Dirty Pair: Project Eden

I am a big fan of good art and animation. If a cartoon looks great I would be happy to watch it, regardless of its other qualities. I would also like to tell other people about how good it was, but that is when things become difficult. Talking about art is hard in general, even if you limit yourself to a particular genre or style. Talking about modern animation where every piece may consist of a wild mixture of dozens of different styles is harder still. Not to mention that animation isn’t only about art, it is also about movement, which makes everything even more complex.

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That is why when I see an anime that showcases one particular aspect of animation I feel an urge to share it with others, which is the reason I am writing this post. Project Eden is a comedy, a movie about two girls with bad enough reputation to be called Dirty Pair. Same as in other Dirty Pair movies, they are solving a crime case, blowing up stuff in the process. But more importantly, Project Eden is about an art style. But, what is an art style? I’d say it is a combination of the color palette the anime uses, common details of the character designs, the drawing and animation techniques and the choices of what to show on the screen. It seems arbitrary, but hopefully it will make sense in a moment.

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Project Eden loves black, blue, red and hot pink. In my experience blue and black are a common combination in older anime, Yoshiaki Kawajiri used these colors a lot in his films. Adding red and hot pink makes this movie extra flashy, gives it more contrast, but also makes it feel less serious.

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The characters are equipped with some awesome 80s hair, but are otherwise simple. This is compensated by the animation, where the characters slightly go off model, move pretty freely, have enough different facial expressions not to be boring. Project Eden doesn’t win any prizes for the characters’ looks, but I think they go pretty well with anime’s visuals.

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Judging by how it looks and its age, the anime is hand drawn and cell animated. I think this type of animation technique lends itself well to darker and more contrasting color palettes. My guess is that cells were making the colors darker and were taking away some of the contrast, producing the nice look shows like Project Eden or Cyber City Oedo or many others of the sort have. Also the character designs used in this anime work well because the faces are always slightly morphing and changing; I don’t think it would look as good with more static computer-aided animation. This is why I mention animation techniques as a part of an art style, cause shows like Project Eden look the way they do thanks to the animation methods that were used back then when these shows were made. It also makes these anime unique – because of the change in animation techniques it is unlikely that anything that shares Project Eden’s style will be produced again.

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Now finally, what about the choices what to show on the screen? Project Eden shows us explosions, lots of technical facilities, all kinds of electrical discharges, dark blue monsters, space, spacecrafts and space stations. In short, lots of space enthusiasm sci-fi settings. This allows the anime to display its colors in all their glory. If your anime takes place in bright lit rooms or in the daylight there is no way to make Project Eden’s color palette work. Furthermore, the colors, the hand drawn animation, the sci-fi theme, they all go together, they create the atmosphere of the movies of this period. The bright explosions contrasted with dark blue background remind me of Macross: Do You Remember Love movie, the constant mindless destruction- of Tank Police OVA and maybe a few other OVAs from that time.

I don’t know if I should talk about the anime itself at this point. Maybe I’ll leave the plot be and let you see it for yourself. I guess the promo posters for Project Eden may look kinda iffy, the two lead characters being dressed like prostitutes and all, but oh well. Their costumes are completely stupid and don’t suit their personalities at all, obviously they were designed to attract attention to the anime. But there isn’t much more then that, just a stupid choice for the character’s uniform.

Oh, and before you go, watch the opening for this movie it is worth the look. It kinda illustrates all I wanted to say in this post. See you next time!

P.S. If you wanna read me talking about other anime with beautiful animation, you can check out my posts about Madoka MagicaThe RescuersThe Old Man and the Sea and Colorful. Or, take a look at Shaurya’s posts about MushishiGarden of Words and this post about Tokyo Ghoul. We don’t usually talk as much about the animation itself though.

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Lily C.A.T.

Once again I am going to talk about an old show. I know, I know, no one watches that except of me. Still, you have to bear with me :P

This time I am not going to make a review, but instead it will be a reaction post. And the difference is that I am going to spoil the whole thing. Let’s get started.

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Lily C.A.T. was made back in 1987 by Hisayuki Toriumi. The show is a classic sci-fi story about a space ship going on a mission with the crew put to sleep. They will fly for 20 year to get to another planet and it will take them the same amount of time to get back. So they are more or less cut off from the civilization while on the mission. Not to mention that they will return to a new world, that where 40 years has passed and almost no one knows them anymore. I have seen books that discussed this same problem of a long-term space travel (I am talking about books by some Russian sci-fi writers, Strugatsky brothers in particular; by the way I am sure some of their books are translated into English), but this is one of those things that don’t get old. So I had some expectations for the movie from the very start.

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You will see the significance of this screen cap in a moment ^.^

I am not going to recap the plot in details. In short, something went wrong and the ship got infected by some terrible bacteria that was killing people and creating some weird sort of monsters out of them. Also they learned that there is a criminal on the ship, so they had this issue to deal with as well.

And don’t worry. They failed in every aspect and all died. Well, the two people survived for the time being, but not for too long I guess. Spoiler! I told you I am going to give away the plot :P Anyway, here why I decided to give away the plot.

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That is a bacteria?… I guess?… O.o

You see, while the premise of the show was really good, I can’t say that they made a wonderful job developing on it. The show still was really good, with impressive atmosphere. But it wasn’t outstanding. Yet there was something interesting there. Here it is.

First, the villain was a cyborg cat that was made by the company that hired the crew. It was send to kill them so the company can save the money on the salary. Yeah. That isn’t something can you see coming.

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Again, you will see what this picture means in a few seconds ^^’

The second thing was the way characters reacted on the horrible things that were happening around them. Here is an example. Imagine you are one of six or something survivors on a ship filled with deadly bacteria. And you see a hole in the wall made by this bacteria. What would be your reaction? Well, the character who saw this said “That is awesome” and proceeded to put his head close to it. We never saw him again.

A few minutes after, the last four survivors are standing in a corridor. One of them explodes, eaten by the bacteria from the inside. A horrible creature comes out of him and runs away through a vent shaft. A few seconds after one of the guys starts to talk about how interesting it is that this bacteria can use human flesh, yet it leaves the clothes. I don’t think I would be quite as calm in such a situation O.o

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So this guy just saw what you saw on the picture above. How shocked is he? Not that much -. –

And the last bit is just brilliant. So the last two survivors (a guy and a girl) left the spaceship that was blown up shortly after. They are descending on a planet that is in an archaic period of its evolution (no big creatures, only insects and plants, as I understand). So they are doomed to spend their lives on this planet, not to mention that they are probably going to die of starvation. Oh, and there is this gigantic monster that is clinging to their ship that being burned up in the atmosphere. And here is the scene. The guy sits in his chair in front of all the shuttle controls and he got this thoughtful look at his face. And the girl asks him “is anything the matter?”. Well, YES! Everyone dead, the spaceship is blown and you are descending to your grave! Besides that, nothing much.

So, personally I like this movie a lot. The animation was awesome and the character designs were very lovely. Orchestral music is always welcome too. And unlike many other old anime this one is safe for kids, there isn’t even that much violence, only a little horror.

But anyway, sorry for spoiling the plot. But I had to let it out. See you next time (^_^)/

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