28 December 2004 | nicolopolo77
The surreal masterpiece of anime
Memories conveys three of the best anime segments ever done, even if so many anime fans don't know about it. The first time I saw Memories in a film festival in 1998 left me with such an impression that I never forgot about it. Now that finally I own the DVD, I can say that it's the same as I remembered: magnificent.
The "Magnetic Rose" segment feels at times like an homage to Kubrick's "2001 : Space Odissey", and now I could say it's a straight antecedent of the sci-fi tendency about the human mind in a simulated space which we have seen in "Dark City", "Matrix", etc. How a simulation program triggers the memories of the explorers and gets mixed with synthetic memories is done in a very intriguing form. The opera music plays a most important role, since it's the soundtrack what gives depth to the happenings here told.
"Stink Bomb" is funny as hell, taking the typical idiot hero in the Nintendo kind of plot (thhink Koji in Mazzinger, or Seya in Knigths of the Zodiac) as for what he should be (an idiot, every day man with the flu) , the story revolves around on the accidental creation of a human stinking bomb who treat hens the whole island of Japan. Real funny in a way most kid's animes aren't.
Finally, "Cannon Fodder" is the segment which I feel is the true masterpiece in this little anthology. A metaphorical world where a country is in a war against an unknown (and probably inexistent) enemy, and how the cannons are not only weapons, but the complete essence of the cultural, economical and social layers of this surreal "totalitarian" country. Some reminiscence of Orwell's 1984 is present, but the execution is really like anything I have ever seen or read before. It's a one shot segment, so I can hardly imagine the size of some background panels and the animation logistics of this. The music accentuates this strange feeling (very much like in Aeon Flux), and the unusual rendering style makes this a little strange jewel, not only from anime, but from all styles of animation.
As I said before, most movie and anime fans don't seem to know, or don't have any memories about this surreal collection of animated storied. I'm glad I'll never forget them.