Keywords: , , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - SUNRISE
OTOMO Katsuhiro
Ray Steam (yes, that's really his name) is a boy who comes from a three-generation family of gifted inventors on the cutting edge of steam engine technology. At his home in rural Manchester, England, in the year 1866, he recieves a mysterious package from his grandfather--the "steamball" a fabulous device capable of packaging fantastic amounts of energy. Along with it comes a warning that it must not be allowed to fall into the hands of "The Foundation"--the agents of which are not far behind. Ray will be exposed to his father's and his grandfather's differing beliefs as to how this nearly unlimited power should be employed, and will be forced to choose sides.

126 minute Movie.
Animation by Sunrise & Studio 4°C.
R1-License by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
Also licensed for German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch & more.
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Watch 10 10 9 7 6 Ggultra2764 [series:993#1552]
Steamboy was a decent take on steampunk through the eyes of Katsuhiro Otomo, but it lacked depth and was not really though-provoking in any way. The visuals are the best part of this movie featuring plenty of fluid movement and details. The CG renders of the mechanical tanks and soldiers were a sight to behold and the scenery of England was rendered with plenty of detail. The use of steam-powered vehicles as weapons of war was an interesting premise and had potential for some additional depth. Unfortunately, Steamboy's plot and characters were quite weak. The characters were your standard archetypes without having much in the way of depth given to them. Scarlet's character did enough to grate on my nerves with her "snobby rich girl" routine. And for being the main hero of this movie, Ray's character isn't given much in the way of depth compared to his father and grandfather. Yes Ray's a mechanical genius. But I wanted to know what made him tick. Unfortunately, this movie doesn't do that. In addition, the focus on the Foundation and the government felt so much like the run-of-the-mill corrupt business and government actions I've seen in live-action movies, that it was not even funny. Even during the attempts where the movie was trying to satirize the actions of businessmen, I couldn't really find myself laughing.

So in the end, Steamboy felt no different from Otomo's earlier work Akira. It has the eye candy and the potentially interesting premise, but doesn't offer much in the way of depth. It's worth a quick watch, but I wouldn't consider buying or having multiple rents of Steamboy.

Last updated Saturday, August 08 2009. Created Saturday, August 08 2009.
Buy 10 10 10 10 10 Violet D [series:993#1393]
This animated film captivated me when I watched it. The artwork and character design was so good I forgot I was watching animation. Fast pace and beautifully done. Don't miss this one.

Last updated Wednesday, February 01 2006. Created Wednesday, February 01 2006.
Rent Forbin [series:993#1573]
Drama : Med
Comedy : None
Action : Med / High
SciFi : High
Ecchi : None

I just watched the US Dub in the theaters last night. Unfortunately while the US script and VA's were good the Director couldn't quite match the mouth movements to the VA's voices so that detracted. Also the theater I was in the projector must've been out of sync with the picture because medium movements looked like every 5th frame was dropped. Honestly parts looked like some Divx fansub on my PC.

On to the review. Of course I was disappointed that this wasn't some Akira like world where everyone is totally depressed and everything is going to hell in a handbasket. It starts by showing the General From Akira as Eddie Steam and Tetsuo(sp?) was Rei Steam. But this was very well done, the animation was top notch. The CGI in the early scenes (Was it JC Staff?) were not quite in tune with the drawn characters but after a few minutes I just faded that into the background and didn't even notice it afterwards.

Incredible CGI and Animation, tons of rotating shots and impressive backgrounds. Poor Story, needed a bit more background, maybe 10 more minutes in the beginning, or some kind of narration. I loved all the characters but one, Scarlett O'Hara. Lets see, she was the UGLIEST female main lead I have ever seen. She looks like #13(?) from Akira, the one who appears first in the movie just with long blond hair.

Anna Panquin(sp?) - Rogue from the XMen did a great job as Rei but honestly her British Accent needed a little help.

Rent this or watch it in the theaters to get the full effect. It's good but Akira was better.

Last updated Wednesday, March 23 2005. Created Wednesday, March 23 2005.
Rent Stretch [series:993#628]
Mecha anime needn't necessarily be set in the future--suppose the steam engine had turned out to be the ultimate source of power, "like a shimmering gift of the Gods!", as Grandpa Steam put it. Picture nearly unlimited power combined with the wonders of 19th Century ironworking, leading to all sorts of inventions coming about decades ahead of schedule, and being displayed to the viewer by means of a fabulous exhibition in London. The artwork is excellent, giving a highly detailed look at the landscapes and technology of the England of 140 years ago. I hear Steamboy took something like ten years to make--I just wish a little more attention had been paid to fine tuning the plot itself. I can't help feeling that the movie either should have taken itself less seriously, and added some more comedy, or taken itself more seriously, and made the plot more believable. Perhaps the greatest logical leap was what did the Foundation expect to achieve by starting a battle in the streets of London? Character development was lacking--we never really got to know Ray very well, but I'm guessing that he must have been the hero since he was abducted early on! At what point did Scarlett switch over from the arrogant, pampered rich girl to a heroine? Eddie's and grandfather's opposing ideas about how the steamball should be employed didn't seem all that different to me (perhaps because both seemed to regard "Science" as a virtual religion)--more a matter of how funding will be gotten. Grandpa's preachy attitude was mildly annoying, reminding me of Hiyao Miyazaki films. I began to doubt whether Stevensen (based on a real-life designer of early railroad locomotives, I believe) could be trusted when it was revealed that he had been working on some projects very similar to those of the Foundation. Being what it is, I would say Steamboy would be most enjoyable if you remind yourself not to take it seriously, and just enjoy the eye-candy. I've got a feeling I'll wake up tommorrow morning feeling more fond of this film than this review has implied. If you have an interest in history, technology and/or beautiful artwork, Steamboy is worth seeing.


Last updated Monday, April 21 2008. Created Monday, March 21 2005.

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