Expelled from Paradise (Rakuen Tsuihō) 2014
So, if you haven’t seen Expelled from Paradise I’d say this film strikes a balance between overpowered robots, cyber investigation, fan-service and good old fashioned post-apocalyptic stuff – yet it’s not precisely outside the mecha-sub genre either.
It also spends a bit of time exploring personhood, which is always welcome in my books.
There are some pretty fun battles throughout – I’d watch it again for those sequences and the sleek designs of the ships and robots too, but I reckon typical studio pressure shoe-horned a bit of the fan-service into the film.
Now, I don’t have a handle on the production context or reception it got at the time of release, but it’s easy to imagine main character Angela’s g-string costume (and the action) is meant to sell the audience on the film so the writers could later sneak in some philosophical aspects as the movie progressed? I mean, she’s not a one-dimension character but she is clearly typical in that she’s been costumed to be eye-candy for the male gaze.
In other aspects, Expelled from Paradise treats her as an actual character.
She realistically struggles with having to use a body once again (after essentially living as a virtual presence for part of the story) and she does become less conceited, so there’s some character development. And look, it’s not all bad and I think the film is probably worth watching for the animation alone.
Actually, maybe for the mysterious (and cute) Frontier Setter too, along with the other lead character who remains my fav, Dingo. He’s probably my favourite because he has the whole bounty-hunter thing going on, though Dingo is more open – and interestingly enough, in the English dub he’s actually voiced by Steve Blum (and Wendee Lee voices Angela :D).
This movie had a big budget and some big names behind it – Seiji Mizushima (FMA) Gen Urobuchi (Pyscho Pass) as director and writer, but Expelled from Paradise didn’t end up being brilliant or un-missable for me and I don’t see it listed as a classic on many lists… but once more, having said that, it was still pretty great in spite of the things I felt were shortcomings.
I felt like there was also a little nod to Ergo Proxy here when we meet Angela’s masters, though of course, not everything is a reference to something else – but I like to seek out the possibilities anyway 😀