by Christopher Macdonald



Spriggan DVD
Akham is a secret, worldwide organization investigating artifacts from a lost civilization. When three of their investigators go to Mt. Ararat, in Turkey, they discover what they believe is the wreck of Noah's Ark. Their joy is short-lived, and so are they-the relic projects a powerful, destructive energy which wipes out not only the team but three Pentagon satellites as well. Quickly, Akham and the US military are battling for the Ark's secret. Akham's trump card is their super-powered warrior agents, called Spriggans. One Spriggan, a high school student named Yu Ominae is dragged into the fray. He makes his way to Turkey to confront the Pentagon's platoons. Of course, the Americans have super-soldiers of their own, including the human tank Fat-Man and the vicious Little Boy. The bullets are soon flying en masse, in what has become a holy war for the future of the human species.

Synopsis by RB from Fantasia'99
Let's say you want to make a hit Anime movie, one way to succeed would be to take a very good Manga, get a master animator to produce it and another critically acclaimed, up and coming animator to direct it. Spriggan is based on the Manga of the same name (renamed Stryker in North America), produced by Katsuhiro Otomo (AKIRA, MEMORIES and ROUJIN Z) and directed by Hirotsugu Kawasaki (AKIRA, LAPUTA and MEMORIES). Top this off Hisachi Eguchi (Perfect Blue) was in charge of character design and animation. Anything produced by a team like this is undoubtedly going to be excellent, and Spriggan is excellent, although not perfect. The animation is superb, with attention to detail so minute one can only wonder how long it took to animate. The movie's other strong point is the action; the action sequences are great if you have any complaints about this movie, you certainly won't complain of boredom. What you might complain of however is a lack of development of the story and of the characters. The original Manga filled 3 full graphic novels, when you have to fit that kind of story into a 90 minute (roughly) movie something has to be left out, usually it is the development of the story and it's characters which is hurt. And to be honest, the Manga itself was already a little weak in this area... But who really cares? This isn't a drama, it's an action flick, and it's a damn good one.

Maybe the film would have been better if it had been split into three 60 minute OVAs, however the budget for OVAs isn't near the budget for a feature film. An OVA would probably have not had as impressive animation, or soundtrack (The soundtrack was quite good, nothing to rave about, but more then adequate). Most likely the big names involved in the production of the movie would not have been involved had it been an OVA.

If you want to see something which will make you sit on the edge of your seat for 90 minutes, and still doesn't have that bad a plot, this is definitively a movie to check out!
Overall : B

+ Good action, superb animation.
Weak development, should have been longer.

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Production Info:
Director: Hirotsugu Kawasaki
Yasutaka Ito
Hirotsugu Kawasaki
Storyboard: Hirotsugu Kawasaki
Music: Kuniaki Haishima
Original creator:
Ryōji Minagawa
Hiroshi Takashige
Character Design: Hisashi Eguchi
Art Director: Mutsuo Koseki
Animation Director:
Hisashi Eguchi
Masaaki Endou
Tetsuya Kumagai
Katsumi Matsuda
Yasuyuki Shimizu
Mechanical design: Kimitoshi Yamane
Sound Director: Yota Tsuruoka
Cgi Director: Akiko Saito
Director of Photography: Hisao Shirai
Executive producer:
Masamichi Fujiwara
Hiroo Takimoto
Shigeru Watanabe
Akito Yamashita
Kazuya Hamana
Kazuhiko Ikeguchi
Haruo Sai
Eiko Tanaka
Ayao Ueda

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Spriggan (movie)

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Spriggan (DVD)

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