Sunday, April 12, 2009

Good or bad? You make the call on "The Asylum Session"

by Chris MaGee

Last week I posted the astounding trailer for Mamoru Hosoda's upcoming animated film "Summer Wars" after making a new pact with myself that I wouldn't pass over certain upcoming anime films even though I tend to be wary of getting sucked into a lengthy anime series. It was around the same time that the "Summer Wars" trailer was hitting the net that another trailer for an upcoming Japanese animated film started doing the rounds, but I hesitated posting a story about it not because I thought it was going to be anything more than a stand alone film, but because, at least in my estimation, it looked bad. That film is Tact Aoki's 60-minute "The Asylum Session".

Okay, let me clarify something before I start fielding nasty emails. The story of "The Asylum Session" sounds interesting: a group of teenagers in a dystopian near-future hatch a plan to save the tent city they've built in an old stadium dubbed "The Asylum" from heartless land developers and a fascistic police force. What makes me say "The Asylum Session" looks bad is the quality of the character animation. It's stiff and awkward and it almost brings to mind that cheaply made computer-animated Canadian kids show "ReBoot". Does anyone remember "ReBoot"?

Of course a well executed story can excuse any number of visual flaws, but I think I'm going to sit on the fence on this one until I can get a firsthand look at the complete film. Check out the full trailer at Twitch to make up your own minds and if you're still interested then head on over the the film's official site for more details.

"The Asylum Session" will have a limited theatrical run in Tokyo and Osaka this summer.

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