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Wings of Honneamise – Review January 14, 2010

Posted by Cello in Anime Reviews.
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Wings of Honneamise takes on what is usually too much for one movie. Besides the obvious plot about a space program, this movie deals with war, politics, friendship, religion, love, morality, the sanctity of childhood, homelessness, and a man trying to find himself. The film is about a man, living in another world not unlike earth, trying to be the first one in space, while everything else around him is falling apart from the war and politics.

The military space program is not fully respected and with the recent failed attempt launching a pilot into space, the Royal Space Force suffers termination unless they can get another pilot. In a quest to become greater than he is and to be the pilot he dreamed to be, Shiro decides to step up to the challenge. As you view the movie you will realize that the attraction really is a simplistic story that is wonderfully told, and the colors are very vibrant and pleasing to the eye. Everything a good animated film should be.  character designs are unusual and even if not attractive at first glance, they are at the very least, expressive. The voice acting of the English dub is outstanding; in particular, the voice of Shiro is more than capable of carrying the story.

At the same time, the story tends to introduce storylines and then leave them underdeveloped. That’s bound to happen, maybe, given the goal the creators set for themselves, but it still takes away from the film’s ultimate impact. Doubtless many would find it just plain boring, which is not far from my initial reaction. But give it time, and you’ll discover the many nuances of style and the appeal of the characters. Wings of Honneamise manages to be pro-science and optimistic about faith at the same time, even as it presents the pitfalls of dogmatism on both sides.

This is an ambitious film, and it’s an art film, make no bones about it. The film suggests that we could have had manned space flight before jet engines in planes. All of these intricate details make this a wonderful world to watch by itself but with the story intertwined with all of this eyecandy you can’t help but love this film. Its main drawback seems to be its slow pace and for that it didn’t earn an ‘A’ grade from me, for this will effectively keep away a lot of viewers. However, for those who stay, the experience is well worth it.

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