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 You need to watch Expelled from Paradise, it's on Netflix, stellar dub to boot

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Taiyz
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PostSubject: You need to watch Expelled from Paradise, it's on Netflix, stellar dub to boot   Tue Jul 21, 2015 11:23 am

So despite Aniplex USA pushing this rather hard, I had extremely low expectations of this movie because it stars Rie Kugimiya in a one-piece as the star character and it was frequently advertised with a big chunky mecha that didn't look cool at all. Also, I gotta admit, while I respect Urobuchi's writing, he turns me away from shows more than the opposite, mostly because I generally feel that anime doesn't handle character deaths in a satisfying manner and that's kind of what he's known for. After watching this, though I haven't seen it, I reckon this probably has more in common with Gargantia than his other works. ANYWAY, enough about my preconceptions...

Expelled from Paradise is kind of like a mix of the good conceptual bits of The Matrix, and very reminiscent of Ghost in the Shell (specifically season 1 of Stand Alone Complex, and kind of a reverse of the movies) with a couple mecha battles thrown in for good measure. The entire movie is done in cel-shaded CG like the recent Appleseed stuff before Alpha, and it's very visually impressive (other movies in this style usually have a much lower framerate.)

The plot involves an orbital satellite computer called DEVA, where, following an apocalyptic event on Earth, 98% of the population has migrated to it by being "digitized" and turned into cyber personalities (I think that's the term they used.) Unlike The Matrix, people are fully aware of their predicament and willingly digitized themselves, solving all their issues of eking out a living on their dried up planet, a surprisingly novel idea compared to other movies' plans to escape earth (and this actually comes into play later but I don't want to spoil that.) Recently, a person calling themselves Frontier Setter has begun performing cyber attacks on DEVA, and the security council can only conclude that the attacks are coming from Earth of all places. One of the protagonists is Angela Balzac, a representative of DEVA's System Security team who is sent to earth to team up with Dingo, one of the remaining 2% of Earth's inhabitants, to try and find Frontier Setter and try to prevent future hacks on DEVA. This is achieved by creating a clone extrapolated from the genetic material that was originally digitized to create her consciousness, and her personality is transmitted to it for the duration of the mission...Angela has a reason for wanting to complete the mission before her colleagues and performs the transfer early which is why her clone is only age 16 instead of her true age, also so that they could sell more toys.


I don't want to get into the plot any more than that, I will admit that the movie looks kinda tasteless at the start because Angela is introduced by fighting a hacker in naked internet battle, and like I said the whole 16-year-old-in-a-one-piece design choice is questionable. You don't really get a feel for what the movie's really about for 30 minutes or so, but it's nice because there's some decent world-building there, and the world of this movie is actually one of the highlights, they could easily create a franchise out of this (and no, there isn't really any sequel bait, I can think up several ways they could do an interesting sequel, and quite frankly they should do one, but they balance things nicely, give you a satisfying amount of world-building at the top, just enough intellectual talk and plot development in the middle, and a satisfying end with no loose strings but enough material to make you think about what they could do.) There is definitely a point where I'd say the movie "starts to get good" but by the end of the movie you do value the starting bits.

Angela in general is very abrasive at first, but she has actual reasons for it unlike most Rie Kugimiya characters, and thank god there's a dub, this actually might be one of Wendee Lee's best roles in fact, by the end of the movie Angela has actually become a very respectable character on a level similar to Motoko (the other two core protagonists are also great but I don't want to get too deep into analyzing them because one is made interesting by their actions which make their appeal difficult to describe, but you get that Blum factor so that's nice, the other is spoilerific.) Once you start to learn more about DEVA, things really start to get interesting, and no I'm not suggesting there's anything sinister going on, DEVA is a definite answer to a certain problem, but this movie really gets you thinking, and is one reason why I compare it to Ghost in the Shell, particularly concepts such as the Tachikoma, the Laughing Man, and the stuff about merging with the internet, or what would happen to your sense of self if your consciousness/"soul" was digital whether it's in a cyber brain or stored in an orbital internet-society. This also handles a lot of The Matrix-y concepts a lot better than The Matrix ever did, in a lot of ways it's kind of like a proper implementation of the concepts behind The Matrix without the action bits bogging it down (and sci-fi action hijacking the latter two movies completely.) Don't get me wrong, there's action, it just doesn't doesn't weaken the broth.

The design elements with Angela I mentioned earlier easily fall to the wayside as her character develops, though her appearance still makes this a difficult thing to show non-anime fans, and the mecha stuff I mentioned actually gets pretty cool which really surprised me (the first time you see it in action, the mecha design fails to impress although the fighting is awesome, but they totally redeem it and it actually becomes way cooler than the movie poster/boxart would have you believe.)


So yeah, generally I try to go into something with something better than "zero expectations," because I always feel that cheapens my impressions when I start talking about what I liked about it, because if I like it at all that's already a significant improvement compared to my feelings going in so internally I feel like people might think I'm overreacting, but this movie really made an impact on me and has a lot of room to grow, I'd even go so far as to say it might be one of my favourite movies ever.

Let's just hope that Nitroplus decides to give this some more attention, because it still bothers me that they made a visual novel to tie in with Guilty Crown, a pretty but depthless shounen show, when this movie is just yearning for a sequel or a TV series or...Anything.

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PostSubject: Re: You need to watch Expelled from Paradise, it's on Netflix, stellar dub to boot   Mon Aug 03, 2015 6:29 pm

Trailer looked nice, the CG is fantastic, it really does look more like actual 3d anime and less 3D models trying to be anime (like our forum's namesake). Wendee Lee, Steve Blum, and Johnny Yong Bosh is, like, the most stereotypical but amazing anime dub combo you can get!

Spoiler:
 
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PostSubject: Re: You need to watch Expelled from Paradise, it's on Netflix, stellar dub to boot   Mon Aug 03, 2015 6:43 pm

Yeah. Expelled from Paradise and Guilty Gear Xrd are the examples for other companies right now.

Honestly I kinda get a Cowboy Bebop vibe at times because you've basically got Faye and Spike as protags. Bosch does a super great job though, I want him to do a similar voice for GitS.

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PostSubject: Re: You need to watch Expelled from Paradise, it's on Netflix, stellar dub to boot   Tue Sep 08, 2015 8:52 pm

MORE PEOPLE NEED TO WATCH THIS

http://www.siliconera.com/2015/09/08/nitroplus-blasterz-screens-of-ignis-anri-ishima-kaigen-and-angela-balzac/

Angela's gonna be a support in Nitroplus Blasterz, so I can have a team of Homura and Angela and it's gonna be so hype! Apparently Amy from Gargantia is gonna be a support as well according to Wikipedia!

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