Studio/Creator: Pierrot/Takafumi Takada
Running Time: 1 hour, 38 minutes
Age Rating: 13+ (MPAA rating: PG-13)
My Rating: 9/10
Summary: (from back of DVD)A spectacular journey of an unwilling hero thrust into a mysterious past full of monsters, dragons, and strange hidden powers. Through a series of out of this world adventures, Jun, a shy middle school boy is transformed into a hero destined to battle evil and ensure harmony and tranquility to the world.
Review: This has some pretty nice artwork. I actually found out that a good portion of this is hand-drawn, which I find very impressive. It makes me wonder why Studio Pierrot doesn’t do stuff this good all the time (for those who don’t know, this is the same studio that makes Naruto and Bleach). The animation was really cool at times, particularly on the white dragon Jun befriends. The story is kind of formulaic, with Jun pulling the ”chosen one” cliche early on. I did like the people he was protecting from the nobles who were oppressing them and how the story tried some twists here and there. Jun was a great reluctant hero and was a great character all around. However, I really felt the story was too formulaic to earn the full ten points. But if you overlook that, the movie is actually very good. It’s the best I’ve seen from the studio since Saiyuki. I actually found out that a good portion of this is hand-drawn, which I find very impressive.
Sub/Dub: The dub is pretty good. I think I heard Liam O’Brien, who played Dr. Tenma in Monster. Actually, both versions sounded great.
Music/Score: The music’s pretty good and has an epic feel. I couldn’t really find a good video for the music, so I can’t provide it here.
Violence: 6/10–I saw some mildly bloody moments. Definitely not something I’d recommend to young children. It’s probably on par with Princess Mononoke.
Language: 1/10: Only one curse word.
Sexuality: 0/10: none
Nudity: 0/10: none
Religion: 5/10 There’s both good and evil people controlling monsters. The village people use magical mask to appear as “oni”, a Japanese word for demon. One villain believes he will acquire godhood through power. Jun also develops a bond with a magical dragon early in the movie.
Related Media: none