Its Wednesday, Its Hump Day and I wanted to drop something new since Ive been Ghost for a week now. I decided to fly down to Florida for Supercon (which I will be putting on my blog once I have all the footage and stuff edited) so thats my excuse for being off for a whole week. Any ways I wanted to post one of the coolest anime Ive see ( I say this a lot but this one is good!) Welcome To The Space Show was actually really good, it was action packed for being what some call (a kiddie movie) the art is on point, the color that is used on the film will have you glued to the screen.
The story begins on Earth, where a group of friends are on their break decide to spend a week in their school all alone. We quickly get to understand their rather simplistic characters and relationships thanks to the montage proceeding the events of the movie, and a couple of scenes afterwards. In summary: we have the main character Natsuki; who is somewhat of an energetic airhead and a tomboy and her young cousin Amane, who’s very emotional and caring. Then there’s Noriko, a rather stock up; trendy girl who dreams of being an idol. Koji, a bookworm passionate about space; the brains of the group, their leader Kiyoshi, who’s the most grown up person in the group. And finally Pochi….. a talking alien dog.
The children find him wounded in an alien-made crop shape, take him to their staying place and treat his wounds. Upon waking up they are greeted with a huge surprise. The dog that they thought is, well, a dog is actually an alien! As a reward for helping him, he takes kids to the furthest place humanity has reached – the Moon! Turns out though, that we haven’t really seen the true moon. On the other, unexplored side of it lies a huge city, and the kids get the chance to explore it. From there, everything so great about the movie begins to show its head, one by one, although it’s biggest strength can be noticed even before that.
Beginning with an intense, action packed scene where aliens jump around mountains and shoot each other with lasers, the movie wastes no time to flaunt it’s main asset – the visuals. A-1 Pictures may have garnered quite a bad reputation as of late when it comes to character designs or lazy animation, but it goes to show that when enough talent and passion (and most likely money) is put into a project, it doesn’t matter what studio makes it.
Welcome to the Space Show is more than 2 hours long, and at no point does it not impress me. No matter if it’s the grassy plains of Earth, the overwhelming city on the Moon, or the grand, bright finale of epic proportions, the movie manages to find its style for each place it decides to showcase, feeling truly unique and inspiring at every angle, switching up the color pallet, the style of architecture and the alien races. This on the other hand directly ties to what is my personal favorite thing about the movie – it’s structure and how it correlates with the places the characters are at.
As mentioned, the time spent on Earth is mostly used as exposition and the set up. The true fun begins on the Moon. The experience of watching the characters explore the Moon for the first time can only be explained as a total clusterfuck of ideas and designs. Every shot feels completely ridiculous, the aliens walking around look even crazier and weirder than the ones we see in the first minutes of the movie, the place makes no sense whatsoever and wrapping your head around it is not even eligible, because most disappear as soon as they appear. This hecticness makes sense however if you think of the context of kids exploring the space civilization for the first time.
Also worth noting that this is the place where the kids see the Space Show for the first time. That cut was made completely by Yuasa Masaaki.
After a while everything settles down a bit, as the kids find jobs their dreams and plans face reality, giving them a more mature feeling before we’re taken on a ride to another planet inside of a big space worm. There we witness about the same amount of new things, but at this point, we as the audience, as well as the kids are more familiar with space, making for a much more concentrated experience. This is also the point where a lot of foreshadowing takes place, as well as kids planning their nearest future.
Proceeding onward they arrive on the dog planet, which heavily resembles Earth. That fact Allows for a breather. Giving a sense of familiarity, be that with the designs, seeing Pochi’s family, his backstory on his own planet and the events that take place there, directly ties to the topics discussed at that time, those being relationships between the characters and the strive to help others, be that as doctors, heroes or normal people.
And finally, the big ending. Much more collected and much more focused, we follow few perspectives at once, we see new designs, but this is the point after we saw so many similarly weird things, had the time to digest it and take it in as a normality, making for a finale that, just as the rest of the places we’ve seen, introduces new elements to the galaxy and gives the viewer more things to work with, but at the same time is a clear picture, something you can get behind because you understand the world dynamics, the character dynamics, the themes, the ideas, and everything the movie has thrown at you, making for a fun and interesting conclusion, wrapping the story of the kids and the movie’s themes up, but leaving out a lot for the viewer to just delve in it on his own. Nothing that was necessary has been left alone, that’s for sure.
If there was a particular flaw with the movie, I would say it is the directing in the first half. The very first scene has massive problems with establishing space, the camera is often too close to the action. Later, on the Moon, while I defended it, the hecticness could’ve been contained more, randomness is often distracting and the weirdness factor wears off faster than it should. Luckily, the show gains its footings afterwards and is able to form a much better idea of space and weight of movement. The action can still be a bit confusing, but it’s never really hard to follow.
My final thoughts about Space Show won’t be long, because they don’t need to be. You’re out of Disney movies? You’re out of inspiration? You’re running low on energy? Space Show has you covered on all sides. Everyone deserves a little kiddie movie once in a while, and one as good as this is a rarity nowadays. Pure, exciting and fresh, Welcome to the Space Show is a movie that has a huge chance to get everyone’s brains going again. If you’re interested, sit down, and enjoy the show, but don’t forget to do so actively. You don’t want to turn into a mindless alien, do you now?
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