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From this point the story becomes on long chase and fight scene, complete with escalating bosses at the end of each level. In bits and pieces we find out Retro and Panda's previous history, and the secrets behind the walls of Dead Leaves. Nothing really ever quite makes sense, but it really isn't necessary that it does. Dead Leaves is a 'show off' piece, where twisted creativity and virtuoso animation are the real purpose of the show.
It's hard to believe that this comes from the same people who put together the atmospheric "Blood: The Last Vampire" and the beautifully drawn "Kai Doh Maru." The closest analog would be the aforementioned FLCL, without all the quiet parts. The first watching leaves a chaotic impression and it takes several more viewings before you start to pick up on a lot of the sight gags.
This isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea, especially for a US audience which has become accustomed to the new generation of anime. But it is fun in a loud, lewd, hyperactive fashion. At the first viewing the writer confided that what he wanted was for the audience to get drunk and start dancing. I'm not sure if it will take you that way, but it gives you a good idea of the driving force behind the film.
Dead Leaves is an ode to senseless, over-the-top violence. At times, it almost feels like an animated version of the indie comic, Scud: The Disposable Assassin. There are some definite western influences present, and the animation is very reminiscent of Peter Chung's works.
If it seems like I've been relying heavily on comparisons to other works to describe Dead Leaves, you'd be correct. On its own merits, it's nearly indescribable. Suffice it to say that, if you enjoyed any of the works I've mentioned so far, then you should at least rent Dead Leaves. If you think anime is all about weird sexual fetishes and characters with big eyes (or if you judge all anime by how it stacks up to Dragonball Z), then don't bother.
To explain, I watched Dead Leaves last and was already jaded because of Kai Doh Maru. I was prepared to be disappointed when I popped it in. And, after the initial confusing moments of this anime, I was expecting it. But then came the action, a fiesta of explosions and a**kicking. The two main characters, Pandy, named for the tattoo over her eye, and Retro, named for the TV he uses for a face, are masters of destruction, and prove that in the initial scene of action where they almost completely destroy a city all on their own. Eventually, though, they are captured and imprisoned, and the action moves aside for some pretty suggestive comedy. Strange sex and nudity fill the next twenty minutes or so, until Pandy and Retro finally decide to make their escape, and once again, in comes the action.
The story is confusing and hard to explain, so I'll paraphrase the back of the DVD: Character wake up with no memory and no clothes, characters go on crime spree, characters are captured, characters discover the secrets of the prison known as Dead Leaves, characters decide death and destruction is the best way to deal with the secrets. I've written it the way I did because, well, the story is unimportant. Top notch animation from Production I.G. is what drives this anime, from start to finish.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Dead Leaves is an insane thrill ride of violence, sex and dirty jokes. I would suggest that most everyone involved in creating this masterpiece of madness might be well-versed with... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Stephen C.
Thoroughly enjoyable. The animation is a treat and the wild story keeps you interested without going over the top.Published 7 months ago by Chris Neveu
One of my favorite directors and animators, the guy who did TTGL, made this as his "debut". The animation is extremely unique and its quite funny too, I would highly... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Gus
I LOVE this movie.
I caught it a long time ago on Netflix and had to own it.
It was delivered fast, was obviously brand new, and as described.
I used to watch this on Netflix pretty frequently when I first got with my boyfriend three years ago. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Brittany Hinkle
So many people i know who are way into anime have never laid eyes upon this amazing piece of cinema. That to me is a HUGE travesty. Read morePublished 15 months ago by J. M. Bistodeau
Definitely one of the craziest and weirdest things I have ever seen and I wouldn't want it any other way! Read morePublished on November 4, 2013 by Human Microcosm
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