Origin ~Spirits of the Past~ or Gin-Iro no Kami no Agito is Studio Gonzo’s first full length theatrical anime movie. It was released about a year ago in Japan, and it was shown in America in September of last year. It was finally released on DVD by Funimation this month.
The back of the DVD says:
Ages past, the Forest was awakened and the Moon unleashed a ravenous Beast upon the Earth. Man cowered in fear…
Three hundred years since and the landscape of the world has been drastically rewritten. The remnants of humanity are divided as never before. Half seek a tenuous coexistence with the Forest, half seek to dominate and subdue that which they cannot understand.
Agito, the son of an aged hero, inadvertently sets in motion the destruction of all that is left when he revives the young Toola from her timeless slumber. Unable to reconcile life as she once knew it from the world as it is now, Toola calls forth ancient technology to reshape the future from the ashes of the past. With the blessing of the Forest, Agito must first save the girl from herself in order to rescue them allâ€¦
First off, Origin ~Spirits of the Past~ looks way sweet. Gonzo’s done a good job of using CG to enhance the animation rather than hinder it. Of course, there’s still the occasional CG mecha that just totally ruins the rest of the picture. But for the most part, the animation is really, really sweet.
As far as the story goes, I think it was done nicely. As a viewer, you’re just whisked away to this strange post-apocalyptic world where technology has taken a few steps back. It reminds me a lot of a setting that you’d find in a Final Fantasy game, actually. We learn about the world through the eyes of Toola, who is awakened by Agito by accident. By the end of the movie, the mystery behind what happened to the world is completely revealed.
With this being a 90 minute movie, the character development happened pretty quickly. I guess I’m just used to seeing relationships develop over a span of 26 episodes, not 90 minutes. I guess things felt a bit rushed. The movie still managed to accomplish a lot in those 90 minutes, though.
I guess my only real complaint with the movie is that they opted for a happy ending in lieu of a bittersweet tragic one. I guess you’d know what I meant if you watched it. I want my heroes to die, dammit! That makes the story more poignant!
The Actual DVD:
It surprised me to see that the DVD had literally no extras to speak of. It has the basic English and Japanese audio tracks, but that’s it. I don’t really count trailers for other Funimation anime to be extras… The DVD came inside a box in a box, which was sort of cool… Besides that you pretty much get the movie and that’s it.
Origin ~Spirits of the Past~ is really, really beautiful. The animation, at least. The story is a good cautionary tale about humans co-existing with nature. I just wish they had avoided the sappy ending where everyone is happy at the end. That’s not dramatic at all!