A mysterious ronin helps the village fend off bandits with Stormtrooper gym equipment. A pilot droid, whose spirit animal is likely Gudetama, drinks tea from a cup of tea. Astro Boy does wants to be a Jedi Knight.
In Star Wars: Visions, the world of anime and the world of outer space come together. If that sounds like a dream project. Then the keys to the universe by George Lucas have been awarded to seven different Japanese anime studios.
The result is a spacious playground that will awaken the senses.
Veterans like Production IG (Psycho-Pass, Ghost in the Shell) to novices like Science SARU (Devilman Crybaby) make sure their galaxy’s rotation is very far away. Lucas often admits that his story is due to Akira Kurosawa’s films and the Jidaigeki tradition.
Consider Visions to pay off some of this debt. From the code of Jedi knights, similar to Bushido, to their flowing cloaks and essentially laser swords, the Japanese influence of Star Wars is always evident.
After the failed conclusion to the Skywalker saga, Vision is a refreshing pickup. Fortunately, this event offers more than just fan service. The lack of commitment to the canon and continuity allows for an excellent demonstration of the Star Wars. The mythology’s possibilities still offers its narrator.
We’re out of Skywalker’s reach. Don’t expect a cameo from Baby Yoda or Luke. However, a famous gangster from Tatooine showed his disgusting face, which was reminiscent of a snail. We meet new heroes and new planets woven into the fabric of the universe.
The series premiere was the perfect statement of intent. With Kurosawa’s influence on the sleeves, The Duel is reminiscent of the Yojimbo and other typical samurai lore in feudal Japan. But with Sith.
Takanobu Mizuno’s painting makes an impressive impression by contrasting shadows. With colours only accentuated by the lightsaber blade and the droid indicator. The episode’s standards set with its black and white visualizations and pencil sketch textures matched many subsequent episodes.
There’s an Astro Boy-Meet-Kaiba scene in “T0-B1” in Science SARU:
Where a scientist is taken aback by the Jedi’s efforts of his droid. The sharp dynamics of the Jedi Master and Padawan have also been explored in The Elder. Which duels against foes fused with the Force itself. “Tatooine Rhapsody” is “Star Wars” in its happiest opera. Midway through the show, an intergalactic rock band is forced to defend their bassist. From Boba Fett and other bounty hunters sent by Jaba.
The independent stories take place at different times concerning the events of the film. Most of it takes place in a world where Jedi and Sith orders have disappeared. Yet, there are still those who serve both the light and dark sides of the Force. Sith-designed siblings collide in twins around a cyber crystal. The episode ends with a targeted hyperdrive. Similar to Vice Admiral Holdo’s valiant attempt to save the Resistance in The Last Jedi.
There is an inevitable clash with the mixing of Eastern and Western traditions. Idealist rebels against imperial tyrants. Continuation of the family legacy against the line of one’s destiny. The tension between tradition and progress, parents and children, nature and technology.
Which is a recurring motif in Japanese culture, from Ozu and Miyazaki films to contemporary anime. They recalibrated you in Lop & Ocho. Where a father and two daughters will be separated to side with an empire. That has conquered their planet and robbed it of its natural resources. Topknots are broken for dramatic effect to break ties. Overall, the topic coverage isn’t worth it. As Visions is treading on a well-organized platform, and there’s nothing new to add.
As usual, the focus was on the duel with the lightsaber.
The crux of the story about family and friends turned foes is resolved. In this face-to-face confrontation with a decidedly emotional impulse. The blurring of the choreographed movements illustrates several battle sequences. Some in a whirlwind of colour. Some play at exciting depths. There is a pleasant contrast of warm and cool tones everywhere. Of course, you can’t fight without weapons. The leader of the Sith bandits in “Duel” wielded a lightning bolt attached to an umbrella. Like something from Snow Blood Princess Toshiya Fujita.
In The Ninth Jedi, we meet a sabre smith who mines cyber crystals. And makes lightsabers vary in colour and length depending on the owner. How faces shine in their splendour. This special buzz. Animation certainly adds sensory depth to the environment. Between the clashes, there are clusters of difficult dialogues that fill us with context.