Once Upon A Time - Reviews

Alt title: Windaria

HoshiTamamushiirono's avatar
Nov 9, 2017

This movie was brilliant mad, but... well, as long as you are not married, in love, or actively avoiding love- or dealing with natural disasters, war, or other  depression this great to watch. However, I saw this movie at age 6 (I picked up popcorn and Windaria and Rainbow Brite and the Star Stealer at Blockbuster to watch over the weekend) and I still haven’t gotten over it. I’m 31 years old.

If you choose to watch this, just be warned that it has a feeling of epic fantasy that progresses to bittersweet victory (think Star Wars or Princess Mononoke) only to end with a feeling of utter hopeless for the human race and the futility of life.

8/10 story
9/10 animation
8/10 sound
7/10 characters
3/10 overall
kireiangel's avatar
Nov 10, 2018

"Legend of Fabulous Battle" comes up after the credits... not sure if I'd really call it fabulous, but hey. A tragedy that I assume was probably ok for it's time that doesn't really hold up today, is still an interesting piece of media.
Everyone either has a case of naiveté or stupidity, which results in the tragedies, but in war I guess things will always get messy regardless. Even though it's old, it's not really bad per say, though I do wish they had explained a little more about the world they inhabit, like the ship of souls and such. I enjoyed the animation and the music choices, the editing wasn't bad, and for the most part the characters were ok I guess (asside from pre-mentioned dumb and naive). The only character I ended up not liking was the main character simply because he "FORGOT" his love interest O_o like wtf.

5/10 story
6/10 animation
5/10 sound
3/10 characters
4/10 overall
ThatAnimeSnob's avatar
Aug 14, 2012

Windaria is one of those movies that really turned people to otakus back in its time. It was different, it was grim, it was sad, it was full of magic, it didn’t have a forced Walt Disney f*ing ending. It was gooood! Yet, its major problems are also trademarks of its time.

It looks aged, as technology has gone to the moon and back since then and production values were generally low for its time. So, you can’t help but think that the scriptwriters were not given enough time to depict everything smoothly and properly and the animators had to work with short scenes. The result is still superbly good and if you are not some ungrateful prick, you can easily enjoy the movie despite its years. The action scenes are almost a legend of their own as you rarely get to see armies of normal people fighting in anime. Voice acting is just decent and nothing to write about. Yet, the music and the depiction of the world are very atmospheric and quite similar to a fairy tale (a sad one). So, yes, the external shell does win your interest although it loses you in the finer details.

In the story department you get a rather simple and linear plot. There is a war going on between two kingdoms because of water reserve exploitation. In a Romeo and Juliet fashion, the prince of one kingdom and the princess of the other are in love but their families force to wage war against one another under the pressure of politics and national needs. There is also another couple, where the young male wants to become rich and famous thanks to his war achievements and secure a happy life for his sweetheart. He descends to inhuman acts in order to achieve that.

Although the premise sounds simple, it is actually quite multi-layered while watching the movie. The story involves lost ideals, tragic romances, war drama, political intrigue and lots of metaphysical symbolisms around life, harmony and happiness. The major problem is the short duration. You can’t show all the magnitude of such a story or the dramatic escalation of the characters in only two hours. It needed more. The plot moves too fast for you to bind with the characters or feel the tragedy of the story. So, although the story is masterful on paper, in practice it is running so fast that you lose the feel of the moment.

Being a character-driven story, the shrapnel damage even them, as you get the feeling everyone moves mechanically and dualistically. Although they are all quite tragic and do get plenty of character development or die by the dozens, the fast plot makes them change moods too quickly and act almost predictable.

Of course, if you don’t know the story is not a fairy tale and you haven’t watched many shock-effect anime, you are going to be surprised plenty of times; as I was the first time I watched it as a little kid. The whole setting is quite fairy-tailish and leaves plenty of room for a dozen side stories and sequels. You get huge magic trees, haunted forests, steampunk cities, beautiful running water towns, a flying fortress gathering souls in the shape of glowing birds, action scenes, war scenes, you name it. If you look at the entire world from afar, it looks gorgeous. Still, as I said already it does hurt that almost nothing is exploited further than its basic use and many things are left unexplained. What the hell was that flying fortress?

Honestly, this is a one-time to watch movie. It is so linear that there is nothing more to gain from a second viewing. Plus, it does feel somewhat similar to Romeo and Juliet and nothing to brag in comparison to other war dramas or tragic romances. Still, it is quite magical and can easily become memorable for a one-shot, quick watch (despite being about two hours long).

Sirius no Densetsu
Gall Force
Choujin Locke

And now for some excused scorings.

General Artwork 2/2 (well done)
Character Figures 1/2 (generic)
Backgrounds 2/2 (fairy tale-ish)
Animation 2/2 (good)
Visual Effects 2/2 (magical)

Voice Acting 2/3 (corny but fitting with the feeling of the series)
Music Themes 3/4 (not great but fitting with the feeling of the series)
Sound Effects 2/3 (ok I guess)

Premise 2/2 (interesting)
Pacing 2/2 (fast)
Complexity 2/2 (a lot of stuff in it)
Plausibility 1/2 (so-so)
Conclusion 1/2 (so-so)

Presence 1/2 (generic)
Personality 2/2 (rather cheesy but well founded)
Backdrop 1/2 (generic but it’s there)
Development 1/2 (overblown but it’s there)
Catharsis 1/2 (overblown but it’s there)

Historical Value 1/3 (still remembered by some as an interesting retro title)
Rewatchability 1/3 (low because of the simple plot)
Memorability 4/4 (extremely tragic to the point of forever remembering it)

Too bent on shock factor and makes little sense but does great on the emotional level.

VERDICT: 7.5/10

8/10 story
9/10 animation
7/10 sound
6/10 characters
7.5/10 overall
Sharkfinmai23's avatar
Aug 22, 2021

Who can tell me why the hell Izu can become perverted main protagonists?

AlchemistDaisuki will be straight with ya here, I think this could be absolute trainwreck anime… that crushed into a hot mess and sucks.

Windaria or Once Upon a time is based from original anime adaptation and this tries to follow in the footsteps of Princess Tutu and rip-offs of Made in AbyssThe Promised Neverland and Konosuba, Once Upon a time is one of those section shows that how it’s trying to do it successful and most emotional anime, but sadly it was makes no sense, terrible and useless that put itself in own main focus! It lets not even get to the best animation that is TYPICAL and could be BETTER of it’s problems, a least better than My Sister and Writer, but hell yeah that was extremely boring and dull own anime genre.

Synopsis: Once Upon a time basic premise is that two pairs of young lover will be embroiled in a war of between two rival kingdoms, Isa is peaceful and eternal golden water city; Paro is the industrialized wasteland and easily dirty means of militarism. Izu is your typical beta guy loser and a simple farmer from the neutral village of Saki with his young wife Marin whose are living peaceful and eternal golden water city in the genre of fashion and war main focus, the thing is Izu makes his wife Marin can living happiness, smile and beautiful ensures... hmmm where has AD heard this premise before?...*cough* Princess Tutu*cough*

What Story?!/10

What the hell did I just watch this anime story plot? Don't waste of time to watched this anime story plot with boring and suck.

Ok, Once Upon a time’s plot follows some of the typical fashion and war fantasy animes in which many of random tyrant person has implemented only it fails on MANY fronts and makes even the typical cliches, seem both disingenuous, blatant and desperate in it's cliches which fails continuously. Everything from the dense main male protagonist and this one Izu almost freaking surpasses Makoto Itou from School Days in his denseness, Marin the main female protagonist and looks the melancholy but still graceful and strong wife of the anime feels more like a lovely of Violet Evergarden from Violet Evergarden. Marin being a extremely unpopular but still heart rich and she may worried that Izu doing hidden impossible something as well as extremely want to seeing Izu promised that he can come his home after war, thus just hard working, wait who being good wife and we have Marin. We also have the typical fantasy and war elements or just one not good development enough but it also not terrible premised as well because can see the premise suddenly quick jumped and quite generic in sometimes, but it still hasn't complaint problems unlikely such as Arifureta: From Commonplace to World's Strongest anime adaptation and My Sister, My Writer more damm.

We also see other important storyline, Izu is also continued living same village in Isa but he saved Isa from being destroyed by a spy from Paro, Lord Cail and his follower are also seem Izu's handsome and greatful who become Paro heroic cause Izu think his life being disgusting himself and be laughing by some village resident… or Lord Cail is wanted to Izu join to Paro's army??? But of course in the end, Izu looks forgot Marin’s gave him promised who blame himself (unsurprisingly) or ignore that what is moral and philosophical debate into this movie. Jill also be killed by Ahanas and Ahanas is used gun suicide herself. Unfortunately, it would becomes horribly boring and the main idea gets worse quite soon as the series is more about shallow politics and pointless violence, rather than the moral and philosophical debate of the original.

Although the premise sounds simple and not bad, it is actually quite multi-layered while watching the movie in sometimes. But I found that the movie could easily be summed up in less than first 25 minutes and much sloppy after the middle story with a poorly-written story. Also, this plot the biggest problem is haven't much moments and unique like the other anime adaptation which turns a situation that's meant to be terrifying into a B+grade harem and mild nudity. Just skipped too much unrealistic, need to find the good opening, hit the bad person reason, chase the crooked villain and find lover couple reasonable is all there is to that.

Thus, the movie could easily be summed up except premised, which would still be inferior to the other anime such as Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Sepnai, Steins;Gate and Princess Tutu. The whole allure and horror thing wasn't anything unique, interesting and was stupid while this show make to vomit and close this f*king show. Thus, it's even predictable from other things. Overall the story is utter shit and it features some of the worst writing I have ever seen in any anime not Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba or Mega Man X4 game case.

Once Upon A Time
's biggest and major reasoning why Once Upon A Time even got any press while Once Upon A Time was being released in 19th July 1986 anime movie wasn't too much horribly boring old style but still mediocre in had in 1 hour 40 minutes. Once Upon A Time animation studio is Studio Gallop film from 1986 which put same studio that did early episodes of Rurouni Kenshin and later episodes of Rurouni Kenshin has change studio from Studio Gallop to Studio Deen, so how you would expect them to help what key visually and whatnot, well they tried and even with another animation studio, the quality wasn't too much dumpster fire and horribly boring in sometimes even to the point but it was even fanservice and harem which makes pretty unwatchable in sometimes. The general artwork does look, the most part, is well done and does give off the feeling of fashion and fairy style. It’s just simple with poor but still look briliant villager, or rich but unprepared and undisciplined dumb-looking cool kingdom, they perpose of find different hapiness life and fantasy. The character figures look interesting and unique but it look wasted, forgettable and awkward in sometimes. The whole setting is look fairy tale-ish while it in order to leaves plenty of room for a dozen side stories and sequels but you can see it's a bit weak and ruined too. The fantasy elements of the film are look more visual interesting rather than as an incompetent attempt at world building. However, the action scenes are boring most of the time. Nothing could consider all war to look around. The voice acting and music themes looks interesting and unique but it's very annoying, dumpster fire and doesn't work for me. Nothing that you will hymn or sing when you are bored.

The characters in Once Upon a time aren't true characters. The characters in this movie are full of cliche, two dimensiol, most edgy and most boring. Izu and Marin are good main characters? Nope. What I see the main protagonist who full of cliche, f*king pointless, egdy and useless. I've watching useless main character of action, fantasy or drama genre (Oh I forgot, if you change the useful and strong main characters look-likes Okabe Rintaro from Stains;Gate, Shouyo Hinata from Haikyuu or other great characters, anime fans would not get a lot hates and complaint. Right me?) and don't tell me that Izu and Marin or other characters had lot personality, backdrop, presence, cathasis and development. All I saw is Izu forgot promised and hurt Marin while Marin waiting for Izu finished wars, Izu decided join Paro army because Kyle looks cool who thinks Izu joined Paro could more rich, talent and desire, thus Izu may be Kyle spy for someone dies in wars and he backs. In this case, Izu is join Kyle spy remind me of PS1 and Seag Satrun game I once watched video. It’s a android human and romance game where you also fight Maverick and/or Reploids (aka Repliforce). If I ain’t mistaken, the game was Rockman X4 in Japan (Mega Man X4 in North America and PAL) which released on the Sega Saturn and PS1 in 1997. Izu from Once Upon a time and Double normal style from Mega Man X4 are good and kindness guy and they suddenly to join enemy army whose become villian spy. Izu is become Kyle spy who betrayed Marin and Double normal style is become Sigma spy who betrayed X from Mega Man X game series (or I say Double is really evil style and destroyed other Maverick Hunters members damm). You didn't really get to learn anything about what wars and other things which would become sucks and bored. Izu also hasn't sense of existence. Next is Marin, she was trash character. She kind of dumpster fire and boring that I'm not interesting. Use drama back story to make thing that she always waiting Izu and non-make sense love story in middle story.

The secondary of the cast is extremely stupid and one of the most bland. So much so that I just forgot the most of their names damm. Even the one pair kingdoms that Jill is the prince of Paros and he opposes the war between Paros and Itha and fell loves Ahnes. Ahnes is extremely melancholy princess in the Paros Kingdom. Unfortunately that they are rather uninteresting and boring as they in order to scramble the best kingdom and also argument into awkward with one being a unconcerned with and the other being a crybaby and useless. Thus, in my case, I just don't fucking care about them and they are kind of just there near the end of the show. Lord Kyle looks interesting and cool black cloak that I think he will make this show better, but isn't. He wasn't clear his role be for what? Stupid and lazy!

How the fuck I give value and enjoyment of the movies that make no sense? It was inferior of the original, fake emotional, dumpster fire, annoying and stupid are the only words for it. Don't waste your time with this shit. If you find the other shows are interesting plot, unique characters, clean art and wonderful sounds, I would recommend good shows. I don't know how it tries to follow in the footsteps of Princess Tutu and rip-offs of Made in AbyssThe Promised Neverland and Konosuba, but this original movie is just f*king stupid and annoying. I would rated this anime movie is 1 out of 5 stars with waste of my time.

Anime: Your Name.
Princess TutuThe Promised NeverlandMade in Abyss
Game: Mega Man X4

Next Review: Maybe Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Sepnai, Arifureta: From Commonplace to World's Strongest, or other anime shows?

Written and edited by: AlchemistDaisuki
Re-updated: 10/07/2019

And now for some excused scorings.

General Artwork 2/2 (well done)
Character Figures 1/2 (generic)
Backgrounds 1/2 (fairy tale-ish but it's little boring)
Animation 1/2 (average)
Visual Effects 0/2 (magical but too much waste potential)

Voice Acting 1/3 (retarded and corny)
Music Themes 1/4 (forgettable and unfit)
Sound Effects 1/3 (basic)

Premise 1/2 (typical)
Pacing 0/2 (awful)
Complexity 0/2 (simplistic)
Plausibility 0/2 (none)
Conclusion 0/2 (doesn’t exist) 

Presence 0/2 (stupid or dull)
Personality 0/2 (simplistic, bland, unexcused, erratic, or one dimensional)
Backdrop 0/2 (none)
Development 0/2 (close to zero)
Catharsis 0/2 (doesn’t exist)

Historical Value 1/3 (still remembered by the nostalgic ones as Princess Tutu)
Rewatchability 0/3 (nothing worth to rewatch)
Memorability 0/4 (just another generic magic) 


Too bent on shock factor and makes non-sense and it doesn't matter on the emotional level.

VERDICT: 1.8/10

1/10 story
5/10 animation
3/10 sound
0.1/10 characters
1.8/10 overall
alala's avatar
Nov 3, 2018

What a tragic movie... Wow.

I have no idea if Windaria was based on a manga or novel, but the movie sure felt like a short summary of something way bigger and longer. To me the movie seemed half-assed. I don't know if it was just too much of a story for one movie or if the problem was with how the story was presented. I think I would probably enjoy it more if it was made into 20+ episodes series, because there seems to be a lot going on that could have been explained better.

Art was nice, I like the old style anime, and music was good - for once I didn't have to turn the volume down due to corny background music that most anime these days use.

Overall it's a good story just poorly presented. I would not watch it again though.

4/10 story
?/10 animation
?/10 sound
4/10 characters
4/10 overall