Revisions (Rivijonzu)

Revisions (Rivijonzu) 2019

Sometimes I find myself being a little harder on recent shows if they don’t break a whole lot of new ground. It’s something I don’t like doing actually, I feel like I have to fight that impulse both as a viewer and when reviewing a series, because I don’t think that Originality is the most important metric available.

Instead, I’m more interested in whether I was drawn into the world, whether I responded to the characters and whether existing tropes and conventions are refreshed or handled in an interesting manner, whether the art style, design or settings chosen make me stop and recognise just how beautiful or impressive they really are.

And so having said all that, I still found myself in two minds about Revisions.

It definitely echoes Neon Genesis and other classics specifically in some ways but on a smaller scale. Elsewhere it’s more ‘generally familiar’, from character design (that Voltron-esque colour scheme of the body suits) to other common mecha tropes, but the time travel aspect added a nice complication to the plot. Having the main character Daisuke both suffer a hero complex and be ridiculed for it allowed extra conflict between the young heroes, though that aspect of the storyline kinda swung a little violently from polar opposites in the short span. Maybe the manga spreads that aspect out more smoothly?

Still, the pacing was brisk and the animation itself kept me watching; especially the designs of the Civilians and the suits/the String Puppets themselves all felt both ‘on brand’ for the genre but also distinctive enough. I did find the occasional close up here and there to reveal that cel-shaded look to the CGI that I’m not a huge fan of, but it was nothing glaring.

Great music throughout, especially the ending theme and with a few satisfying twists in the story, not too many instances of ‘out of place’ fan service (I guess) and overall I did enjoy it. The writing was pretty effective at showing the unsurprising cowardice contrasted with the welcome heroism of humanity in a largely dystopian setting. It also pulled back away from the kids and their struggles to spend a bit of time on managing a city on limited resources, which I found interesting, though would hardly be everyone’s key memory of the series 😀

3.5 Stars

Published by ashleycapes

Ashley is an Australian poet, novelist and teacher. He's currently running a casual review blog called "The Review Heap" focusing film, anime, games, books and music - and (very) occasionally other stuff too. He is the author of half a dozen poetry collections and a few novels, some published traditionally and some self-published. He also occasionally publishes other folks too.

4 thoughts on “Revisions (Rivijonzu)

  1. Good review. I heard mixed to positive things about that series. It’s on Netflix, so I can certainly stream it whenever. Seems like that company has been gravitating a bit towards Goro Taniguchi. My favorite work of his by far is Planetes. I’ve also reviewed his other Netflix work ID-0 and he actually directed the 2009 Jungle Emperor Leo remake and gave it a sci-fi/post-apocalyptic bent to Tezuka’s work which was weird.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! And me too – I think it was the mixed to positive reception that gave me a bit of a push to check it out. I’ve actually been looking for ‘Planetes’ for a while now as physical ed but the prices are through the roof while it’s out of print 😀

      And that sounds interesting on Jungle Emperor Leo, yeah!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome. That makes sense. That’s right and I forget Planetes wasn’t re-licensed. Maybe this could be a job for Discotek to save it like a bunch of other series. If you ever get the chance, then check it out. There are some flaws in it, but I did like the sci-fi realism.

        It really is. Despite the different aesthetics, it still was compliant with the core Leo/Kimba concepts. Of course, I thought it was funny when a father character who ends up being the real villain tells his son “Son, one day Neo-Jungle will be yours”. Think about it.

        Liked by 1 person

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