Blu-Ray Review: Metropolis

When Fritz Lang’s Metropolis was released in 1927 it almost single-handedly spawned a whole new genre of film: Science-Fiction. The original silent film spurred Osamu Tezuka to create a Japanese Manga based on the imagery. Arguably, Japan are the country who’ve embraced sci-fi the most whole-heartedly, in all imaginable (and some unimaginable) shapes and sizes. In 2001, Director Rintaro made the feature-length amine Metropolis, using elements from both the Tezuka’s Manga and Lang’s film.

In the futuristic city of Metropolis, humans and robots coexist. Many humans are angry about being unemployed due to automation. Equally, the robots are discriminated against and consigned to the lower levels. Duke Red (Tarô Ishida), the unofficial ruler, is building a huge skyscraper called the Ziggurat. When Shunsaku Ban (Kōsei Tomita), a private detective, and his nephew Kenichi (Kei Kobayashi) arrive to arrest a mad scientist (Junpei Takiguchi), they find themselves in the middle of a plot by Red to use an advanced robot (Yuka Imoto) to power a secret weapon within the Ziggurat.

Metropolis is visually spectacular and one of the most eye-poppingly beautiful animations you’re likely to see. What it lacks in originality it makes up for in pacing and plotting. Laced full of intrigue, Katsuhiro Otomo’s script is smattered with pathos, humour and energy. The futuristic setting is counterbalanced by the very human relationship between Kenuchi and Tina, the advanced robot created in the image of Red’s deceased daughter. Metropolis is stunning anime about a dystopian automated future where humanity takes centre stage.

Limited Edition Steelbook Contents:

  • High-Definition presentation
  • DTS-HD Master Audio sountrack (both Japanese and English audio) on the Blu-ray
  • Optional English Subtitles
  • The Making of Osamu Tezuka’s Metropolis – a documentary on the film’s production
  • Interviews with the films creators
  • Multi-angle animation comparisons
  • Original trailer

Metropolis is released on a limited edition Dual-format Steelbook by Eureka Classics on Monday.

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