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FABULOUS ADVENTURE OF YOUKO

What’s that, Google? I’ve gotten two hits from people searching you for “leda mutsumi”? Alright, I’m on it. Sandra of Spherical Cows now presents: a review of Genmu Senki Leda, some movie or something from 1985 with design work by none other than Mutsumi Inomata. Let’s do this.

Starting the usual way. The music was composed by Shiro Sagisu. There are a handful of really nice pieces in this, but there are just as many forgettable ones. Genmu Senki Leda also makes use of three insert songs, and I’m unsure who composed or performed them (if you’re desperate to know, this information is definitely in the credits) but they are also nice. There isn’t a whole lot to say about Genmu Senki Leda’s music.

Now, the visuals! There is a lot to say about this movie’s visuals. The character designs were done by Mutsumi Inomata, as I’ve already said, and the mech designs were apparently done by Takahiro Tomoyasu. Inomata’s designs, while simple for most of the characters (okay there are only like five characters in this anyway but there you go), are very pleasing to the eye (except when they’re not supposed to be). Now, those mech designs. I don’t know if I actually like them, but I certainly do appreciate the uniqueness of many of them. You definitely don’t see mech designs like this every day; it’s far from the norm.

But there’s something more important to talk about here than the designs. This won’t all come out in every scene in the movie, but there are a decent number where you get something pretty special. It’s the movement of the characters (not necessarily the animation quality itself, but something more along the lines of choreography), the changes in speed of movement of both characters and the camera itself, the dynamic movement of the camera, the actual location of the camera and how the characters move relative to it when it’s stationary… often it’s a combination of two or more of those. It just makes for a lot of really neat sequences.

Just a nice picture.

I’m also going to say that all of those good animation-related things are because of Mutsumi Inomata even though I don’t have enough knowledge of her animation work to actually say that and there were 6-9 other people listed as Main Animator after her in the credits. Bias everywhere.

The story is nice. There’s a lot of frequently-used cliches in this, but it’s interspersed with a few original elements (in particular a revelation regarding the song the main character composed — it’s not really a big deal but it’s kinda cool so I don’t want to spoil it), and it’s not as if it’s done poorly. The overall package is really just average, but that’s not bad so don’t be sad/mad/a cad.

tl;dr Genmu Senki Leda is a nice movie with some unique visuals. Other reasons you should watch it: 1. You have not seen enough anime from the 80s. 2. The female protagonist has “armor” that barely covers anything at all. 3. It has a giant transforming robot. 4. You have not experienced enough Mutsumi Inomata (though, honestly speaking, you won’t really see why I love her from watching this. Maybe if you saw the original concept art…). 5. Sandra said you should watch it. You basically have no reason not to.

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