Originally, I was going to talk about the latest Flowers of Evil episode and how it was really awesome, but I’ve run dry regarding how to praise the thing without repeating myself, so I’ll save thoughts for when the final episode airs and instead talk about a Sunrise production which also has deep dialogue and nothing else that I like about Flowers. Or anime in general.
So you have a lead I’m going to hereby christen as Mr. Potato, and not the actually funny one from the Toy Story movies, who actually goes by another name in the movie called Mr. Open Fly because the guy is about as clueless with zippers as I am with space operas. He has a crush on the beautiful class representative who we’re going to call Ms. Perfect and is unaware of the fact that his childhood friend, Ms. Space Tsundere, has a crush on him because open flies allow hidden feelings buried underneath you for years to surface. One day, a new kid called Gary Stu transfers into their school and Ms. Perfect falls for his deep dialogue that wouldn’t make it into a Type-Moon anime because they’d call bullshit on his crap. He’s a psychic boy from a different dimension sent to take over the school because that’s the most important place in Japan according to anime, but his plans are foiled due to Mr. Potato being immune to his powers for some reason and showing him the world doesn’t need to be controlled by taking him and the girls to the beach.
If any point you barfed from the sheer cliched nature of that snarky description, be aware that I’m just giving you the cliffnotes version of this fucking movie. And you may notice that there’s a lot of “school” in that description and not really much “psychic” or “wars”. That’s because the movie saw it fit not to utilize them in any meaningful way, tacking it on as an afterthought.
And that’s the problem with Psychic School Wars in a nutshell. I could have forgiven the fact that it had no psychic wars and shit if the school stuff was actually interesting, but not only is the slice-of-life as mundane and unrealistic as a freaking Disney Channel show, it doesn’t even have the courtesy to stand out in its unrealistic nature and just played every generic romcom anime trick in the book like a goddamn checklist. Not once were there even any attempts to put a spin on their roles or to make them unique. It’s like someone wanted to make the most cliche thing ever except with a huge movie budget. And yes, I know this is Sunrise and they profit out of putting so much money into bland crap. And I know I would have complained just as much if the school stuff was done like a Seo Kouji work. But at least that would have stood out in some way.
Not that it doesn’t approach that level of drama mind you. Seriously, how much fail can these characters consist of? The cluelessness of the main dude was so bad that even when Ms. Space Tsundere declares that she loves him over ten times, he can’t understand her one bit. Yes this happened during a fireworks show, but I refuse to believe that he couldn’t hear the constant repetitive declarations of eight “I love you”s spewed out within a five second timeframe whilst sitting next to her, and yet she can hear him when he says “I can’t hear you”. Repeated three times mind you. The part in Uncharted 3 where Nathan Drake recovered from out of nowhere to take on a platoon of bad guys after being stranded in the desert for days with no food or water was more realistic than that scene. And don’t even get me started on how abusive Ms. Space Tsundere is over the dumbest things. Yeah it’s played for comedy, but it happens waaaaayyyyy too frequently within the less-than-two-hour timespan to the point that I wanted to call domestic services.
So what exactly is the meat of the drama revolving around the psychic stuff? Truthfully, I couldn’t tell you more than the basic description because the movie did a poor job of making any of it memorable. Apparently there was a cell phone-related plot in the thing, but I didn’t remember it until I looked at forums regarding Psychic School Wars and thought “Oh yeah, whatever happened to that plotline anyways?” The forums also mentioned that knowledge of the original source material is needed to understand what went down. You know, that’s not exactly a point in the movie’s favor, right? The Godfather and the first Neverending Story movie can stand on their own without the source material and nobody seems to care about that because they’re considered good movies. Angel Beats and Canaan had problems, but needing to know the supplementary material detailing the origins of the characters in those shows wasn’t one of them.
I think the only time the psychic stuff was ever used for something memorable was regarding the ending. I’m not going to spoil it in case you guys want to check out this movie for whatever reason, but let’s just say that it was memorable in a bad way. As in it was used for a total cop-out reset ending that nullified everything that transpired within the movie. Yeah, I hated it and gave it a big “Fuck You!” when it occurred and all, but at least that was something worth noting, which is more than I can say for the rest of this poor man’s The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. Unfortunately though, that memorable thing did not involve a war. And neither were the rest of the unmemorable usages of psychic powers, just to let you know.
So yeah, I’ll see you in court, motherfucker!
PS: One more thing. I’ve heard a bunch of people complain about the excessive lens flair and the fact that the animation is trying too hard and stuff like that. Yes that’s true, but I honestly wasn’t bothered by that too much. I mean I can sit through K. I can sit through Umineko. I can sit through Steins;Gate. I can sit through the goddamn Clannad movie for crying out loud. It’s not exactly Kanye West concert level of seizure-inducing, and I can sit through those as well. If anything, at least the animation was trying to keep my eyes glued to the screen, which is more than I can say for a lot of other anime, which I won’t name. At the same time though, this is the guy who directed Mouryou no Hako and two episodes of Aoi Bungaku for crying out loud, so why is the direction so out of control in this movie? And why are his talents being wasted on such a bland piece of crap?