Linne Amagame has just begun her first day of high school... in purgatory?! After running late in the land of the living and getting run over by a semi truck, Linne found herself stuck in a world where her classmates are demons and monsters instead of cute boys. To make matters worse, there’s been a mix-up, as she isn’t dead yet! Now, surrounded by half-decayed dogs and satanic Elvis impersonators, what’s a once-normal school girl to do, and is there any way to get out of this hell?!
It’s hard to properly describe just how absurd Hells is. Much like feelings themselves, this movie is inexplicable, irrational, and borderline unpredictable at times. By that same token, given that it embodies feelings so well, it does an admirable job at being a delightfully earnest film. It’s honestly a shame this eye-catcher didn’t receive that much attention until now.On that note, let’s start at what drew me in. The art style in this movie is insane! Far removed from the blander or softer art styles present in most anime, this movie showcases rough outlines and keeps the sketching and coloring lines on its characters. This unique style allows for the designers and animators to go all out in constructing the craziest and loveliest character designs, craft a wonderfully vibrant world in Hell, and play around with the rugged linework and imagery in a way that Mob Psycho 100 would gain notoriety for mastering 8 years later. That being said, the anime still decides to use mediocre CG at times and the animation generally feels tamer than the art style. The film’s probably not as visually explosive as the team at Studio Madhouse could have made. However, it’s still one of the most eye-catching anime I’ve witnessed to date.The other major draw is the dub. Purists may chant for blood at this, but the fact that several members of the abridging juggernaut brand: TeamFourStar, were contacted by Discotek Media to participate in the dub was explosive. The performances in this film were generally good, and some of the adlibs were as priceless as hearing the likes of LittleKuriboh and KaiserNeko as side characters. All in all, the performances were good enough for this risk to be worthwhile and potentially replicated in the future. After all, given how painfully obscure this film is, they had nothing to lose when taking this chance. The performances eclipse most of the soundtrack, with the only exception being the banger of an end credits theme: “Breathe Again" by Jamosa feat. Sphere.It feels rather fitting that they decided to take this risk with such an obscure, dumb, loveable anime. This movie’s infectious charm is rivaled by its own absurdity, constantly turning its own rules and world on their heads in a way that’s almost impossible to accept. Its messages of love, self-worth, forgiveness, etc. are deeply intertwined to this mess of a narrative. Nothing makes sense, all rules exist to be broken, and believing is what causes the setting to be created and altered constantly. Caution is thrown to the wind by the characters and the script as things simply happen for aforementioned reasons, and sometimes no known reason at all. It’s all hard to buy. Another reason why it’s so messy is that the film is not just blatant about how it utilizes its themes, but as preachy about them as its characters are violent. Said characters are generally lacking in any real depth beyond blatantly spelling out their deep-rooted sorrows. Their personalities often range from infectious to grating, and they constantly either stand around for no reason or beat the living shit out of each other. If a film less loveable as this had these qualities, it would be much harder to stomach most of this. However, this is Hells, a brazen, funny, beautiful mess of a film. That means these characters interactions often make up for how weak and shallow they may be upon analysis. In a metanarrative way, it’s almost beautiful that Hells was given this chance. Abandoned by history, this dumb, rambunctious upstart was given a loving license and dub by people who wanted to take a risk and share this with the world. If you like the unique and rough art style, like the kind of humor and writing that the best anime abridgers craft, or like the works of TeamFourStar and would like to see more eventful risks like this in our industry, then please, give this film a shot. It may be a hell of a mess, but it’s one I can’t help but promote. A film as earnest as this deserves all the promotion it can get.Written and edited by: CodeBlazeFateProofread by: Peregrine
Secret Santa Review 2012 It's your first day at school; of course you would be excited. And so was Rinne Amagane. However, on her way she accidently got hit by a car and was send to hell by mistake. There she ends up in Destinyland, a school run by headmaster Helvis. The movie will follows her struggle to go back to the land of the living. In the second half of the movie, the story suddenly shifts a bit though, but won’t tell any more details. Hells Angels, also known as Hells, is an movie based on the similar manga. You can definitely expect some action, drama and comedy. The pacing of the story is great. There is a good variation between action and story scenes. However, you don’t need to expect a really complicated story though; it was also a little bit predictable unfortunately. But overall I would say that the story was somewhat interesting. The animation style is most definitely one of the main reasons why you could give it a try. Hells uses in the whole movie a quite unorthodox, ‘raw’ art style. Some personages are even drawn a bit gothic-like. Nothing what you'd see every day in an anime. But I have to say, it fits the movie perfectly. They use also some rock music in the movie. Well, what did you expect if the headmasters name is Helvis... Other than that, the sound was quite good too I guess. But nothing really rememberable though. The voices fit the characters well in my opinion. About the characters, quite some characters that where introduced had, to say it blunt, almost no use at all. Some key characters were even introduced just in a whim, which was a really disappointing. Nevertheless, other than that the characters fit their roles well. Verdict: Don't except an masterpiece, but it's most certainly worth giving a try. The characters were a bit disappointing, but the art style is really unique and well-fitting.
It is incredible. Really really incredible. It has a really sweet story, and the animation art style that it is presented with is really unique. The art style, although not one I'd normally like, matched the movie perfectly in the way that it accentuated it's happenings and the feeling of it; I wouldn't say that any other style would work for it because of just how special the movie felt and the way the art was what brought the specialness out. The plot was interesting and deep, there were so many twists and turns that made it more and more interesting. I know that it has roots in classical texts (Adam and Eve stories) but as I had never really seen much of those, it didn't really make much of a difference, however I am now slightly interested in learning more of those roots. It has the most wonderful feelings throughout the movie, as well as sadness in the low points and joy in the high points. it is a most certainly amazing feeling wondering what will happen next; the grief when bad things happen that gets turned into the sweetest relief when it's fixed or made right; especially when you can't see it coming. The characters were really well-made, with a range of different character types who come together to make a really nice whole, even though they falter occasionally, which only makes it better in the end. I particularly loved how they all seemed to support each other when needed, and that the initially less "good" characters would learn and grow in their ways to end up how they were at the end. It had a nice soundtrack throughout most of it, but I can't fully say the ending theme suited the film perfectly although that partially is just because of my opinion for music. The film was overall amazing; the best I have seen in ages and it had the nicest ending. I definitely recommend watching it at least once, it is honestly so great. The feeling you get watching it is second to none! I honestly wished I could have seen more of Steela though, not within the movie (she had perfect screen time and relevance there), but outside of it because of how nice a character she was. She was honestly so, so lovely and was the sweetest thing ever. She made the ending ever more better for me, especially because of earlier happenings.
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