Julien Neaves, Editor
Plot: A girl protecting a mysterious egg in an abandoned city meets a boy dressed in militant garb.
Review: I have been hearing about 1985 OVA Angel’s Egg for years on the socials, and with my intrigue finally at its zenith I decided to watch it. And to put it simply, this film is a work of art.
Written and directed by Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell <1995>) and a collaboration with artist Yoshitaka Amano, Angel’s Egg is one of the most unique anime films I have ever watched. Let me correct that, you don’t really watch this film; you experience it. I was immediately drawn in by the gorgeous and shadowy animation style that is like something out of a dream. And the dreamlike state is only heightened by all the bleak and fascinating imagery. This is a tale with minimal dialogue (only the two above mentioned characters speak, and do so rarely) and most of the story is told or hinted at in the images, whether it is a large, orb-like vessel with thousands of goddess-like statues, a creepy ghost city, imposing biomechanical tanks or eerie trees with eggs instead of fruit. There is a sequence of some mute and murky fisherman futilely attempting to harpoon the giant shadows of whale-like creatures. I had absolutely no idea what was going on and I loved it.
And what about the two main characters? Like the rest of the film, both the girl and boy are almost inscrutable. All we know is the girl is fixated on the egg and wants to hatch it while the boy wants to know what is in it. Do we find out what’s actually in the egg? Of course not, that would be too easy. And what happens to the boy and girl? I saw it but I am still not sure what happened. Nor it is clear in the end what any of this is even about. And I dug that.
During the film, the boy tells the biblical story of Noah and the Ark (the ending is different, though). The boy carries a cross-shaped device on his shoulder and the duo visit a grand cathedral. Is the entire film a biblical allegory? Or is it an exploration on the competing forces of hope and resignation? Or perhaps a tragedy about the loss of innocence? I got a bit of all of that, but like any work of art, Angel’s Egg is left wide open for individual interpretation.
If you are a classic anime fan or lover or art house film and haven’t seen it then you are definitely missing out. Do check it out and discover what hidden treasures lay within its mysterious shell.
Editor Jules Score: 10 out of 10
And you can check out more classic Sci Fi anime below:
Julien “Editor Jules” Neaves is a TARDIS-flying, Force-using Trekkie whose bedroom stories were by Freddy Krueger, learned to be a superhero from Marvel, but dreams of being Batman. I love promoting Caribbean film (Cariwood), creating board games and I am an aspiring author. I say things like “12 flavours of awesome sauce”. Read more.