Metropolis (2001 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Written by||Katsuhiro Otomo|
|Music by||Toshiyuki Honda|
|Distributed by||Toho (Japan)
TriStar Pictures (USA)
|Running time||113 minutes|
Metropolis (メトロポリス Metoroporisu?) is a 2001 anime film loosely based on the 1949 Metropolis manga created by Osamu Tezuka, itself inspired by the 1927 German silent film of the same name, though the two do not share plot elements. The anime, however, does draw aspects of its storyline directly from the 1927 film. The anime had an all-star production team, including renowned anime director Rintaro, Akira creator Katsuhiro Otomo as script writer, and animation by Madhouse with conceptual support from Tezuka Productions.
Metropolis is a futuristic city where humans and robots coexist. Robots are discriminated against, and segregated to the city's lower levels. A lot of Metropolis human population is unemployed and deprived; many people blame the robots for taking their jobs.
Duke Red, the 'unofficial' ruler of Metropolis, has overseen the construction of a massive skyscraper called the Ziggurat, which he claims will allow mankind to further extend its power across the planet. A wayward robot disrupts the Ziggurat's opening ceremony, only to be shot down by Rock, Duke Red's adoptive son and the head of the Marduk Party, an anti-robot vigilante group. Private detective Shunsaku Ban and his nephew, Kenichi, travel to Metropolis to arrest Dr. Laughton, a mad scientist wanted for organ trafficking. Unbeknownst to Shunsaku, Duke Red has hired Laughton to build an advanced robot modeled and named after Red's deceased daughter, Tima. Red intends for Tima to function as a central control unit for a secret superweapon hidden in the Ziggurat. However, Rock learns of Tima's existence and, not wanting a robot to overshadow Red, shoots Laughton and sets fire to his laboratory.
Shunsaku comes across the burning lab and discovers the dying Laughton, who gives him his notebook. Kenichi, meanwhile, finds the activated Tima. The two fall into the sewers and are separated from Shunsaku. While Shunsaku searches for his nephew, Kenichi and Tima search for a way back the street level. They grow close as Kenichi teaches Tima how to speak. Neither are aware that she is a robot. The two are hunted relentlessly by Rock and his subordinates, and encounter a group of unemployed human laborers who attempt to stage a revolution against Red.
The president and the mayor of Metropolis try to use the revolution to overthrow Red and gain control of Metropolis. However, they are assassinated by the president's top military commander General Kusai Skunk, who has sided with Red. The duke imposes martial law to suppress the revolution. In the aftermath of the failed revolt, Kenichi reunites with Shunsaku, only to be wounded by Rock, who reveals Tima to be a robot. However, Rock is disowned by Red and stripped of his command of the Marduks for attempting to kill Tima. Duke Red takes Tima away to the Ziggurat.
Still determined to dispose of Tima and regain his father's affections, Rock kidnaps and deactivates Tima, who is now confused about her identity. Shunsaku rescues her, and after following instructions from Laughton's notebook, reactivates Tima. The two discover that Kenichi is being held within the Ziggurat, and are captured by Duke Red and the Marduks on their way to save him. Brought to the pinnacle of the Ziggurat, Tima confronts Duke Red about whether she is a human or robot; Duke Red tells her she is a "superhuman", destined to rule the world from her throne. However, Rock, disguised as a maid, shoots Tima, exposing her circuitry.
The sudden shock of realizing she is a robot causes Tima to go insane. Sitting on the throne, she orders a biological and nuclear attack on humanity as revenge. While the others flee, Kenichi tries to reason with Tima. Robots, drawn by Tima's command, attack Duke Red. Rock, not wanting his father to die at the hands of 'filthy robots', kills himself and Duke Red in a massive explosion. As the fortress starts to collapse around them, Kenichi reaches Tima and separates her from the throne. However, Tima, seemingly lost, attempts to kill Kenichi. In the struggle, Tima falls off the tower. Kenichi tries to pull her up using one of the cables still grafted to her. As the cable begins to fray, Tima remembers the time Kenichi taught her grammar and asks Kenichi, "Who am I?" before she slips and falls to her death. The Ziggurat collapses, destroying a large part of Metropolis.
The next morning, Kenichi searches the ruins and encounters a group of robots that have salvaged some of Tima's parts in an attempt to rebuild her. While Shunsaku and many other human survivors are evacuated, Kenichi chooses to remain behind and rebuild the city. Kenichi wants to create a place where humans and robots can coexist peacefully and not violently.
Differences between manga and anime
In Tezuka's original manga, the story revolves around a humanoid named Mitchi, who has the ability to fly and change gender. Mitchi is pursued by Duke Red and his "Red Party" who intend to use Mitchi for destructive purposes. However, Shunsaku Ban and his nephew Kenichi find Mitchi after her creator, Dr. Charles Laughton, is killed and protect her as they search for her parents. Unlike Tima's desire to be human, the cause for Mitchi's destructive rampage in the manga's climax is the revelation that, as a robot, she does not have parents.
However, this cinematic adaptation of Tezuka's story integrates far more elements from the Fritz Lang film Metropolis. When making the original Metropolis manga, Tezuka said that the only real inspiration he got from Fritz Lang's Metropolis was a still image from the movie where a female robot was being born. In addition to adopting set designs of the original film, this version has more emphasis on a strong and pervasive theme of class struggle in a dystopian, plutocratic society and expands it to examine the relationship of robots with their human masters. (This relationship was explored by Tezuka in great detail with his popular series Astro Boy.) The anime adaptation also removes many of the more fanciful elements out of Tezuka's manga, such as a flying, gender swapping humanoid. Here, Mitchi is replaced by "Tima", who is permanently female and cannot fly.
The Japanese release of the film shows a picture after the credits depicting a shop named "Kenichi & Tima Robot Company," with Tima visible in the window. This implies that Kenichi succeeded in rebuilding Tima and they set up the shop together. This picture was included in the English theatrical release and Blu-ray printing, though not on the DVD release.
- Kei Kobayashi - Kenichi
- Yuka Imoto - Tima
- Kōsei Tomita - Detective Shinsaku Ban
- Koki Okada - Rock
- Tarô Ishida - Duke Red
- Norio Wakamoto - Pero
- Norihiro Inoue - Atlas
- Masaru Ikeda -President Boone
- Toshio Furukawa - General Kusai Skunk
- Takeshi Aono -Dr. Ponkotsu
- Junpei Takiguchi - Dr. Laughton
- Shun Yashiro - Supt. Notarlin
- Shigeru Chiba - Acetylene Lamp
- Rikako Aikawa - Fifi
- Masashi Ebara - Ham Egg
- Brianne Siddall - Kenichi
- Rebecca Forstadt - Tima
- Tony Pope - Detective Shinsaku Ban
- Jamieson Price - Duke Red
- Michael Reisz - Rock
- Dave Mallow - Pero
- Scott Weinger - Atlas
- Simon Prescott - Dr. Laughton
- Steve McGowan - President Boone
- Dan Woren - General Kusai Skunk
- Peter Spellos - Mayor Lyon
- Steve Blum - Acetylene Lamp
- Doug Stone - Dr. Ponkotsu
- William Frederick Knight - Supt. Notarlin
- Barbara Goodson - Emmy
- Mary Elizabeth McGlynn - Announcement Voice
|Metropolis – Original Soundtrack|
|Soundtrack album by Toshiyuki Honda|
The Metropolis soundtrack consists mainly of New Orleans-style jazz music composed by Toshiyuki Honda and features Atsuki Kimura's cover of "St. James Infirmary Blues" and the ending theme "There'll Never Be Good-Bye" by Minako "Mooki" Obata. The soundtrack album is available on King Records.
During the film's climactic scene, the song "I Can't Stop Loving You" performed by Ray Charles was used as most of the audio when the Ziggurat was destroyed, with sound effects only audible later on in the scene. The song is not included on the soundtrack album.
|4.||"Going to "Zone""||Toshiyuki Honda||2:03|
|6.||"El Bombero"||Toshiyuki Honda||2:20|
|7.||"Three-Faced of "Zone""||Toshiyuki Honda||5:12|
|8.||""Zone Rhapsody""||Toshiyuki Honda||2:18|
|9.||"Hide Out"||Toshiyuki Honda||1:30|
|11.||"St. James Infirmary" (performed by Atsuki Kimura)||Toshiyuki Honda||3:02|
|19.||"After All"||Toshiyuki Honda||3:42|
|20.||"There'll Never Be Good-Bye" (performed by Minako "Mooki" Obata)||Toshiyuki Honda||4:38|
The film was first released in Japan on April 26, 2001. When it was released in the USA and other foreign countries it made a total of $4,035,192. In the United States, the film was given a PG-13 rating by the MPAA for "violence and images of destruction" and TV-14-LV rating when it aired on Adult Swim It was also one of the first anime films to be submitted for consideration for Best Animated Film at the Academy Awards.
Metropolis was first released on VHS, and is now available in North America as a two disc DVD, with the second disc being a MiniDVD (called a "Pocket DVD").
Metropolis received highly positive reviews, based on 60 reviews from Rotten Tomatoes, Metropolis received an overall 86% Certified Fresh approval rating. The site's critical consensus states that "Even though the storyline is nothing new, Metropolis is an eye-popping visual treat." A quote from James Cameron was used on the DVD cover.
- "Metropolis (2002) (2002)". Box Office Mojo. 2002-08-28. Retrieved 2013-05-25.
- By A. O. SCOTTPublished: January 25, 2002 (2002-01-25). "FILM REVIEW; Dark Doings Proliferate In a World of Vivid Colors - New York Times". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 2012-09-01.
- Explanation section on the Metropolis manga section of TezukaOsamu@World Accessed on 2007-06-05.
- "Metropolis (Metoroporisu)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2012-09-01.
- "Metropolis : DVD Talk Review of the DVD Video". Dvdtalk.com. Retrieved 2012-09-01.
- By A. O. Scott (2002-01-25). "Movie Review - Metropolis - FILM REVIEW; Dark Doings Proliferate In a World of Vivid Colors - NYTimes.com". Movies.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2012-09-01.
- Official website (US)
- Metropolis at the Internet Movie Database
- "メトロポリス (Metoroporisu)" (in Japanese). Japanese Movie Database. Retrieved 2007-07-21.
- Metropolis at allmovie
- Metropolis at Rotten Tomatoes
- Metropolis at Metacritic
- Exhibition of the Metropolis anime at TezukaOsamu@World
- Anime Prime report showing the cut picture
- TezukaInEnglish.com: "Rock Holmes Transformation" - analytical essay treating the film