Saturday, September 1, 2001


Genre: Mecha / Action
Parental Guidance Recommended
Copyright © 1998 Takashige Hiroshi , Minagawa Ryouji / Shogakkukan, Bandai Visual, TBS, Toho

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Firesenshi's Description:
The greatest artifact has been discovered in Mount Ararat -- the legendary Noah's Ark and some governments in the world are rushing their scientists to study and take over this artifact. What is behind the Ark and its power to bring about a Great Deluge as written in Scriptural text and why are various nations after it? A corporation called Arcam calls in their operatives called SPRIGGANs to prevent those who wish to take the Ark and misuse its power. Yu Ominae is only seventeen years old with strength and special skills that made him Arcam's top Spriggan. This is his mission.

Totally amazed at Spriggan. >>> by firesenshi

It seems to be that the Japanese are amazed at using Christian concepts as basis for their anime and games, like that of Xenogears. In this one, they give a futuristic revamp to your traditional image of that famous ship called the Ark. What is the Ark? There's a hint. Telling you more would mean spoilers. But let me tell you this -- I was amazed at how they justified every detail such as the measurement of the Ark in units called 'cubits' as in Scripture and how it is relevant to the Great Flood. Now there's one for concept.

How about characterization? In my opinion, this one has a clear-cut definition of who's good or who's evil. Well, maybe not evil but sure as heck a lot totally misguided. Or twisted. This is good anime -- your typical vision of a villain isn't what you expect. Nor will you get a hero who is perfect either. But I like Yu Ominae. I also like Jean. Consider power and skill as a turn on. These guys have them. Although just seventeen, Yu is not your typical bishounen. He seems too tough to be a pretty boy, although the camera angles that focus on his fight scenes then give a quick zoom-in on his face makes me think he's just plain cool. I was instantly intrigued by Yu's character. You'll know there is good cinematic timing because his background was revealed at the right time along with other plot developments.

And speaking of action sequences, boy, this one has a lot of them! And I'm talking about scenes where they render camera plays that focus on following the weapon Yu just threw. Plus martial arts and big machine chases, even great beasts! I just love these. But expect some violent scenes where there is a lot of blood and gore. This is a story about operative agents so of course, their lives aren't scenes of peaceful days on a farm. I do wonder though how Yu survives all of them considering... oh well.

Most new anime apply the mix of computer graphics and 2D animation. This is one where it blends very well. Unlike in Blue Submarine Number 6 where the CG is quite rustic, you'll hardly see that in this one. One possibility could be that because the CG is used mainly for attack effects and the filters for those require only a play of light instead of photoreal renditions of certain machines as in Blue Submarine No. 6. Aside from that, the style of the animation is almost realistic instead of the usual anime trademark of big, shining eyes and pointy faces. Well, that one is very much appropriate for this anime movie. Watch it and pretty much you'll understand why this is all good.

Individual Rating: Art/Animation 9; Story 9; Characters 10; Sounds 8

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