This is the story of youth. Of Maetel's youth and of what happened when Maetel's homeworld turned into a machinated hell by the hands of Hardgear, an already machinized character with plans of his own.
This is, ironically, the first Matsumoto Leiji feature I've ever seen. Ironically, because despite having seen it, I still managed to work up the interest to see his other works and fall in love with them.
As you can guess, I'm ... slightly disappointed with this one. While not being outright awful, it nevertheless made me think -- or hope -- that this wasn't the extent of what Matsumoto Leiji could do. And I was luckily proven wrong.
For one, the artwork felt all wrong. Sure, most of it sorta LOOKED like his work, but compared to titles like Galaxy Express 999 or Arcadia of My Youth, this is seriously lazy. Simple art, simple animation... is this REALLY a Matsumoto Leiji work at all?
What's more, the story itself was fairly simplistic and banal and having that stretched out to close to ninety minutes just becomes too much. Granted, the beginning was quite ok, giving us some insight to what really happened to Maetel's home planet, but for sixty-seventy minutes, we're being served nothing but Maetel's mother angsting around, Maetel and her sister oppose the whole mechanization plan and Hardgear generally laughing, being evil and drinking what I hope to the high heavens is red wine.
Yes, I AM a Matsumoto Leiji fan, but this movie shares none of the credit for that.
In retrospect, I can perhaps say that it filled out SOME of the whole plot if you can just disregard some of the things that made absolutely no sense. I don't feel like it has been a complete waste buying this now that I own some of the other parts of the saga. Nevertheless, I really can't recommend this one unless you REALLY need your Matsumoto collection completed. (Which will be hard enough today if you've just started.)
But DON'T let this be the first title you buy. It might very well turn you off Matsumoto's work altogether, and THAT would be a crime.
This could have been so much better in so many ways. — Stig Høgset
Recommended Audience: Nothing too questionable here, save for some violence and deaths near the end, which is typical for Matsumoto works anyway. As is the fact that there's nothing else of objectionable nature.
Version(s) Viewed: R1 DVD
Review Status: Full (2/2)
Maetel Legend © 2000 Matsumoto Leiji / Tsubaraya Productions
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