Wednesday, March 11, 2009

They Were Eleven

This time I have decided to review the forgotten movie that is They Were Eleven. I have to say that this was a great movie. I’d like to say straight up that I would suggest this movie to anyone. But lets move on to the actual review.
They Were Eleven is a 1986 anime movie that was based on 1975 manga series. The story is about a group of 10… make that 11… people who have hopes of attending Cosmo Academy. This is known to be the hardest Academy to get accepted to, and for reason. They have to pass multiple tests and trials to get by. But the story focuses on the final test. In this exam the 11 people are sent out to an abandoned space craft and are told to survive there for 25 days with out help or contact from or to the outer world. Now the test was meant to be for 10 people, but when they arrive at the space craft they are shocked to find that there are 11 of them. Now that the suspicion has set in, the fun of the movie begins. From there it goes into allot of interesting plots. Showing how they become paranoid, delving into character development, and taking on social issues of the time.
The main character of the movie is a young man by the name of Tada. He was quite an interesting character. He at first seems like an average guy (aside from the fact that he’s a genius like all the others). But we soon learn that he’s even more unique then that. We, not so cleverly, learn that he was ESP. Also, we start to realize that he knows things about the ship that he shouldn’t. This of course makes his fellow crew members suspicious of him being the extra man (and there for a danger). Another key character of the movie is Frol. Frol is a woman (at least that’s what you can assume by the way she looks, even though she hates it) that has joined the test for personal reasons that are later brought up and discussed later in the movie. This is actually a very interesting part of the movie that I really don’t want to spoil. Another character is King Mayan Baceska. He is, as said in the name, a king of Aritosca Le. Unlike the others on the crew, he doesn’t have much of a reason for taking the test. He says that he has no intentions of going to the Academy and is merely taking this test to prove that he can. The reason that he is such an important character is because many people on the crew rally around him as a leader. This sometimes is problematic for Tada because King is very suspicious of him. He is quick to blame Tada and this causes a good amount of the conflicts of the movie. There are other characters that I’d like to get into like Ganga and Knu. But I’ll leave that to the movie. Over all this movie has some very interesting characters in it. The characters, in fact, are a big push of the movie. You really want to try and learn more about them and how they react in different situations.
Another interesting aspect, to say the least, of the movie is the dub. The reason it is so interesting is because Steven Jay Blum (he is listed under multiple names) is in it. And as if that wasn’t enough, he also plays about 4 or 5 characters. It’s actually entertaining to listen to the dub. You’ll hear Spike, Roger Smith, Kazuma, ext. They all pop up at some point in the movie. Another notable voice is that of Frol, who is played by Wendee Lee. Wendee Lee is probably best known for her work as Faye from Cowboy Bebop, but her list of rolls in anime and video games goes on and on and on. I really don’t want to try and make a list. Another person worth noting is Joe Romersa. Although he isn’t to often doing voices for big characters, he is going a lot of ADR and Digital Tracking work. He worked on such things as Ninja Scroll, 08th MS Team, Trigun, Black Jack, and Yu Yu Hakusho. He’s a man worth noting.
As for the staff, this is one of those situations were I wasn’t to into the majority of the staff. Most of the staff members haven’t really worked on any “notable” series or movies. Most of their other works are obscure and forgotten anime, lost to the pages of time. I’m not saying that they’re bad, I’m just saying that they aren’t any big hit staff members. The one really notable staff member is Junichi Higashi. He is a great art director and has worked on a lot of great stuff. Some of his works include Cowboy Bebop, Oh! Edo Rocket, Escaflowne (series and movie), G Gundam, and Speed Grapher. He’s a very accomplished person as you can tell.
Over all I really enjoyed this movie. It had an interesting story, it had good characters, and was directed well. I really don’t see why this is such an unknown movie. It seems like something the should get a lot more attention. But it seems to not be too big. I hope that this soon changes because it’s something that really deserves more notice and praise. I would suggest this to any anime fan or movie fan in general. It has a lot of aspects to it in terms of genres and subject matters. I really encourage more people to watch this one.
If you feel that this movie would interest you and would like to watch it or buy it then you’re in luck. The dvd is available on rightstuf for $7.49. Or you can always rent it from Netflix and see if you like it first. Well I hope you enjoy this movie and the review. Next time you can expect me to be reviewing a manga. I’m not sure which one yet but a manga none the less.

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