OVA (3 eps x 38 min)
3.794 out of 5 from 3,700 votes
Rank #2,175

This set of 3 fantastic stories will take you from the haunting delusions of a space explorer, to a bio-chemical threat with the power to wipe out all of Tokyo, and finally to a day in the life of a young boy who lives in a world ruled by cannons. These stores will capture you with their intriguing storylines and awe inspiring artwork.

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The Magnetic Rose (1995) review Published by and The Yurei 11/01/21 Isolation and vast emptiness are a very base fear for humanity, the mind often creating horrors far greater than anything set in reality as paranoia takes hold of rational thought. It is through this that the idea of deep water or space can leave one feeling anxious and uncomfortable and the thought of exploring these environments can be all the more terrifying. The Magnetic Rose is a Sci-fi horror OVA directed by Kōji Morimoto, known for his work as director for the short Beyond for The Animatrix (2003) and the music video for Extra by Ken Ishii (1995). Kōji also worked as an animator on such greats as Akira (1998), Kiki’s delivery Service (1989) and Jigen Bakudan, a short story from the anthology Genius Party Beyond (2008). The short is part of a trilogy called Memories (1995) along with two other sci-fi related OVA’s Stink Bomb and Cannon Fodder directed by the great Tensai Okamura and Katsuhiro Otomo respectively. In the year 2092, The Corona, a deep space salvage freighter working on a skeleton crew, receives a distress signal whilst out on a recovery mission. As they investigate the signal, they come across a huge ship graveyard orbiting an abandoned space station. Inside they discover a world built by one woman’s memories and have to navigate their way through before their ship is drawn into the wreckage by the station’s strong magnetic field. The anime has beautiful hand drawn animation, heavily influenced by popular sci-fi films such as Alien (1979) and 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), giving exterior scenes a very sleek and stylized look to them, capturing the realism of the desolation of space perfectly. The set designs are used beautifully to set the ambience of a scene, with the space station interior lavishly decorated in a classic European style clashing with its overall analogue sci-fi aesthetic really helps make the characters feel removed from their reality. Though being only forty minutes in length, the pacing is a slow burn, with subtle scares unsettling the viewer leading to a crescendo of supernatural events and an ending that leaves a deep feeling of fear and despair. A classical soundtrack and its use in the story add a lot of depth to the ambient mood, with Un bel di vedremo from Giacomo Puccini’s Madam butterfly taking center stage as an incredible piece intermediately used throughout, giving scenes an overwhelming sense of power and foreboding. Memories was released to positive reviews and is highly regarded inside and outside the anime community, The Magnetic Rose being favored as being the better of the three stories, almost feeling out of place by not having a similar tone, as the other two stories are more comedic and less about horror but are still well-made pieces of art. This is a must watch for anyone who likes sci-fi or horror with its eerie atmosphere, haunting soundtrack and is a great introduction to anyone new to the medium of anime with a solid story and beautiful animation.


Magnetic Rose What I Liked: Using Madame Butterfly as a motif doesn't feel out of place, even in the 2090's. Great sound design and soundtrack. Good set designs, ranging from industrial-style rusty spaceships to grand Victorian-style interiors. Engrossing plot. Smooth character animation. Love the display of the psychological effect of nostalgia, deepest desires and holograms.    What I Didn't: Muted colour palette feels dated and flat. Stink Bomb What I Liked: Lively, comedic score helps add to the absurdist feel to the episode. Darkly amusing and funny plot, if you ignore the body count. Good mix of science fiction and movie science that is (luckily) somewhat based on real events. Interesting war room scenes.    What I Didn't: Movie science may distract some viewers. The Unnamed Foreign Commander is one-dimensional and irritating. Cannon Fodder What I Liked: Cute, sketchy animation with amazing detail and good colour palatte. Stunning background art. Interesting character designs. Great worldbuilding, albeit a little sluggish. A somewhat humourous and fantastical look at a city at war with an unseen enemy. Good soundtrack that almost has a steampunk feel with jaunty pianos and horns.    What I Didn't: Colours are muddy and the lines lack crispness (less out of stylistic choice). This feels more like a slice-of-life than a science-fiction piece. No discernable plot. Overall Verdict Memories is a mixed bag of memorable and not-so memorable science-fiction shorts that all have plenty to say about the human condition and the potential of science. While all three "chapters" have completely different moods, styles and plots they're all interesting in their own way.

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