March 12, 2016 at 4:03 am (5 Heads, Birth) (, , , , , )

Birth (a.k.a. Birth: A War of Two Worlds!) – 1984 – Japan

The universe is in an embryonic state. Apparently, when it is populated by enough “organics” (humans), the universe will be “reborn”. The presence of hostile “inorganics” (robots) is stopping this somehow. None of this makes sense, but the result is a battle between humans and robots on a post-apocalypse desert planet. A spunky pilot woman, an unremarkable warrior, and a brash space merchant are on quest for a bazooka that can destroy all the robots and blow up the whole planet.

Like other anime of this genre, Birth’s plot (adapted from a serialized comic) is pretty irrelevant. The film is a series of action sequences as humans and faceless robots duke it out. There are shootouts, swordfights, and lots of chases in cool sci-fi vehicles. Some of the robots ride motorcycles, some have drills for hands, and some are the size of buildings. Explosions are constant. There is also lots of wacky and stupid humor. For instance, one robot communicates by yelling the names of vegetables.

Birth has a strange animation style. The cartoonish characters are reminiscent of 1970s anime, but the animation is very kinetic. The camera bounces and whirls about, and the editing is energetic. Birth is exciting and exhausting as the viewer is bombarded with hyperactive action, zany humor, and fragments of a nonsensical story.

Rating: 5/10 Shrunken Heads. Birth would be great for kids if the camera did not constantly zoom in on the heroine’s ass.


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