Memories: Magnetic Rose (1995)
Drama, Sci-Fi
dir. Koji Morimoto
Visually gorgeous film with stellar animation, with a decently good, disappointingly short story.

Memories: Magnetic Rose is a showcase of that golden era of anime (pre-2000s), with beautifully hand-drawn sequences and breathtaking acrylic backdrops. Props to the animators, they really knocked my socks off with how fluid the animation is here. The short film takes place somewhere in space following a crew of space scrap collectors. Something to truly admire when watching this film is how, specifically, the bodies are animated in space. I would assume it's hard to replicate the physics of weightlessness, especially with hand-drawn animation, but it is done flawlessly here. There's a scene when our two main characters, Heintz and Miguel, experience the transition from anti-gravity to gravity. The change in physics is depicted so incredibly in that scene: Miguel struggles to get off the floor and you can really feel how hard it is.

The painted backdrops are also visually stunning as well. It kind of makes me wish the pre-2000s anime look came back. There's an appreciation to how much work had to be done to make stuff back then that's lost on me now. . .but enough about how great this film looks; what about its story? It's pretty good. Nothing to write home about and it has an interesting premise. The collective delusion both Heintz and Miguel go through is entertaining and almost frightening to watch, but I couldn't help but feel kind of disappointed at the end. Despite how massive the ship is (I'm going to call it The Rose), we don't really get to see that much of it. Maybe I'm being greedy here, but if the film was maybe an hour longer I would have enjoyed it more. Contrary to other short sci-fi films that I've scene, like La Jetée, Magnetic Rose could have benefited from being maybe a half-hour to hour longer. There are a lot more interesting things to explore when it comes to a story like this.

Other than that, this was a pretty solid watch. It's good, and it's fucking beautiful. . .I just wish I got more out of it than I expected.

Rating: Bring back celluloid animation and enough with this digital crap!