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Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. Solid State Society

Kōkaku Kidōtai: Sutando Arōn Konpurekkusu Soriddo Sutēto Sosaieti
2006 / 108m - Japan
Sci-fi, Action - Animation
Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. Solid State Society poster

I'm always in the mood for a good anthology, certainly when some of my favorite anime people are involved. Disney released this Star Wars-influenced project as a series, but with 9 shorts and total runtime of 150 minutes I don't see how this differs from any other anthologies that have been released, so I'm just treating it as a regular film.

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The idea is pretty cool, having 9 different anime directors reimagine the Star Wars world, sadly the result has a bit too many lightsaber fights in samurai settings. I'm not certain if Disney had a say in this, but the fun thing about anthologies is the variation they bring, and Visions doesn't quite deliver.

The first film is by far the best, it's also the only one that doesn't look like a typical anime. Imaishi's entry is cool, but a bit tame compared to his normal work, the Tezuka-inspired film is cute, and the two final shorts do make a real attempt to offer something slightly different, but overall the quality level isn't up to par with something Studio 4 °C would release. They're also the studio that is oddly absent from the line-up. Visions is no doubt one of my favorite Star Wars things, but with the wealth and support of Disney, I expected something more eye-popping.

Napping Princess

Hirune-Hime: Shiranai Watashi no Monogatari
2017 / 111m - Japan
Fantasy, Adventure - Animation
Napping Princess poster

A cute but relatively complex story about fantasy, dream and reality blending together. The film seems geared at younger viewers, but the narrative may be a bit too complex for them. It's a strange mix of oldskool and modern, cute and complex, resulting in a somewhat confusing but nonetheless agreeable experience.