Type: Movie
Genre: Sci-fi Action
Version: Region 1 DVD
Reviewed: 2/24/03


What do you call a weirdass magical machine thing that’s capable of blowing up the planet? Apparently, the answer is, “Noah’s Ark.” Now imagine a world where this thing has been discovered, and as a bonus, punk kid/magician named McDoogal is gonna try and bring the apocalypse. I’d call this at least a somewhat interesting story concept. I’d also say that it could potentially work well as an anime. Apparently the people at Bandai visual and ADV Films thought so too, because they used this concept to create the movie Spriggan.

A Spriggan is what every kid wants to be. They’re special, elite agents working for ARCAM, which is an organization comparable to the Men In Black. The difference is that ARCAM’s enemies are generally human, and they’re trying to prevent dangerous knowledge of Noah’s Ark from leaking out into society. A Spriggan is given the highest training in weapon use, martial arts, and police/military tactics. It seems they just naturally have outrageous athletic ability. It must be a prerequisite or something.

Screen Shot
For his job, showing up to the interview looking like this might actually help.

Like many good action anime, this movie cuts to the chase (literally) right away. An intriguing introduction tells us what Noah’s Ark and Spriggan are all about, then we see a few neat this-n-that’s (hint: just watch the damn movie), and in mere minutes we get to see our hero, who is indeed a Spriggan, escaping enemy after enemy in one of the most adrenaline-pumping getaway scenes I’ve ever witnessed. I knew right from this fiery start that the action sequences of this movie would satisfy, and that’s exactly what it did.

The art style and atmosphere are like those of Akira. In some ways, it just looks like an updated version of Akira‘s drawing, which is very pleasing. Some of the action scenes were on par with Akira as well, which, in case you didn’t know, means to say that they were awesome. Don’t go getting pissed off now–this is by no means a rip-off. It just excels in the same areas as Akira, rather than simply copycatting.

But also in the same manner as Akira, the plot may move slowly at a few junctures near the movies midpoint. In fact, there’s probably a good 40 minutes in the middle that the viewer will totally forget shortly after seeing Spriggan. It has spectacular battle scenes and solid beginning and ending sequences, but that middle is just…rough.

The good things Spriggan offers viewers include some well done voice casting, crisp animation with vivid colors, and action worthy of rewinding and seeing again. People should not come into this one expecting a story they’ll treasure, characters they’ll identify with, or a memorable sountrack. Spriggan is worth a look, but not a movie that too many will want to own.

-Heath Hindman