Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Welcome to the Space Show
During a summer vacation, five children - Natsuki, Amane, Kiyoshi, Noriko and Koji - find an injured white dog on a corn field, Pochi, who turns out to be a talking alien from planet Wan. As a reward, he takes them to the moon and then to another, alien planet for a vacation. However, the conditions for entering Earth have been aggravated, so Pochi has to circumvent it by bringing them on a journey through the galaxy to Wan, and then back. One of them, Amane, is kidnapped by Neppo, a host of the popular "Space Show", because he hopes to use her wasabi root to rule the Universe. Pochi stops him and returns the kids back to Earth.
"Galaxy Express 999" meets "Spirited Away" - Koji Masunari's weird anime science-fiction comedy adventure collected critical acclaim and is a moderately fun film that is rich with opulent colors and special effects, even though its story - especially chaotic towards the end - cannot follow the high level achieved on the field of animation. "Welcome to the Space Show" offers a good entertainment, but, as with several modern animes, its characters lack that immediate seal of uniqueness which makes some of them less distinguishable (for instance, Noriko seems more like a bland extra than a fully recognizable personality) and thus one cannot engage in their adventures to the fullest, whereas some of the designs of aliens is truly a bizarre patchwork (giant pink rodent, for instance). Considering that the story is more leaned towards a harmless, naive fun, it is a original space travel flick that seizes attention due to its style, whereas it also gives a small messages about everyone having to learn for themselves instead of someone giving everything to them.