Wings of Honneamise review module
WINGS OF HONNEAMISE (Manga Video), 119min, cert PG, £13.99.
Dubbed & subtitled editions.
This is one of the most sumptuous anime releases yet seen
in the UK. Two hours of breathtaking animation achieves the
rare feat of creating an entire alternative world on screen.
It's an epic story of a civilisation's first faltering steps
into space. The Royal Space Force is a dead-end posting for
dreamers and failures, only allowed to continue because the
rulers foresee cynical uses for it. The young hero, Shirotsuro
Lhadatt, joins the Space force after failing selection for
the Air Force. A chance encounter with a devout young woman
encourages Shiro to press himself forward for selection as the
first man in space.
Meanwhile hostilities simmer, and the poor
are demonstrating against the extravagance of the space
program. As the program nears completion, the military
conspire to use the launch site as a bait to trigger an
This has everything - superb animation, high-tension
action, humour, good characterisation, and a well-realised
world-creation. The characterisation of the devout girl
Leiquni is particularly noteworthy. The movie attracted little
attention in its native Japan because of poor publicity, and
has had limited attention in the West from anime fans more
interested in collecting girly action comedies. Yet it
deserves to be seen as one of the finest animated films ever
made, and as a thoughtful piece of SF moviemaking. Should be
bought by all fans of screen SF being infinitely superior to
Star-trek, Star-Wars and their ilk.
A cautionary note: the preview tape was cut to remove an 'adult' scene, (much to my irritation). In the original, the viewpoint clearly shows that Shirotsuro is thinking of Leiquni as a woman, and then, as she undresses behind a screen, he makes his move... She hits him with a candlestick. In the morning there is an outdoor scene where SHE apologises to HIM. Shirotsuro looks sheepish.
The cuts, while removing the only 'adult' scene in the movie (and alleviating the British fear of sexuality) make the sequence seem a bit pointless and remove some depth and interest from the characterisation. Reportedly the release was cut to gain a PG certification (i.e. make it more suitable for young Brits.)
The subtitled edition has the same cut. If dissatisfied, look out for uncut subtitled import editions, or get
the US fan script from the INTERNET.