Samurai films otherwise known as “Chanbara” which is a sub-category for Jidaigeki remain an important part of Japanese Cinema; period dramas set during the era of Feudal Japan would focus heavily on the development of wandering a ronin as they try to alter the course of their own lives and those around them. This movie, being one of Yoshiaki Kawajiri’s most well-known films not only details in the epitome of over the top violence and gratuitous nudity of this type of Anime from the 90’s, but it captured the harsh and threatening lifestyle of Feudal Japan with the end result being a rather influential movie.
During the early 2000’s I remember seeing many previews for this movie both in English and in Japanese, they hyped this movie up as being “the most spectacular anime in motion picture history” and even so much as receiving praise from film director James Cameron. While it’s hard to take the hyperbole behind this movie seriously it’s certainly a movie that while it’s been overlooked in recent years and one that deserves more notice not just for its story but what could be its “Ground-breaking” achievement in animation and design that show how gigantic this movie is in different perspectives.
This is a series that as it appears is a cross between the gritty and neon atmospheric tones of Blade Runner but manages include a supernatural element to it to have one genre balancing over the other, interestingly it works rather well. Silent Mobius is based off a 12 volume manga by Kia Asamiya (Martian Successor Nadesico, Kamen Rider Fourze, Detonator Orgun & Hades Project Zeorymer) which centres around a dedicated group of all-female police officers with protecting Tokyo from an invasion of extra-dimensional creatures called Lucifer Hawks. The series itself has not only these 2 films but a standalone TV series that followed from there, however the movies themselves are something to hold in high regard in terms of its budget and how well held together the story is.
I’ve been a big fan of Satoshi Urushihara for as long as I can remember, He’s one of those artists in Anime & Manga that has left his mark on the industry in his drawings. The man has a very unique and very specific style which has been used a great deal in Anime from 80’s & 90’s, his involvement in works such as Bubblegum Crisis, Growlanser, Langrisser, Crying Freeman & Legend of Lemnear were what made his work really stand out because it was designed very differently. Even his involvement in western productions such as Transformers working in the mechanical design and animation direction was rather interesting to see without really knowing of his involvement.
There really isn't enough praise that’s been given to someone like Kenichi Sonoda for being an influence on Anime in the 80’s & 90’s, Partially because his works have been a part of my life since the early 2000’s of the Sci-Fi channel anime years. Riding Bean in particular is one of those classics that was destined to be something greater in the means of a long life-span, but due to creative differences it ceased to take on a life of its own but found a new life in the form of Gunsmith Cats, what’s worth mentioning is that Riding Bean is something very special to me and has so much going for it that it wanted you wanting more at the end of it.
So with The Professional over and done with, the second movie or OVA this time takes Duke Togo in a slightly different direction in regards to its themes and story. Whereas Golgo 13: The Professional focused heavily on a never ending vengeance trip on how so much can be thrown at the main character without being 100% active in his own film, Queen Bee’s story is focused more on the themes of tragedy and corruption and how suffering can be profited from that and then silenced through the deal carried out by the hired man, yet despite that though the result of this doesn’t live up to its name or what it delivers.