Review: Dead Leaves Anime | My Reviews 22 SEP 2011

Retro and Pandy, two unlikely renegades, awaken naked on Earth with no recollection of their past, but with superior physical abilities. After embarking on a brief but devastating crime spree for food, clothing and transportation in downtown Tokyo, they are captured by authorities and sent to the infamous prison called Dead Leaves, on the half destroyed moon.

But it doesn’t end there. Soon they have managed to slip their shackles and spark a full scale prison break – and are now running head first down the track to learning the truth of their situation regardless of whether they want to or not!

Surprisingly rising out of the superstar animation house that is Production I.G. back 2004, Dead Leaves was Hiroyuki Imaishi’s directorial debut, who has since gone on to direct both the acclaimed Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (2007) and Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt (2010) series.

Although it actually contains quite a neat little sci-fi storyline within it, you’ll be excused for mostly ignoring it as the film hurtles from start to finish at breakneck speed, never once letting up for you to catch your breath thanks to its frenetic pacing. And then of course, you would also have needed to look past all the crude and mostly vulgar fart, dick, sex and violence jokes that makes up most of the storytelling, all of which translates into a movie which has a rather limited target audience that will actually enjoy it.

If you have seen either Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann or Pant & Stocking then you will know the frenetic, simple line, highly exaggerated artwork that Imaishi employs for his fast paced approach to animated movie making, and while it certainly fits the pace of the story perfectly and works well for what is essentially an action movie from start to finish, it doesn’t exactly look pretty and nor will its style win it any awards. That said, it is unique, and you’re not going to find anything else like it out there, so maybe it does work for you after all.

The accompanying soundtrack keeps pace nicely with the visuals and the story, and is suitable epic where it needs to be, and this combines well with a good choice of voice actors who all fit their various manic personas pretty comfortably.

Overall, I can’t really think of anyone I can actually recommend Dead Leaves to. It is certainly different, I’ll give it that, but it lacks any sort of charm and the juvenile humor really will only amuse a select sort of people, meaning that as far as I’m concerned, this is one of those rare things to come out of Production I.G. that you can safely ignore.

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_Leaves

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About Craig Lotter

Software developer, husband and dad to two little girls. Writer behind An Exploring South African. I don't have time for myself any more.