Wednesday, 2008-01-16

Gedo Senki (Tales from Earthsea), an anime feature film

I watched this yesterday and was impressed. It’s the first anime film I’ve watched, so it’s hard to compare with others, but the quality of the animation was top-notch. A welcome change from Disney fare.

More importantly, the plot was faithful to LeGuin’s vision, if not her actual novels. It’s basically The Farthest Shore conflated with Tehanu, with elements of A Wizard of Earthsea thrown in, but the universe is recognisable, and the characters look like you’d expect them to.

The magic is Earthsea magic, not flashy, but powerful — no death rays, no blasting spells a la computer RPGs, rather tapping into the underlying structure of the world. It’s hard to explain, but it’s one of the things that make LeGuin’s fantasy world so much better than others.

This movie is highly recommended.