Friday, April 8, 2016

The Laws of the Universe - Part 0

UFO Gakuen no Himitsu; animated science-fiction, Japan, 2015; D: Isamu Imakake, S: Ryota Osaka, Asami Seto, Tetsuya Kakihara

Natsumi, a high school student, claims to have been abducted by aliens one night in the forest. Her sister Halle is worried about this, as well as her friends, students Ray, Anna, Eisuke and Tyler. A few days later, Tyler claims to have been abducted as well, but by a very pleasant blond woman who claims to be from the Pleiades. The five team up into "Team Future". During a class presentation, Ray and the dean are taken by a UFO to the dark side of the Moon and are told by an goat alien that there are good aliens - the Galactic Federation - and bad aliens - the Reptilians, who want to take over Earth. After "Team Future" is being taken into the spiritual world, and realizing souls are being reincarnated all over the Universe on Earth, they fight the Reptilians on Earth and beat them by believing in the God of light, while the Reptilians belive in the God of darkness.

The first part of a planned anime film series that is suppose to stream the ideas of Ryuho Okawa and his cult 'Happy Science', "The Laws of the Universe - Part 0" is a bizarre patchwork, an anime that struggles to translate Okawa's religious teachings and instructions into some cohseive dramaturgy, though the opening act actually works as an entertaining Sci-Fi mystery set in the UFO craze. In the first half, it builds up a certain momentum thanks to humor and a relaxed mood where the five high school students explore the UFO sightings - some of the better jokes really do work (in gym, Eisuke finds a baseball and says: "Look! It has a signature on it!" Tyler rushes to see what celebrity signed it, but Eisuke just replies: "I don't know."; the opening in the school cafeteria, where Anna cynically comments how lame it is that Tyler and Ray and racing in who will eat their own lunch faster) - but as the story progresses, it becomes weirder and weirder, until it becomes just a didactic propaganda platform without much cohsesion. Several plot points in the narrative arrive completely random (the five students travelling through the spirit world) or are just plain illogical (Ray and the dean are struggling to find evidence that they were taken by a goat alien on a spaceship - ignoring that their abduction was witnessed by hundreds of students when the UFO's ray took them away from the school auditorium), blending in religion with science (one sentence openly advocates this, whereas in the finale the blond alien woman just casually says that the "Galactic Federation serves God"), whereas the story even uses some debunked theories of a confirmed fraud Billy Meier and his claims of Pleiadan aliens, as well as Icke's Reptilian shapeshifters. Overall, something should be noted here - the "Star Wars" and "Lord of the Rings" series were fun - but it would be an altogether different situation if they actually claimed that everything they presented was true and should be taught by followers.


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