When I read the premise for this movie, it seemed promising. This was Studio Colorido’s first film production and, typically, first impressions are usually quite good as anyone involved with the initial project should understand that it can make or break the future of a new studio. I had high hopes for this film, but then there were some subtle signs that my hopes would be crushed… and by subtle, I mean horrendously bad. What exactly happened, you ask? Well, let’s answer that. This is Taifuu no Noruda!
The movie takes place inside of a random school where two boys end up having a quarrel over the fact that one of them wants to quit playing baseball. All of this drama happens on the eve of the school’s cultural festival. Suddenly, a typhoon hits, trapping the kids inside the school.
So, based on that, you’d think that this is about reconciling friendship in the midst of a natural disaster, right?
This is about a mysterious girl who was spotted at the school who is actually an alien sent here to summon the typhoon in order to align two vortexes and use them to teraform the Earth, resetting everything back to the stone age.
I’ll just let that sink in a bit here as I go over the characters. I’ll delve into the story “plots” when I get to the final thoughts.
Our main character in the show who comes off as a loner-type. He wants to quit the baseball team and ends up getting into a fight with his best friend. He discovers the mysterious girl and wants to do everything in his power to save her and stop the supposed end of the world.
The character itself was about as cookie cutter as they get. He has some mysterious reason for acting the way he does, but ends up breaking out of his shell because an event makes him come to terms with reality. That event just happened to be one of the weirdest plot twists I’ve seen in an anime. The voice acting for this character also seemed a bit monotone and flat. There was hardly any emotional range and some of the reactions to the situation made it seem like this implausible situation happens on a day to day basis or is a common occurrence in Japan. There was hardly any disbelief on Azuma’s part which kind of makes me think he’s also kind of gullible and will believe anything you shove into his face. Overall a pretty weak main character.
For a movie that has only three characters, he is the one and only supporting character since he was missing for half of the film. You’ll probably laugh at that line once you learn about this movie’s length in my final comments. Saijou comes off as the hothead, but in the end, he’s just trying to understand why Azuma wants to quit and keeps pushing him away. Saijou also has the only natural reaction in the movie by not believing a single word that Azuma says when he tells him the entire story about what’s going down at the school.
This makes Saijou the best character in the entire movie because he’s the only one with rational thought and makes sense. The acting for him was pretty good, too, as they actually used different tones and inflections to reflect his mood and personality. Kind of sad that the supporting character was the overall best character in the film.
Mysterious Girl A
She does have a name, but they don’t reveal it until the very end of the movie. In case you didn’t guess it by now, she’s Noruda. I know.. a real shocker.
For an alien, she speaks pretty good Japanese. Apparently she’s being controlled by a collar and that collar along with a random hole in the floor of the school’s gym, are the keys to aligning the vortexes and teraforming the planet. Outside this, we know NOTHING about this character. Where she came from, why is she doing this, who decided this fate for Earth, etc etc. So I guess when they say she’s mysterious, they really mean it.
Art, Animation, and Sound
The artwork was decent at best. I’ve seen regular television animes with more budget than this movie. I don’t know if it was because this was a new studio and they just didn’t have the funds or if this was just the result of laziness. I couldn’t tell you, but for a first outing, this really didn’t impress all that much. There wasn’t much depth to the characters’ color pallets and all of them looked pretty generic. In fact, Azuma and Saijou don’t really stand out that well and I’d probably have to double take in order to pick them out of a crowd. Noruda stood out because of the whole glowing red collar thing, but outside of that, her design looked really REALLY generic. I mean, what intergalactic alien with a spaceship wears a plain collared shirt and a skirt?
According to Freud, sometimes a banana just isn’t a banana… or something like that.
The animation itself was about as on par as an episode of Naruto Shippuuden… and we already know how much budget that show gets. For something that’s supposed to be a movie, you would expect more fluid animation, but we got your standard run of the mill animation instead. It didn’t really make the film bad, by any chance… I mean the story takes care of that for you… but for a first outing, i was hoping for something a little more upscale to make that good first impression. If you were, too, then sadly you won’t end up finding it here.
LIFE FIBER SYNCHRONIZE! KAMUI SENKETSU!
The soundtrack, albeit short and limited, was decent. The music was just good enough to stand out in some parts, and save itself from just being background noise, but it wasn’t epic enough to make you want to go out and get the soundtrack. There was an ending theme for this movie, but I didn’t bother listening to it because I was just thankful that the movie was over and wanted out of there as fast as possible.
First off… I understand that Makoto Shinkai can take a six minute slot and turn it into something masterful and meaningful. He just has that ability. I think Studio Colorido should have called him up and asked him how to do that because at just 26 minutes… the same exact length of an average TV anime episode, this movie suffered and suffered HARD.
The plot of the movie was INSANELY rushed. Within the first eight minutes we went from a fight among friends, to a typhoon, and then suddenly
Then we get that convoluted plot twist with the alien girl wanting to teraform the entire planet. It then escalates to Azuma and Saijou making up and working together to rip the collar off of her in order to try and stop the teraforming ritual. Now… here’s where the biggest derp moment of the movie comes in and, yes, this does spoil the ending to the movie, but I really don’t think anyone should watch this so as far as spoiling this film goes… gaze upon the field in which I grow my expletives.
Because this film gave none when, again, suddenly… ALIENS
So Azuma and Saijou use all of their might to attempt to rip the collar in half clearly demonstrating that it’s made of a very tough alien metal, but under enough pressure it merely cracked. With the two of them failing to rip the collar in half, it looked hopeless, but since it cracked and there was enough energy happening inside of this vortex of light and water (which you can apparently breathe in, by the way), it broke on its own, BUT the main core of the collar is still intact and it’s raging hard! So we must now find a way to destroy this hunk of space metal that’s glowing with power!
How do we do it, you ask!?
Well.. since the movie was about Azuma quitting the baseball team, let’s use symbolism and have Azuma throw a baseball at it.
….and it works.
Because why the hell not?
After this, Noruda reveals her name when Azuma FINALLY thinks of asking her for it and then Noruda hops in her UFO and Team Rockets into outer space. No.. I’m not exaggerating here… she flew straight up into the sky and there was a twinkle of light when she disappeared. She literally Team Rocketed herself out of the movie.
With that.. it came to an end and I was left wanting my 26 minutes of life back.
I think the above pretty much says it all… but in case you really want me to say it… yes this movie was terrible.
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Until next time,
Taifuu no Noruda
A Typhoon That Doesn't Blow You Away
You should go out of your way to not watch this movie.
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