Tuesday, February 26, 2013

TO Anime Review

TO
Funimation
Complete Collection - 1 disc
85 mins. - 2 episodes
$29.98 (2011) Blu-Ray/DVD combo
ISBN 704400095009
Japanese/English Audio - English Subtitles
Director - Fumihiko Sori
Studio - Oxybot

Synopsis: Two science fiction stories:

Elliptical Orbit - A classified ship named the Flying Dutchman returns from a 15-year deep space exploration  and docks with an orbital space catapult (which fires cargo containers to the moon colony).  The captain of the Dutchman is a young woman who was involved with the commander of the space station before she gave up her life to lead the mission.  She was in cryostasis for 13 years and has only aged two years to the commander's 15.  Her mission was successful and she brings back a rare, valuable fuel source called 'proton'.  It has the potential to solve the Earth's energy crisis, but it's value is incalculable and factions on Earth want it for themselves.  A commando team descends on the station making it a battleground for the future survival of the planet.  Can the crew of the space station and Flying Dutchman repel trained killers to safeguard the future of the human race?
The Flying Dutchman returns to Earth and docks with the orbital space station
Symbiotic Planet - On a far off planet in deep space two opposing factions from Earth have built outposts.  They attempt a cooperative effort in order to build a colony for harvesting resources and terraforming the planet.  Grudges from Earth run deep and tensions between the two factions, one Eurasian and the other American-Euro, begin to boil over.  Caught in the middle are two would-be lovers, Ion and Alina, each from opposing sides.  They meet in secret and admire the incredible life forms on the planet.  Symbiotic relationships between organisms are prolific on this particular world.  The colonies sit on a continent completely covered by a fast-growing white fungus.  When it infiltrates a lab inside the American-Euro outpost during a peace talk with the Eurasians, the lives of all the humans on the planet are threatened.
The crew of the Flying Dutchman
Pros: Cool intro CG (computer-generated) graphics, space vehicles were designed well, some interesting science-fiction,
The Dutchman's captain is still young while her old flame...got old
Cons: Character animation is all computer-generated and looks pretty fake, CG acting is stiff and emotionless, drama is lifeless, weak music
These dangerous commandos want the proton!
Mike Tells It Straight:  First off, TO is not a full-length movie which was a surprise.  We get action in Elliptical Orbit and a lesson on human nature in Symbiotic Planet.  The pair of science-fiction stories are pretty solid, but the anime falls flat in several ways and ends up being pretty bland.  The anime is based on a manga called 2001 Nights by Yukinobu Hoshino.  This manga features stories about humankind's exploration of space and the potential pitfalls which  could be faced.  I've heard it's fairly interesting and hope to check it out someday.
A planet filled with symbiotic relationships
The animation appears to be 100% CGI, but not particularly high quality stuff.  It looks a lot like Vexille or Appleseed Ex Machina.  The character's movements and facial expressions are terrible.  The acting is stiff and emotionless.  Since the stories are short and feature entirely different casts it was impossible to care about any of the characters.
Ion is a headstrong scientist in love with a Eurasian translator
The stories themselves are only mildly interesting like an episode of Star Trek or something.  Overall TO seems like an expensive exercise in failure since it's all standalone stories and doesn't gain any momentum.  I don't recommend picking it up unless you really, really like bland science-fiction stories.
Her boss and Alina are caught on the base during a spore outbreak

TO BUY and Recommendations: