Munto was released quietly by Central Park Media back in 2004. When it was announced that the title was getting a price cut ($10!), I noticed that it was done by Kyoto Animation. Yeah, that Kyoto Animation! Time to review some Munto!
Story (from the back of the case):
Second sight is a curse for Yumemi, a psychic schoolgirl who just wants to be normal. The islands in the sky that only she can see have been nothing but trouble for her since she was little. But sheâ€™s about to discover the true value of her gift, when Magical King Munto arrives in her world, with enemies in hot pursuit!
Muntoâ€™s realm is linked to ours by a magic called “Akuto”, but that power is fading, and his world is on the brink of death. Yumemi is the only Earthling with the power to restore the Akuto of his world â€¦if she can only find the courage to use it!
The narrative of Munto jumps between the Heavenly world and the Human world. At certain points Munto will try and communicate with Yumemi, but otherwise you’ll see stuff happening in the world above, then the world below.
In the Heavenly world, there’s a bunch of cool fight scenes! This is where Kyoani used most of their animation budget, I suspect. Down in the human world there’s a sub-plot involving one of Yumemi’s friends getting “married” to a classmate. It didn’t really seem to me that there was any sense of connection between the two worlds.
When Munto did speak to Yumemi, all he kept saying was “give me your power! There’s no time to explain!” For some reason, at the end of the story, Yumemi and Munto seem to have developed some relationship. I don’t believe that’s possible from just Munto’s crazy yelling, though… Munto just seems like a pompous ass. In the end, I was more interested in the subplot with Yumemi’s friends than I was with her relationship with Munto.
As far as the animation goes, it looks really good. Like Kyoto Animation OVA good. It sorta reminded me of the animation in AIR more than their newer stuff. Some of the scenes looked so good I thought they were just watercolor stills, and then they started to move. There’s some really good looking stuff here, especially considering that this OVA was made in 2003.
DVD and Extras:
The DVD had a few standard extras like some art galleries and trailers. There weren’t any documentaries or anything though, which is what I’d totally want to see. Since it’s just a 50 minute OVA, the picture quality is excellent. I read that Kyoani originally released this on their website, so it makes sense that the quality is really good looking on the DVD.
Munto seems to be one of those lost gems of Kyoto Animation. At least, I hadn’t heard of it until recently. The animation is sweet, even if the plot is a little disjunct. For $10, you might as well pick it up to make your Kyoto Animation collection complete. There’s a sequel too, so I might have to see if it improves on the original story.