As The Hybrid gets accustomed into his new lifestyle without having anybody to interfere with his work, he decided to review a special anime that most of his reviewer friends already review. Some loved the anime for what it is while the others aren’t that fond of it but they didn’t hate it as much at all but when Hybrid received the package, there was a note that said “this is best viewed under the influence of alcohol and/or weed” and it even included a pound of weed to go along with it. “Well, I better get on this anime and light up, too.” And so he rolled up, light up a joint and begun to experience the utter close-to-GAINAX-y craziness that is…….DEAD LEAVES.
Technically, I just going to describe mostly everything about this anime with its style being which like Studio GAINAX and their latter works like Gurren Lagann, FLCL & Panty and Stocking with Garter belt but to some of you that don’t know that the director of the OVA, Hiroyuki Imaishi, did work for GAINAX since 1995, first as an in-betweener for Neon Genesis Evangelion and then him and the crew with him that did Panty & Stocking left the company to form their own studio, Studio Trigger, but I did sense a bit of inspiration that was brought onto the animation.
Pandy and Retro, two unlikely renegades, awaken naked on Earth with no recollection of their past. After embarking on a devastating crime spree for food, clothing and transportation in downtown Tokyo, they are captured by authorities and sent to the infamous lunar prison called Dead Leaves.
Now the plot is pretty basic and simple as it was described on top of the paragraph above. You know that, coming in this isn’t going to be some deep psychological anime that gets into your cerebellum, considering the main characters are a guy with a TV for a head and this crazy-ass woman with a “punk”-ish attitude and don’t expect much character development in here and I wouldn’t question why nor would I care for it and yes, the shit that they get into is very, very insane as possible……but then again, it’s not up par with FLCL when it comes to massive insanity since in FLCL, it’s set in the real world Japan with it is very unexpected and with Dead Leaves, you know what to expect out of this. I’m not going to be surprised when watching this especially when leaving the synopsis of this. Don’t get me wrong, I do like this movie but I would not put it on my top favorite list.
Now for the animation, I keep saying on and on about GAINAX being an inspiration to this and yet even though GAINAX was part of the In-Between Animation, it wasn’t in charge of this production. That credit goes to Production I.G. and with that being said, where any of you surprised that they did the animation for this? OK, I was for a bit, but then again they were a part of FLCL, too, but I did felt that GAINAX was head honcho for that production and with that, the animation is a bit divisive among fans, some love it for the extreme avant-garde style that’s close to American animation while some don’t like it as much because it felt like a mess as if the team just did a lot of doodling instead of actual work….and also the cover of it might betray a few people once they get into it.
For the Manga Entertainment dub, there was a lot of energy put into the making of this with Amanda Winn Lee not only voicing the character of Pandy, but did the English script and directed it and I really did felt the connection and dialogue exchange with her and Jaxon Lee, who voiced Retro.
FINAL VERDICT: I can easily say that I would recommend that you watch this movie and it’s not much of a hassle to get through considering it’s posted on YouTube for free by the same distributing company so, hey, if you love the zany and wackiness of GAINAX or something close to it, then I would say watch this or FLCL.
So, what’s the amount of value for Dead Leaves?
SOLID B. – 8/10
After watching the movie and consuming half of the weed Hybrid used, he suddenly felt sleepy and as he got up to go to the kitchen, he then fall fast asleep on the ground and slept all night on the floor of his apartment. A few hours later when he woke up, he had some severe stomach pains and had the need to quickly use the bathroom and while there, somebody came knocking on the door and Hybrid said, “IN A MINUTE!!”, but the knocker wasn’t that patient as they kept knocking hard and furiously, “I SAID IN A MINUTE!!”, then the knocking turned into just beating the door and then Hybrid became furious and said, “Look, motherfucker, you don’t have to act like a little bitch, I’m going to answer the door….” And when he did, tentacles went and grab Hybrid out of there and then the question occurs: Who was that person that grabbed him and don’t tell me you’re reviewing a Hentai? Well, no, it’s not a Hentai but it does involve tentacles.
And until then, I’m MAK2.0 aka The Hybrid, bringing all the elements in one format.
DEAD LEAVES – animation by PRODUCTION I.G. / distributed by MANGA ENTERTAINMENT (U.S.)
THE MIND OF THE HYBRID ONE – my Tumblr page.