“What the heck was that all about?” That’s what I thought when I finished watching Birth. It was a bizarre mix of action/mystery/science fiction. It had no clear story. It had an insane ending. It was unlike anything I had seen so far. So… to what kind of people am I supposed to suggest watching this short anime?
ART & SOUND SECTION: 6/10 [Amoebas on LSD?]
- Here is something you rarely see in anime. The animation sucks at its drawing phase but is very good at its motion phase.
- The characters and the background scenery where drawn awfully simple most of the time. When movement was involved, anything or anyone moving was being deformed to a degree that you would think they where amoebas instead of solid objects. The animators didn’t seem to give a damn about keeping proportions correct.
- On the other hand, during the battle scenes, the camera view moves like crazy, giving a frenetic result. It looks pretty cool if you see no 3D models being used to automatically create this fluid perspective camera. I give thumbs up at this part. Too bad the “amoeba” phenomenon ruins most of the excitement.
- The music themes where nothing good to write about. Plain and negligible.
STORY SECTION: 7/10 [There is a story but you never get any clear picture of it.]
Turns out the dubbing team ran out of money and thus many things were left to be implied in the dub version I watched. I only made assumptions about what is going on in that version but it so happens they made a new version with subs later that explains the story clearly. So leaving all vagueness of the version I watched to the side, this is what REALLY happens in the story.
A girl and a middle-aged military man are hunting a magic sword, which is moving in space (???). The sword falls on a meta-apocalyptic planet and is found by a teenager, who wants to use it for the war that wages on in the cosmos. He teams up with the other two and is immediately attacked by huge guardian robots called Inorganics, which are programmed to kill all organic life forms. The sword is in fact the life force of an entire planet that sacrificed itself to gather enough power to fight them (sort of an extreme version of Genki Dama). After a very long battle in a ruined/corpse filled futuristic city, the teenager finds some sort of ultimate power in the form of a hand weapon. He uses it to destroy the robots and… well, ends up turning the entire planet into plasma. The last we see of the characters, they seem quite happy while engulfed in the explosion because they were added in the life force of the sword. In the epilogue we see an unworldly scenery, where an angelic woman describes the story to her angelic daughter as if it was all a fairy tale, a personification of the universe at how the cancer of the Inorganics spreads around and how the woman tries to recover, thus making this story as an easy way for the child to understand what is going on in her body (the universe).
It was rather simple and straightforward but still zany for the time it was made.
CHARACTER SECTION: 5/10 [There are distinctive characters but there are no distinctive personalities.]
There is a spunky girl in leotards (MMM! Fan service!), a nagging old guy, an energetic teenager, a funny living little jelly (mascot animal) and bulky huge killer robots (the “bad guys”). The aforementioned “amoeba” phenomenon makes them comical, even if there are a few hints of drama to them.
VALUE SECTION: 5/10 [It has a one-of-a-kind weirdness.]
That’s enough to give it some value. It is old and low on budget, so you will like it only as a quick watch.
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 4/10
It is enjoyable, as long as you don’t expect to see the graphics and story of Gundam Seed. It would be better if it lasted longer or had some sort of explanation at the end.
Get ready for a long line of WTFs.