ThatAnimeSnob's avatar


  • Thessaloniki, Greece
  • Joined Dec 22, 2011
  • 41 / M

Honneamise is a movie of antitheses. Everything about it has two sides, and it wasn’t done intentionally for the sake of keeping things grey. The production team was simply insecure and that shows everywhere in the film. You could say that’s what gives it an identity, but it’s surely not to its benefit. It’s like those movies where you see they did a lot of reshooting and last moment editing. You spot the insecurity and that’s a bad thing.

It’s not that obvious in Honneamise, but it’s still there when you know it was made by the Gainax crew. It’s not zany and energetic, which is what they got to be known for. And it’s not something they began doing later on either. The sole reason they were given a lot of money to make this film was because they impressed the bigshots with Daicon, their anime convention animated shorts. “Hey, can you make us something that looks like that?” they asked. “Sure, but not with your money and not in that movie” they replied.

What I mean by that is how it doesn’t have the energy of what we came to expect froms Gainax. It looks pretty, but it doesn’t have the energy of Guren Lagann, the psychological pressure of Neon Genesis, or the sex metaphors of Fooli Cooli. It’s just a typical coming of age story. Take any generic sports plot and you get pretty much the same stuff.

And it’s not like it doesn’t have something interesting going on. There is a space program, there are protesters, there are religious fanatics, there are politics, there is romance… There is a whole multilayered civilization in this movie, with its own history and type of unique-looking technology and we barely get to see anything, because it’s a movie focusing on the training of one guy at the expense of everything else. It wouldn’t be a problem if there was a series after the movie that would explore the setting, but that didn’t happen, we were stuck will a hundred interesting ideas that do not get looked into and a hardly serviceable plot.

Also, the characterization is unacceptably weak. There are only a handful of important characters and they are super generic. You are not given something to remember them for, since they are that basic, and because the setting looks so magnificently exotic, they get completely overshadowed in a coming of age story. The reason these types of stories work best in contemporary settings is because you get to focus on the characters for doing things more interesting than the setting they are part of. That’s not the case with Honneamise. It’s a character-focused plot thrown in a world-centric story.

Furthermore, the only memorable thing the protagonist does in the whole movie is a sexual assault. Despite being somewhat excused as the result of anxiety, it raised a lot of eyebrows back when it aired, and alienated a big portion of the mainstream audiences. And this was what they thought back in the 80s. Nowadays, this can be considered attempted rape. So basically, you have a movie where you are more interested in the setting, and instead you spend your time watching a generic guy trying to rape a woman. Yeah, not a very pretty image in your mind.

By the way, anyone who doesn’t like shonen protagonists for being spineless when it comes to women, this is what happens when they are not. Why do you think most stories have sexually inept heroes? For not disliking how spineless they are in comparison to one-dimensional evil rapists. It’s cheap but it works, because sex is evil, didn’t you know that after watching Honneamise?

So if you sum it up, the visuals are amazing and the themes can be quite motivational, but everything else is disappointing. Watch Planetes instead. And this planned sequel is totally not necessary.

5/10 story
10/10 animation
8/10 sound
5/10 characters
5.5/10 overall

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