Squeezing in a quick look before Christmas!
Don’t mind this sudden resurfacing. I just couldn’t help but write about this amazing feature. 😀
Rakuen Tsuihou -Expelled from Paradise- is the (arguably) long awaited animated movie created by the one and only Urobuchi Gen. I’m not entirely sure how long this project had been in development until it’s release this year, but I’m pretty sure it’s been in talks for a while now – as evidenced by this picture here:
Through this charmingly drawn picture, we actually got an early glimpse of one of the movie’s protagonist, Angela * Balzac, 3rd class security agent of the collective cyber-utopia Deva. Deva (located a ways between the Earth and the Moon) is a literal web of interlinked data stores containing Personalities – essentially a person’s “being” in digital data format. Angela is tasked to locate a hacker that goes by the name of Frontier Setter (yes, that’s a name), who has threatened Deva’s existing security measures by not only entering Deva but interacting with the Personalities – telling them about a certain deep space exploration program. What do Personalities, humans without a mortal body, have to do with deep space exploration? Why does Frontier Setter want Personalities to know about this plan?
I’m pretty sure it couldn’t be told through my writing so far here on my blog, but I’m actually a huge fan of sci-fi literature. The Ender’s Game quintet in particular is one of my favorite narratives. Why do I bring this up all of a sudden? Well, for people who’ve read these books, they’d notice some similarities with Expelled from Paradise that should prove to be rather thought provoking, and overall entertaining to watch. For you guys who haven’t, well, you’re gonna have to settle with little ol’ me trying to entice you with sci-fi concepts, in a conscious effort to get you guys to watch this movie (unless Angela [voiced by Kugimiya Rie!] hasn’t convinced you yet).
*ehem* Anyways, the sci-fi concepts we get to see here aren’t all that deep to be honest (and we’ve actually seen them in other anime as well), but all the same allow me to run through a couple of ’em. The concept of Deva is actually quite interesting. By the time of this fictional Earth, humanity has reached The Singularity, a very real theory. What is The Singularity, you ask? Scientists believe that some time in the future, humans will develop technology that allows them to transfer their consciousness and will to machines, therefore transcending the need for a physical body (and, in turn, mortality).
With that in mind, think of Deva as a really secure off-shore data server that houses people who have exchanged a mortal body for one governed by memory. Memory is what it sounds like in the context of our discussion so far (think megabytes, gigabytes). Essentially, the more memory you have, the more things you can do (since, at the point of Singularity, ideally, thought process = actual process). This has created a sort of caste system within Deva, wherein the drive of existence for most Personalities is increasing their memory (remember that one Justin Timberlake movie? No?).
Deep space exploration on the other hand isn’t really new, and is something that people in our present generation has been trying to do for some time. The universe is absurdly massive, as our grade school teachers have taught us. It was only natural that people began to wonder what’s beyond. The pretext (and hope) for some is that we find habitable planets near us, if not other sentient beings with their own Earth, so to speak. This has been the common backbone for a lot of sci-fi stories, that often result in division between those who stay on Earth, and those who go on a voyage to the depths of space.
Expelled from Paradise has all of this (and more), all in an hour and forty minutes of great animation, an amazing soundtrack, and lovable characters. The story may be a bit thin for some, and I wouldn’t really contest. Although the narrative works for me, I can’t really say the same for people who are not a fan of the genre – particularly sci-fi, dialogue, and mecha.
To conclude – and if you guys decide to try this movie for yourself, I want you guys to think of it as not just an anime movie. Treat it like you would going to a Disney or Pixar flick. Watch it like you’re expecting to get something from it. I promise, it makes it all the more worth your while.