Toward the Terra
Review by David Bingham:
On a world that is a cross between "Brave New World" and Orwell's "1984," a boy named Jomy Shin is about to become an adult, as all children do here, at age 14. Even as he is preparing to leave his home, probably never to see his parents again, he is plauged by doubt and a longing to remain with his parents, feelings which are unacceptable in his society. More dangerous are the vision-like dreams which he sees, of a man in a long cape named "Soldier Blue" and a blind woman named "Physis." To those who run his world, these visions mark him as a dangerous telepath, a Mu, and when they cannot wipe his mind, they attempt to kill him. Jomy is saved by Soldier Blue and the rest of the Mu, and later, after Soldier Blue's death, becomes the new Soldier, leader of the Mu.
Jomy's counterpart among the normal humans is Keith Anyan, and Elite and VIP in the government. He is a special project for the computers that run society, an attempt to create the perfect human servant. Even so, as the movie progresses he begins to show initiative, at one point intentionally saving the life of a Mu, and even questioning why the Grandmother computer (final ruler of earth) allows Mu's to be born, since she controls all births. His course of eradication of the Mu's brings him eventually on a collission course with Jomy, and the final realization of his origin and humanity.
In the end, with the computers destroyed and Jomy and Keith dead, human and Mu must now begin working together to rebuild what is left of earth, differences forgotten in their common tragedy.
This is only the briefest sketch of the plot, which is amazingly complex even for an anime. Truthfully, I felt the whole movie wandered between confusing and boring, as if it could never quite figure out what it wanted to say. The ending was good, with some facinating insights into the purpose of the Mu's and the history of humanity, but waiting for the movie to get to that point was long and painful.
Parent's Guide Rating:
green (suitable for family viewing)
Some parents might object to the large numbers of deaths during the war, but such death is strongly presented as the terrible thing that it is without being glorified at all.
Violence: Some (okay, lots, if you count the destruction of a planet, several hundred space ships, and that sort of thing) but none if it even remotely graphic.
Sex: Virtually none. There are two brief scenes of nudity: one of Jomy at age 14, and one of his son, Tony, at maybe 12. If you look *very* closely you can see that the two are anatomically correct, but it's not an issue in the film.
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