Exactly what it says on the tin. This is something about Tokyo Revelation, but i’m not sure it really qualifies as a review. It’s certainly not intended to be a review, not like Shackleton was or the LoveFilm challenge reviews will be.
Anyway, without further ado…
I first watched Tokyo Revelation when I was fourteen, and I watched it with my fellow anime-nut friend. She was the one who got me into anime, actually, and she’d heard good things about this film. This was when the Sci-Fi Channel was spelt properly, and had anime on anytime between 11:30pm and 4am, depending on their schedule. It was very unusual for any anime to be on as early as 11:30, actually, but it happened on two occasions that I know of.
Anyway, so, this wasn’t on at 11:30 at night, it was on during the more usual hour of 2am. Like I said, she’d heard good things about it, where as I I hadn’t heard anything about it at all, so it was going to be an experience to watch it, especially because I usually taped the shows and films on that late instead of watching them as they aired.
So we watched it… And, well, we were left quite baffled, actually. I thought I’d missed something really obvious, but my friend was confused too.
If I was to give you a summary of it, it would have been “A creepy guy is part computer virus. He used to be in love with his best friend, the time line wonked for a bit and then they both died. And then there was four solid minutes of floating characters amongst cherry blossom as a woman’s voice repeats the words ‘It dies and blossoms, dies and blossoms, dies and blossoms again, blossoms and dies, dies and blossoms, blossoms and dies again.’ over and over.”
And as the years went by, the only things about it that I could remember was, first being very confused, something about a Computer Virus, and the whole “Dies and Blossoms Again” thing. That’s all. Not even the name of the it. So when I thought to myself, “Oh what was that anime that ended with Dies and Blossoms again? Maybe I should watch it again, because rewatching things has worked out well so far!” I had to google the phrase “Dies and Blossoms again” to get the name so that I could order it on LoveFilm.
After a re-watch, I wondered why I’d bothered.
I thought that the ten years that had passed by between the viewings would help me to understand the story, that maybe there was some deeper meaning I’d missed by being a shallow teenager. It didn’t, there wasn’t.
However, it would have helped the first viewing if the movie hadn’t have been edited down to 45 minutes. I remember being a bit surprised at the length back on the first watch. That extra 15 minutes isn’t a saviour filled with the essential plot device or anything, but it did help the transition of character and plot development.
I was actually able to understand it all a bit better (notice the emphasis on the bit), unfortunately that just made the Computer Virus character, called Akito Kobayashi, a hell of a lot more creepy and demonic (and gay, but that’s not technically a character flaw. He just happens to be gay as well as creepy), and the rest of the characters all that much bizarre, probably because most of them are just background characters. One thing that wasn’t included in the first viewing was the character of a young girl who carries a doll with her, and gives the main character, Kojiro Soma, a protective knife because he’ll be needing it. Another thing missed out was the motivation behind Akito’s deal with the pack of demons and subsequent killing spree, which I now understand to be a revenge spree on bullies.
Add some Phlebotinum into the mix and that’s basically the whole movie.
It didn’t make the story any better, and the four minutes of “Dies and Blossoms, Dies and Blossoms again, Blossoms and Dies, Blossoms and Dies again, Dies and Blossoms” etc etc etc is still annoying. This time even more so, because this time I was watching with the false belief that there’d be a proper conclusion before the credits came up, but no. I was still left feeling like there was something missing.
Would I watch it again? No.
Would I recommend it to anyone? Well, I would, if they asked me “What’s a really strange anime featuring demons intertwined with computer viruses? Lack of Character development preferable.” or “Do you know of any anime that has a creepy gay character in it that could put BBC’s Moriarty to shame?”. Otherwise, no. I definitely wouldn’t
Do I want my hour and 45 minutes back that I spent watching this anime, twice?
Oh god, Yes.