Mount Everest is a place of legend, of climbers who have climbed the highest peaks in the world. And those who have tried their best. The Summit of the Gods, is a crazy adaptation of Giro Taniguchi’s acclaimed manga series coming out this month on Netflix.
It explores one of the most vexing legends: the fates of George Mallory and Andrew Irvine. The first to attempt – and may succeed – to climb to the top. When a reporter learns that a famous climber’s camera has been found. Which can prove whether they reached the top or not. He sets out on a journey to unravel the greatest mysteries of mountaineering and more, anyone who finds it can do.
In the 1990s, Japanese writer the Baku Yumemakura who has published The Summit of the Gods:
The story of a five-part series that tells the secrets of Habu Joji, a talented climber who disappears after a personal tragedy, and Fukamachi Makoto, a frustrated journalist who discovers his story. Turned the novel into a visually stunning manga by renowned artist Giraud Taniguchi.
This graphic work inspired this French-language feature film, which premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Mallory’s lack of cameras is only part of the story, an exciting work that should captivate viewers unfamiliar with the original or the manga as a whole.
Summit of the Gods is a fully animated, and the real star is director Andrew Imbert’s Taniguchi artistic style. It’s not a too direct copy of the original manga’s drawings. But it stays true to its spirit and tone, accurately depicting the highland environment in a beautiful and straightforward style.
There haven’t been enough silent movies these days; Major film production has been a busy, noisy, impatient. And rarely found exercise that requires time to focus on footage, moments, and silence. The Top of the Gods is beautiful for other reasons. Still, it’s incredible how this poetic and melancholic film takes the time to tell a story. That remains compelling despite, or perhaps because of, its methodical pace.
Director Andrew Imbert was given serious work adapting Giro Taniguchi’s original, massive, five-volume, multi-theme story into a 100-minute drama. Still, he’s done a great job here, offering a complex and nuanced story without feeling full. The art director is the real star of the film. The simple line style of the characters is realistic without being overwhelming or distracting. While the visual elements of the mountain scene capture the beauty of this stunning landscape endlessly.
While Mallory’s alleged camera is a crucial device for the film’s plot:
The main emotional arc is the tragic climber Habu and his motivation to continue climbing alone. After the expulsion of many of his former climbing partners and the tragedy that haunts him to this day. Less tragic, but just as unbearable, is the story of reporter Fukamachi.
Someone at the end of a rope with a futile task. A man is looking for something he can’t find. The interactions between the two are emotionally captivating. Even if they go a long way without dialogue and move through stunning landscapes together.
Nothing in The Summit of the Gods requires manga or anime knowledge to make this film accessible; In fact, it’s the kind of work that can leave viewers unfamiliar with the genre continuing to explore and wonder what exactly they’ve been missing all this time.
If you don’t mind reading the subtitles (or if you speak French). Summit of the Gods is quite a very visually appealing story. That captivates you from start to finish.