Review of 'Origin: Spirits of the Past'

origin.jpg 300 years in the future Earth has been ravaged after genetic manipulation of plants on the moon results in trees gaining consciousness, destroying the moon and invading Earth. “Neutral City” is in the ruins of a city located between the now hostile forest and, “Ragna” where a group of militant humans determined to use technology to wipe out all plant life live. One day Agito, a young boy living in Neutral City, awakens a young girl, Toola from the past held in suspended animation. The elders warn that this girl could be the end of the humans but despite this Toola travels to Ragna where they discover a machine that promises to finish the battle for Earth once and for all…

A quote on the DVD package reads “Ghost in the Shell Innocence for an environmental age”. I am not sure I would go that far. The animation is quite well done and interesting, particularly in the depiction of the Ragna technology but beyond that the story is a bit trivial and lacks emotional depth. The characters are one dimensional, simply used to move the plot forward rather than to attract any emotional attachment from the viewer. The bizarre story is interesting but at the end the moral of the story is, sadly, elusive. They could have taken this to many interesting places (tell us more about the Druids and about how the planet was destroyed rather than just talking about it…) and left a strong message but instead we have a hollow action finale.

Disappointing though it looks nice.

Rating: “A bit better than average”

Review Date: 2019-03-27

Directed by: Keiichi Sugiyama

Studio: Gonzo

Year: 2006

Length: 95 minutes

Genre: Japanese Animation