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amore eroma » Movies, Movies - Action, Movies - Drama, Movies - Foreign, Movies - SciFi » The Sky Crawlers

The Sky Crawlers

SKYCRAWLERSSky Crawlers (2008)    Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell)

First, let me say that this is not your usual, giant robot anime. There are no monsters. There are no powerful and magical battles being waged between tall haired tweens. While it does fall into the  fantasy and science fiction genre, it approaches it with a real world flair and concentrates on people more than just amazing flying machines.

Enter the world of THE SKY CRAWLERS – an alternate timeline in another world. A battle is being fought between two factions and children-beings called Kildren fight within it. They may live forever – no one knows. They know that each day may be their last. And, they don’t care. They fight when called on and spend the rest of their time waiting to fight again. Grim, indeed.

But, there’s more.

If you are a fan of GHOST IN THE SHELL, PATLABOR or JIN ROH, you already know about Oshii and the deliberate pacing of his films. He takes time with them and lets the viewer take everything in. Sounds and interactions take on a quiet strength that makes you take stock in what’s really going on.  The characters wander through their world and take on a realistic and sometimes fatalistic quality that strikes a chord when watching.

But, it’s not all character and plot development. It’s dogfights and amazing design. The propeller driven fighters the Kildren fight in are based in a real world design and are very believable. This isn’t X-Wings and things of fantasy. These machines look like they could be built and flown today. The vehicles are rendered in 3D while the characters are drawn (a style I love!) and the blend works very well. This is something Oshii does in many of his films and it works really well. The dogfights are amazing and choreographed very well.  They could hold their own in the world of cinematic air battles.

Fans of Oshii are also familiar with something else as well. The feeling that you missed something somewhere along the line. You follow MOST of the plot, then something that is introduced somehow misses the thought process and you find yourself thinking, “I don’t get it.” And, a second later, you shrug and think, “Yeah, but, I don’t really care. This is really cool,” and move along.  If you’ve seen GHOST IN THE SHELL, think about long strings of dialogue about th “Puppet Master” and his plans and ghosts and the meaning of life. Yes, now you get it. It never reaches THOSE proportions, but prepare for that watching CRAWLERS – it’ll happen, I’m sure, but you won’t care because it’s so much fun to watch.

Oddly, the folly work and sound design on this film struck me as well. I found myself wondering if Oshii had players acting out each scene so he could get the proper sound for the scenes. It was real and well done and really helped to lock me into a real world feeling even though the film was animated.

Half way through the film (rented through NETFLIX) I muttered, “That’s it, I gotta buy this film,” out loud. I think that sums it up rather well. If you’re a fan of Oshii, real world anime, World War II dogfight films, or alternate time line fantasy, you’ll love THE SKY CRAWLERS.

Special SKY CRAWLERS Promo


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One Response to "The Sky Crawlers"

  1. malcolm says:

    The Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces – Wii
    Release Date: January 12, 2010

    Game Ratings
    8.0 IGN SCORE “Impressive”
    “After years of waiting for a truly standout flight game on Wii, XSEED has really delivered with Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces. Mixing in dozens of different mission types within the game’s 18 stages, the Project Aces team puts a more arcade-inspired anime spin on its typical flight engine, and the result is a truly rewarding one.” IGN

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