So, another year nearly is done, another one round the bend. I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays with friends and family. But before I get to indulge tomorrow in the gifts and ham dinner, I am taking a look at one more title for the year. I am sure that will turn your heads a bit, hehe sorry for that joke….
Patema Inverted (2013 film)
Director and writer: Yasuhiro Yoshiura
Studio: Purple Cow Studios Japan
Patema Inverted came into my life in an interesting way, more so than some of the other titles I have covered in the 5.5 years I have been doing blogging. On April 1, 2014 ANN posted a review for this and I have to say it was an interesting article. Of course, I thought it was a joke that there was no way such a movie existed. Well, egg on my face turns out it does exist. Well, I decided to pick it up that Christmas and check it out.
Patema Inverted tells the story of a world wracked by some mysterious catastrophe. Flash forward some time, and we meet Patema a girl who lives in an underground realm where the Elder forbids her from visiting the Danger Zone. But her yearning for exploration leads her down into the Danger Zone, by mere accident. She then encounters Age, a young man who lives in Aiga, a strict regimental and authoritarian society. It turns that this chance meeting leads to a collision of worlds, and also the mystery of their world is laid bare. I won’t spoil any further, as it has to be seen to be believed.
Now if I called Shin Sekai Yori an experiential TV series, then I would consider Patema Inverted an experiential film. There is a narrative to be sure, a typical girl meets boy story, but it serves only to drive home the experience of seeing this different world. Sure the characterization and plot are rather thin, I mean one could write down all character and plot elements for this movie on a single sheet. It is all about the experience, even with the simplistic narrative.
More than anything, Patema Inverted serves as a message film though in much more subtle manner. Then again, that is what makes the best science fiction and fantasy stories at least for me. The whole notion of a world where the fundamental force of gravity has been corrupted to the point where human society is corrupted in turn. This ties into the message of the film, which is simply “Can’t we all just get along?” a message I feel given how crummy this past year has been that bare repeating. And it goes further by asking that question in an interesting fashion, namely yes we all get along by finding common ground and changing our worldviews in order to achieve that state of harmony and peace.
That being said, the movie is amazing in terms of production. There are so many beautiful shots and moments, that if I could screencap the whole thing I could but sadly don’t have the time for it. Patema Inverted offers a neat fusion of narrative and visuals I have not seen outside of Studio Ghibli films or the features of Mamoru Hosoda. Yoshiura-san has an amazing eye for making the experience of watching Patema Inverted a breathtaking one with interesting visuals and world building. The music, by Michiru Oshima, also contemplates this with truly amazing orchestral music. Seriously, people can say Yoko Kanno is good, but Oshima is about 10 times greater.
The English dub is a nice enough effort by NYAV Post. Stephanie Sheh directed and Marc Diraison wrote the dub script with a dub cast that is notably smaller than some of this group’s previous dub productions, but they do a good job of it. Of particular note is Michael Sinterniklaas as Age and Cassandra Lee as Patema, giving some really nice performances. Also, there’s a blink if you miss villain turn by none other than Richard Epcar which was a pleasant surprise to me. Overall, a decent dub though I would like NYAV Post to do more dub work as their past track record is well regarded.
So, that concludes the year for me when it comes to reviews. Honestly, 2016 might seem to some to be crummy, but I have to say meh and shrug at it, as it was more or less the same as last year. All I can offer to people is learn to adapt with the times and survive, even it leads to some temporary pain and hardship. But here I am, a reviewer of niche media doling out life wisdom heh. Anyway, Happy Holidays and here’s to a Happy New Year.
To ring in the New Year, I got a New 10 Favorite Anime List to put up on the website. I feel like I need one for this website and I haven’t done one since about 2013-14 so good a time as any.
Til next time, dear readers.