Pros:Production values, nice action segments
Cons:All it appears to care about is looking pretty
The Bottom Line: If you want action and nice visuals, then here you go.
Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.
An organization codenamed ARCAM has a mission to retrieve ancient artifacts and keep them secret. One of their teams discover the Ark of Noah spoken of in the Old Testament. Another organization wants it, and they're leaving a path of destruction in their pursuit of it. The Ark has the power to completely change the world. One of ARCAM's top agents in an elite group called Spriggan named Yu Ominae is pulled into the confrontation. Yu journey's to the heart of the conflict. -summary
Based off the manga by the same name written by Hiroshi Takashige. Spriggan is another anime title that condenses its intricate story to fit into 90 mins., when in truth, it would have been a much better outing in an OVA or even a TV series format. Well, no sense on crying over slashed stories. Spriggan is an action first, and deal with characters and story later. The action and production values are so well done, I know plenty of people who forgot about the story altogether.
The production values are the main selling point. The artwork has many moments of beauty from snow laden mountain tops, to dark and dreary caves. There's a great amount of detail in the backgrounds, and although the character designs feel reminiscent of Akira, there are moments of creativity. The locations and set pieces are simply eye candy, and there's never a dull moment. The animation which does use a small amount of CG turns in some heavily appealing action segments; the viewer will be treated to bodies being ate up by gun fire, and very well choreographed action assisted by splendid camera work. The action fan will find quite a bit here to keep them occupied. I also like the mature feel of the anime, as it has this level of darkness to it, which frees it completely from that "light up the mood" feel. In regards to the voice acting, it's been awhile since I saw the sub, so I can't recall anything from it. However, the English dub had a competent cast, Chris Patton playing Yu was just as good as normally, while Kevin Corn as Colonel McDougall hammed it up with an annoying child-like high pitch voice, that hasn't gotten any less annoying over the years.
Spriggan maintains a very consistent tone on the serious side, and it definitely needed to sustain that feel, because it does handle some dark material. The story takes a stab at a different variation of the Great Flood, and some of the things will probably get under the skin of the religious. But in the end it all comes off as window-dressing, because the entire story for the most part plays second to the action.
The plot follows Yu and another Spriggan operative by the name of Jean-Jacques Mondo, as they battle against heavily armed and powerful cyborg warriors. The plot is heavily action-saturated with small pieces of story here and there. It would probably be insulting to even say character development is brushed upon, since Mondo is only there to fulfill a role, and outside of how he fights you learn nothing about him. Yu's background is crammed in towards the end, but he becomes a pretty cool character early on, so he's easy to get into. The lead villain by the name of Colonel McDougall for the most part was that bad guy with serious delusions of grandeur. He wants the Ark to use its power and begin a second Great Flood.
Spriggan really could have been better. If only the writers chose to flesh out the character and story, plus take full advantage of its heavy themes. Instead, they wanted to focus on high production values. The only reason I don't completely have a problem with this, is because it did very well on what it set out for. I will mention that it has a couple of deus ex machina moments, that hd me wondering could they have thought of something better.
I found Spriggan to be an enjoyable action-fest. It doesn't suffer from tonal shifts, and it sticks to its guns. If you're searching for that little popcorn flick, and you want to leave your brain at the door. Then this is that anime for you. If I had to liken it to other anime titles; it would probably be similar to Afro Samurai or Ninja Scroll.
Another entry into Elvisdo's 2012 Funny Pages Write Off.
And this will be my first entry into Swooshfan2's 2012 Favorite Movie Stars Movie Write-Off, with Chris Patton being among my favorite voice actors.
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Viewing Format: DVD