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Roujin Z

(return to disc)

Content rating: 8
Posted 2002-07-03 by StupendousMan
Endorsed by kurt on 2002-07-21 14:37:00

I've heard the word "off-beat" used quite a bit in the movie business, but it's been a long time since I had the need to use it myself. After watching Roujin Z, however, it's the only word that seems to fit.

Roujin Z is several different films: a brief but serious look at the future of health care systems in developed countries, a big secret government conspiracy flick, a giant mecha battle movie (well, this is anime, after all), and even a little bit of a love story. What it is most of all, though, as a previous reviewer wrote, is just plain fun. The story was written by Katsuhiro Otomo, the director of Akira, but it couldn't be more different. Well, yes, there is a government conspiracy (and it even involves the Americans), and, well, yeah, one particular entity does go through quite a bit of nauseating shape-shifting, and, um, I guess there is a small band of ordinary people who unexpectedly play a key role in the action, and ... Okay, I lied. If you stretch, you can find parallels to the Akira. But why bother?

Roujin Z spans the spectrum from pathos to action to karaoke, but maintains an air of silliness at almost all times. It's the first work of art I've ever seen that features the cry "Go, bed, go" ("gambaru, beddo" in the original). You have to go back to Juvenal to find such an example of the vocative applied to an (ordinarily) inanimate object.

The character design reminded me more of Perfect Blue than anything else. The video was fine, without any special effects of note. Do keep in mind that the film was released in 1991. The sound was okay, nothing great. I didn't bother with the menu, really: it let me set the subtitles and language, and that's all I need. At least it didn't have any annoying little animations that delay the action for ten seconds at a time -- I count that as a plus.

Equipment used when writing this review:
Panasonic 23-inch TV, generic SONY DVD player and stereo speakers.

Content: 8 Video: 6 Sound: 7 Packaging: 5 Menu: 5

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Other reviews of this disc:
Roujin Z by Kayos (Rating: 6.75)
OK so this really advanced hospital bed turns into a robot and goes on a rampage to get an old man to the beach. Can you just imagine what would happen in a Hollywood pitch meeting? Only in anime I guess.

I found this movie to just...(continues)

Content: 7 Video: 7 Sound: 7 Packaging: N/A Menu: 6

Roujin Z by Purificator (Rating: 8.00)
"Don't mess with the Ministry of Public Welfare!"

This was enjoyable and well worth my time to watch, both because it offered some social commentary and because it was just interesting, fun, and quirky. It's definitely not a pop-out...(continues)

Content: 9 Video: 8 Sound: 8 Packaging: N/A Menu: 7

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