Oritsu Uchuugun - Oneamise no Tsubasa

Title:Oritsu Uchuugun - Oneamise no Tsubasa
Oritsu Uchuugun - Honneamise no Tsubasa
Royal Space Force
Wings of Honneamise
Keywords: , , , , , , ,
Notables: ANNO Hideaki
Animation - Gainax
SADAMOTO Yoshiyuki
YAMAGA Hiroyuki
What would happen if an alternate Japan was the first country to send a man into space?

An epic tale of civilization's first faltering steps into space, set in an alien world that is strangely familiar to our own. When cadet Shiro Lhadatt signs up with the Royal Space Force, he encounters ridicule and apathy from manipulative leaders and a cynical public. A chance encounter with a devout young woman spurs Shiro on towards his destiny--to become the first man in space.

While military leaders conspire to use the space program to spark an all-out war, Shiro and a team of aging scientists race against time to complete the first launch. The countdown has begun in a spectacular feast for the senses...
[125-minute movie from Gainax. Manga Entertainment originally held the R1 license. That has since reverted to Bandai Visual USA, which is a new division of Bandai Visual.]
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Rent 10 9 10 7 7 Ggultra2764 [series:189#1552]
Being the first major animated project by Gainax, this movie was quite a looker back in its day. In terms of artwork, this thing is ridiculously high quality for a late-1980s anime movie with visuals and character designs that are realistic enough in detail to surpass the quality I saw in Akira. The animation is highlighted during battle scenes and when you get to see the launching of the Royal Space Fleet's space shuttle. Gainax clearly put a lot of money and effort into making this movie look as good as possible and it shows.

In terms of plotline, the big focus of this movie for me was on Shiro's mindset as he struggles with putting up with the messed up group he's associated with. His aspirations for the military drive him into an under-funded space program that is the laughing stock of the government due to a number of failures. The problems with the programs coupled with the attention he gets for his upcoming shuttle launch leaves him in a rut. His encounter with the devoutly religious Riqumi allows him to slowly reclaim his motivation to face the shuttle and the intense conclusion of issuing the launch before the start of a war.

While this movie does look good, the storyline didn't really hook me in. I've seen enough titles with war, politics, and human connections that hooked me in better than Honneamise. While I did appreciate the effort by Gainax of setting up the premise of seeing a ragtag group of people overcoming the odds to launch a man into space, the mood of the movie felt quite dry. It tries to convey a believable approach to the Royal Space Fleet's struggles and the political pressures surrounding Honneamise. But, I just didn't care about it. I just wanted to see the launching of the space shuttle.

Overall, this movie was okay though I couldn't find myself hooked into the struggles of Shiro and the Space Fleet as much. As AstroNerdBoy noted, being hooked on this movie will depend on your tastes as an anime fan as you could either see it as a great or bumpy start for the company that would later become well-known for its work on Shin Seiki Evangelion.

Last updated Tuesday, December 28 2010. Created Friday, December 12 2008.
Watch 10 10 7 7 7 AstroNerdBoy [series:189#436]

I start seeing the term "thinking man's anime" and I immediately begin to roll my eyes (no offence to my fellow reviewers). Maybe had I seen this title early in my anime watching, it would have meant more. As it is, I've already seen this, just with different titles.

To start with, I never warmed up to Shiro Lhadatt. He's a bum who then has a dream of being in space, and then works hard to achieve that dream. That's commendable, but I still never cared for him as a character and without that linkage, the rest of the movie was nearly pointless. On the other hand, Riquinni (I believe that's the name of the religious girl) did catch my attention to a degree. She's a devout believer who manages to rise above the hardships in life. Heck, even when Shiro tries to rape her, she still treats him kindly later. That didn't make me like him any more, even if he did get Manna, the child who was always sullen, to actually smile and laugh eventually.

The movie plays the typical cards -- corrupt leaders, humans destroy everything, we love war and death. The writers attempt to make people contemplate these things. For me, I've already heard this in several other anime titles over the years. Its all up to a tiny band to overcome everything and "redeem" mankind if you will. Well, I'm bored with this. It might have been more tollerable with a better lead character, but without that, I found I didn't want to hear it again.

The end of the movie immediately brought to mind the saying of how Gainax doesn't know how to end a title properly. Like many other titles, that's the case here. I'm sure some folks will dig the symbolism and the like, but frankly, I all I wanted to do was spin-on and get it over with already.

From an art/animation standpoint, this movie is very impressive, more so in light of the fact that it was made in 1987. No wonder Gainax became such a leader in the anime field. Clearly the animators and artists put their all into this title and it shows.

Bottom line: OK, but nothing I haven't already seen in other forms. With no connection to the main character, the movie suffered a great deal for me. However, your mileage may vary, but for me, I can only give it a "Watch."

Last updated Tuesday, July 11 2006. Created Saturday, July 08 2006.

Buy Stretch [series:189#628]
(Buy-, since I've only rewatched it once)

This film deserves more attention than it seems to be getting (based on the number of reviews already present here). I read an article which credited it's release in 1987 with "officially making anime an art form", and actually watching it makes it easy to see how that might be true. I was awed by the exciting, highly detailed aircraft carrier flight deck scene at the beginning, followed by a series of watercolor-like sketches that were shown during the opening credits. How many animated movies are so detailed, so close to live-action, that a second style of art could be displayed without somehow trivializing the bulk of the film? This has the "feel" of a real movie--neither a spinoff nor the source of any sequels itself, it deals with issues too deep for standard anime. I must admit I find it hard to believe that Leiquinni's fire-and-brimstone religious philosophy would inspire anybody to do anything--maybe it was Shiro's realization that it was possible for a person to be devoted to something besides self-interest. One thing you can't help noticing is the tremendous amount of effort that went into designing this alien, yet still perfectly credible civilization. Everything from doorbells to airplanes, newspapers to locomotives, is different yet still feasible compared to the way they are done on Earth. Also included in this intriguing feast of alternative technology is a simple but effective explanation of how a spacecraft attains orbit around a planet. Could this be achieved in a society in which neither the government nor the average person supports the space program with much enthusiasm? Personally, I doubt it--but that doesn't keep this from being a brilliant film all around. Perhaps the end could have been a little better, to do justice to the rest of the film; it was confusing and there seems to be a major debate about whether Shiro is dead or alive at the end. But Wings of Honneamise is an excellent choice when you are prepared to do a little thinking--and it never hurts when the topics are weighted more towards the inspiring than the disturbing.

My favorite line: "History is a game which doesn't end until you've lost everything".

Last updated Saturday, March 08 2008. Created Friday, January 30 2004.
Rent 9 9 6 7 7 Greg Bread [series:189#763]
Wings of honneamise is a classic, It set high standards for animation. The story is set in the past where people believe that going into space is not possible and is considered a joke. It follows the story of young man who always wanted to fly but his grades weren't good enough so he ended up in the space program.
The movie contains mostly dialogue so action junkies shouldn't bother watching this, some people would find the pacing of this move inadequate to thier tastes. The very ending of the movie didn't exactly leave me feeling fulfilled and therfeore I can only give this a rent rating.

Last updated Monday, June 23 2003. Created Monday, June 23 2003.
Buy 9 9 4 7 9 Midnighter [series:189#94]
Wings of Honneamise is an excellent example of why I like anime. An intricate story, incredible detail, and intelligent script make for a very good film.
If intelligence turns you off, and you need "violence and sex" to "rev up the plot" this is not for you. There is a rather unnerving near-rape for all of you horny knuckle-dragging imbiciles who get aroused by violence against women, but if you're looking for moron fodder, don't come here.
The attention to detail here is insane! Everything from how books look to the air and space craft look suitably alien, yet sompletely familiar. I didn't care too much for the character designs, as I found them to be too simple and generic looking. The philisophical and religious aspects of the script are excellent, and the ending is truly exceptional.
What can I say about this? It's how "The Right Stuff" should have been done. Please take the time to watch this movie if you value good film-making.

Last updated Friday, March 01 2002. Created Monday, September 24 2001.
Avoid 7 9 7 5 Sephiroth [series:189#140]
This movie was obviously trying to be a drama of epic proportions but never quite reached that level. If I wanted to see that type of movie I would have gone for the real shit, not this very slow and boring piece about space travel, but on the plus side, the plot was well crafted an the characters were deep and believable. The animation was very good and the war scenes were depicted very realistically, the character design was very good also. If the plot was revved up some more by adding a little violence and sex and its length was shortened, I think this movie would have been very good but sadly, that was not the case. All the religious crap got a tad annoying and I felt no sympathy toward the female lead. Unless you are intent on seeing this movie, I don't advise it, and I think you will find that you have wasted your money.

Last updated Sunday, February 18 2001. Created Sunday, February 18 2001.
Buy 10 10 10 10 NESsie [series:189#97]
Oh wow. This movie first caught my attnetion through their ads. But what was really interesting was the box. This has to be bought for the box. Ebert gave it three stars! Three stars!!! Out of a scale of two thumbs!!! Back to the point.
This cartoon was very interesting. Although it was long and seemed quite dull considering the length of the movie, the movie had hard comedy sprinkled throughout the storyline.
The first time I saw this, I was quite bored and confused. To fully appreciate this movie, you have to actually pay attention. It has some rather deep themes and jokes. Made me think a lot. But what made it great was, again, the comedy. I was seriously cracking up on the floor in the fetus position throughout the movie. Yeah, there were a few sad parts here and there, but still....
The myth of Prometheus seems to be hinted in this, which makes it quite interesting.
The characters look so cute.
The animation is beautiful.
The characters aren't quite too realistic, but they are so- unique. The religious women is centered with a focus while Shiro's a bumbling fool. The contrast and differences amke their relationship great. The little girl is... I don't know... like the average child... I guess. She was cool. She tied a string around some type of insect and treated it like a pet. That was crazy.
The music: WOW. It's the same thing over and over and over again, but that music was crazy. It fits right in.
Theme: Too much. Meaning of life, civilized society, war, etc you find out yourself. My head hurts.

Last updated Wednesday, November 29 2000. Created Wednesday, November 29 2000.
Buy 6 7 6 5 8 Dingle [series:189#35]
This is a really great movie. It takes a look at a man who has no direction in his life except the desire to fly. Since he never tried very hard at anything in his life, joining the air force is out of the question. Only after he meets a young woman trying to spread the message of God in does he find out that their is more to life. There is a strong comdy element to the show to lighten up a pretty dark movie. The characters are very realistic and there modivations make sense. This is Gainax's first prodject, so it is worth if you want to see where they go their start. I like the religious aspect because it gives the show a deeper feel then just a show like The Right Stuff.

Last updated Wednesday, August 30 2000. Created Wednesday, August 30 2000.

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