Noir
...and I forgot all about it! *sigh*

Anyway, I'm back to work today and won't have a chance to watch it for a little while. In the meantime, the OP was posted to the 'Tube:

So far on Animesuki, it's mostly complaints, go figure. Watching the blood-spatters and angst in this blurry little OP doesn't exactly inspire me just yet, either, but I'll comment more when I get to give it a go. Bee Train Fan discussions in the forum, of course.

Update: On first impression, nothing changes too much in my opinion. Dark, bleak, and rather bloody. Though not all-out gut-splattering gore, still a lot of spatter.

Seeing that this is a co-production with Production I.G., I kept trying to refrain from prejudging any particular shot as having the same kind of soulless look that Otoshi Zoshi had. I'd bet that if I were to go shot-by-shot and say "Bee Train", "IG", I'd probably get every single one wrong.

One thing it's got going for it is that it's far, far from "generic". It's very graphically strong, composed of a near-infinite blend of dreary grays and sepia shading, but punctuated by strong, saturated colors. Mostly reds so far, though interestingly, not so much the blood, which is rather dark. More the flowers, the kimono, the Avenger-esque red moon.

Effects are quite slick, as well, with a myriad of blade glows and light patterns and action montages. Camerawork is almost restrained in a Mashimo piece, though there's some experimentation around some of the "off-camera" slicing 'n dicing that kind of flew by too fast to make much impact on me just yet.

Dialouge animation is kind of stiff and some of the framing is a bit flat in those sequences. And there's a lot of dialouge. In fact, I suspect that once I see a translation, there may be a few "lighter", more humorous moments to help break up the overall dreariness. The one reaction shot where the lead jumps up and hits his head makes me suspect that some of his lines beforehand may have been wisecracks of some sort. We'll see.

I'm hoping there's a true HDTV release for this, as the muddiness would benefit from more detail and less compression. I'm also going to need to pay close attention to details in the background and settings, as there has reportedly been a lot of research and focus on those elements such that my lack of exposure to Japanese history and culture would put me at a symbollic disadvantage.

At any rate, I'm in for the long haul with this one, no matter what.

No comments: