What do you get when you cross an artist skilled at calligraphy, a decent yet oft-clichéd story and lack of budget? The weak and disappointing G-9.
G-9's story alone is satisfactory enough; though short, it succeeds at becoming a pleasant sci fi story with a bit of a twist. There are monsters with hidden origins, a woman who can't remember who she is, and inner monologues galore - all of which add up to an acceptable viewing experience.
Yet beyond the generic aspects lie a number of problems: the ‘twist' is one that won't be new to sci fi fans; there's an exceptionally long fighting sequence; and above all, there's an unsatisfying conclusion. Each of these problems on their own could be dismissible, but combined they bring down enjoyment considerably.
G-9's animation is reminiscent of both the Okami video game and a picture book. Each scene consists of one calligraphy-styled static image. True animation rarely - if ever - occurs; a stroke of wind or non-animated zoom effect is the closest G-9 comes to anything digital.
Even more offensive than the barrage of still shots is a heavily drawn-out fighting sequence with incomprehensible, always-morphing ink blots as the main characters. I can only guess that the already bottomed-out budget took a nosedive into the world of epic fail.
That's not to say that the imagery is hopeless - each frame, especially those with the leading lady, is skillfully drawn and detailed. But these individual parts fail to comprise a comprehensive whole given the lack of in-between animation.
As if seventeen minutes of still shots isn't bad enough, G-9 also includes a set of cheesy and flat sound effects with each scene - presumably to validate the dialogue which describes what the characters should be doing on screen. Unfortunately that solution is a lost cause as G-9 instead comes across as feeling cheap and ancient.
Though G-9 has little to no real audio tracks, the occasional song tends to be either forgetful or flat out horrible, such as the fight scene's ridiculous rock ballad.
While Agarta's lost memories are eventually explained, she remains a perplexing character with far too many loose ends. Side characters such as the monster also have an interesting role to play in the story, but its relationship to Agarta is confusing and unrealistic. Ultimately, all that's left is too many questions and not enough answers, making the ‘character development' somewhat pointless.
G-9 will likely be forgettable to anyone who cares about animation, story or audio. Those who either have recently taken an anesthetic or those who enjoy nothing but still shots, books on tape or calligraphy might appreciate what G-9 has to offer. Otherwise, stay away.
A young woman awakens in a desolate town with no inhabitants. She’s unable to read signposts or remember anything about who she is or what she’s doing there. All she can do is recognize the symbols that appear on her hands, identifying her as Agarta, devourer of dragons. Alone and in an unfamiliar place, Agarta must remember the reason she is there and defeat the evils within.
My fav genres include sci fi and horror, but you'll find a lot of obscure reviews from me too, given I watch a ton to add to the database. My new reviews are written a lot better than my old ones, so when in doubt, sort by date! ^_^ Enjoy, and I welcome any and all feedback.
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