Friday, September 20, 2019

Review: Promare

Release date: September 17, 2019 (USA)
Running time: 111 minutes
In Promare, a new anime from animation studio Trigger, people are spontaneously shooting out strange, purple fire.  These affected people, known as Burnish, are a threat to safety and must be stopped by a quirky band of specially trained fire fighters.  Each member of this group is unique, from the gadget princess to the hot headed youth looking to prove himself.  If this premise sounds ridiculous, you are correct.  However, the story is the last of what makes Promare so special.  

Promare's animation is unlike anything I have seen in an anime.  Love it or hate it, Promare has a unique style that is bold and different.  It has a heavily cell shaded, sometimes 16-bit style.  Some parts look like a high res minecraft even.  And the colors are bold and bright and in your face.  During some of the action scenes, it can be hard to follow because of how tough the details are to pick out with the heavy colors.  But that being said, Promare’s style comes together at times and it is something have to see in action to appreciate.

Accompanying the unique style is a wonderful soundtrack.  The music hits perfectly with the animation and it really enhances the overall viewing experience.  It is tough to describe other than they seem to have perfectly matched a variety of styles to this anime.  It has flavors of 80s pop, electronica, and even some video game style chiptunes.  In fact, much of Promare looks like a video game on the big screen, from the heavy visuals, to the computer generated scenes, the intense action, and the sound wouldn’t feel out of place in a console adaptation.

However, the plot of Promare is tough to follow and slightly ridiculous.  It is typical anime, but with an even more ridiculous premise of trying to stop the Burnish.  They are billed as terrorists at the start, but there are plenty of plot twists that make you wonder who is the real villain.  And the ending just jumps the shark, as is typical of anime.  I appreciated what the studio was trying to do, but I still wanted to have some coherence of a plot while this was happening.  Character’s motivations changed at the drop of a hat, and the overall explanation for the Burnish felt very far fetched.

Promare is a uniquely animated movie epic, with bold visuals and a fantastic soundtrack.  However, the style can be heavy at times and the overall premise just doesn't make sense.  

Rent it

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