Kenichi and Ban
Dima and Kenichi
Luoke and Litegong

Review of Rintaro's film
   Detective Shunsaku Ban is sent from Japan to the Grand City of Metropolis, in order to find and arrest doctor Luodun, involved in illegal activities. As he arrives there with his nephew, Kenichi, a robot is assigned to help them in their investigation. They quickly find that their suspect is creating a robot-girl for Litegong's "Jiegulate", a mysterious invention supposed to bring prosperity to the city. This robot, who has the appearance of Dima, Litegong's dead daughter, provokes the jealousy of his adoptive son, Luoke. Meanwhile, conflicts rage between oppressed workers and slave robots, while both Litegong and the Mayor plot secretly to take over the city.
   Five years were necessary to complete the huge work necessitated by this film. The carefully hand-drawn characters are evolving against numerous impressive CG generated backgrounds, which perfectly suits the theme of the film, the relationship between humans and robots. What is amazing is the outstanding number of different backgrounds realised and the great beauty of them all.
   The atmosphere is quite unique. It has a very poetic, melancolic and old-fashioned feeling (in a good way), thanks to a really cool jazz soundtrack, to the character's design, reminiscent of Tezuka's style and to a brilliant use of colors and lightings.
   The tone is both violent, especially in its depiction of the massacre of robots, and sweet in the relationship between the two adorable children, Kenichi and Dima. Their confrontation with the cruelty of the world around them is quite touching, as their innocence is gradually torn away from them. Most moving character though has to be Luoke, forever trying in vain to get some affection and recognition from his hardened adoptive father, whom he loves more than anything.
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