The time is several millennia ago; the place is India. Droughts and famine plague the country, and its people are forced into a strict caste system that rewards only the elite cream of the crop. Across the land animals and Brahmin alike rejoice, for the blessed child with a birthright to become a god is about to be born. His name is Siddhartha Gautama, later to be known as the Buddha. Meanwhile, in another kingdom, Chapra, a boy born into a life of slavery, is determined to break free of his caste and earn a position of power. As both Chapra and Siddhartha grow and mature, learning about the harshness of India's caste system, the choices they make lead them closer together.
— INTRODUCTION —Osamu Tezuka's Buddha is a beautifully crafted anime movie that retells the life story of Siddhartha Gautama, who later became known as Buddha. The movie, based on the critically acclaimed manga series by Osamu Tezuka, follows Siddhartha's journey from his privileged life as a prince to his eventual enlightenment, becoming a revered spiritual leader.— THEMES AND STORYLINE —The movie does an excellent job of portraying Siddhartha's struggle with questions about existence, suffering, and finding inner peace. It also provides an insight into the social, political, and cultural context in which Siddhartha lived. Set in ancient India, the movie revolves around two boys named Chapra and Siddhartha with contrasting backgrounds and their journey in a world of war and social classes.'Man does not attain all his heart’s desires for the winds do not blow as the vessels wish' — Al-MutanabbiThe movie's plot establishes a four-social class system, with laborers and slaves being the worst of the four. However, the movie primarily focuses on the tragic journey of Chapra and Siddhartha. Chapra, a tenacious slave, becomes friends with Tatta and seeks to become a Kshatriya warrior to improve his life. Through a mutually beneficial relationship with a Kosalan general, Chapra achieves his goal. In contrast, Siddhartha, a prince's son, is forced by his father to learn military tactics and swordsmanship despite his hatred of violence and war. Siddhartha embarks on a quest to discover the meaning of life and find a way to end the wars. The characters in Buddha are well-developed and compelling. Siddhartha, the movie's protagonist, is portrayed as a multifaceted character, with his own strengths and flaws. The supporting characters are also well-developed and add depth to the story.— ANIMATION AND SOUNDTRACK —Unfortunately, the animation quality in this movie was not up to par, which may not come as a surprise to those familiar with Toei Animation's work. While the visuals were certainly detailed and intricate, the overall animation was choppy and lacked fluidity. This can be seen in the awkward movements of some of the characters during action scenes, which took away from the impact and excitement of these moments. In addition, the character designs were somewhat simplistic, lacking the depth and nuance that could have added to the emotional weight of the story. While the animation may not have been a total disaster, it was certainly not at the level that could have been expected from a movie of this caliber.The soundtrack of the movie is fitting to its tone and setting, as it boasts a beautiful and emotionally charged score that effectively complements the themes and mood of the movie. The music blends well with the stunning visuals, which heighten the overall viewing experience. However, while the voice acting is generally commendable, the voice of young Siddhartha comes across as lacking in emotion, and his dialogue sounds somewhat stilted and rehearsed, as if he were just reading from a script.— FINAL THOUGHTS —Despite the minor flaws, it is a must-watch anime movie for anyone interested in exploring spirituality, philosophy, and the human condition. The movie's portrayal of the four-social class system is excellent, and the movie's story and character development are compelling. The movie explores themes of war, social issues, and the search for meaning in life, and its well-developed characters bring these themes to life.Regardless of your familiarity with the manga, this movie is guaranteed to leave a profound impact on you. It is a finely crafted movie that guides the audience through the life of Siddhartha Gautama, who ultimately became Buddha, a spiritual figure revered by millions worldwide.
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