Sky Blue (Also known as Wonderful Days) promises everything that I want in a good anime feature or series. It delivers action, eye-candy, post-apocalyptic settings and oozes cool from every pore. But does that actually make it a good movie? Read and find out.
Sky Blue isn’t “strictly” anime. It certainly isn’t Japanese, but it was CG animated in the anime style providing reminders of the sheer level of quality that went into Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. The quality of the animation is simply stunning. Everything about the art, the scenes and the animation is beautiful. If this was a presentation to show off what your studio could do, then it’s performed its job perfectly. However, what spoils this movie is the actual quality of the writing and the characters themselves but I digress, what is this movie about?
The year is 2140, the Earth has undergone massive climate change and to stop the human race from dying out, a city called Ecoban was created to shelter humanity until the planet fixed itself (Megazone23 anyone?). The recurring theme of the movie is the class divide between the denizens of Ecoban and the people who live in squalor and horrible working conditions to mine the materials Ecoban needs to survive. These people are referred to as Diggers. Of course, if you have unrest, a massive class difference, and thousands of people are dying, you will get revolution and the masters will be overthrown. The other theme the movie is highlighting is the idea that consumerism destroys the world. It is a very positive movie…
Although the movie is staggeringly beautiful, the music is perfectly chosen for the moment and the subject and genre are my favourites, I cannot get myself to enjoy it as much as I want to enjoy it. It’s lacking something so fundamental, something so essential for a movie of this quality, that I just cannot enjoy it, or at least not as much as I want to. In a lot of ways, it’s on the same level as Ghost in the Shell: Innocence. It looks, sounds and is beautiful, but lacks so much.
For me, it all comes down to the characters and the story. The story itself is fine. It flows through the movie without any surprises. The past love and friendship story between the three main characters is highly predictable and the dialogue does get quite cheesy at times. The characters themselves are very two dimensional and lack depth. I found it very hard to even sympathise with their troubles and I did not even shed a tear or feel loss at the end battle and to be honest, this is what spoils the movie. Give the characters depth, and I would connect with the story some more and with the movie being as short as it was, I think there is ample enough time to cover this.
The movie is presented in English, which is the original dialogue in beautiful 5.1 Dolby DTS surround. A true pleasure and trial for my new soundcard and speakers on a late Thursday night! The 2disc box set is presented in a gorgeous pull out case. A small booklet on the creation of the movie is in the inlay, and the artwork of the box matches the quality of the artwork in the movie. It’s very shiny indeed! The extras disc contains lots of little videos on the making of the movie, theatrical trailers and early versions of the movie. There are approximately 3 hours of extras in all, and most of which are worth watching.
On the back of the DVD case it mentions the 7 years it took to create Sky Blue. That is a long time and it does show. The creators have put an enormous amount of effort into showcasing the beauty, but at the price of a well written plot and dialogue. In that regards, it could have been so much better. I love the way it looks. Just now, while making the screenshots I ached with excitement at the scenes, the action sequences, and the sheer brilliance at the way some of the shots were created. Buy this, merely to experience the beauty. Drink a beer, relax and immerse yourself.