Arion is one of those old (from 1986, it seems), not terribly well known movies that still somehow managed to get subbed (though the only subs I was able to find certainly leave a lot to be desired, having something is typically better than having nothing). The miracle of the English-speaking anime fanbase.
And now I’m going to make it just a bit more well-known by reviewing it.
The music, composed by Joe Hisaishi, is definitely pretty good. All the music fits the scenes well, and the instrumentation in the majority of the songs is actually really evocative of the kinds of wastelands and dilapidated structures seen throughout the movie.
The visuals are really nice. There’s a lot of attention paid to the facial expressions of characters, which is great because facial expressions tend to be the best thing about faces in anime. The animation’s about what you’d expect from a movie. Zero complaints, plenty fluid.
The visuals are incredibly stylish when they want to be, too. This happens mostly during fighting scenes, and oh my goodness does it ever work well. Not many movies can make you decide they’re pretty good just by showing a guy slice a horse in half. But Arion can and does do this.
The story is definitely Arion’s weak point. It’s loosely based off of Greek mythology, and it’s pretty close to the right level of “messed up” to match that. But it has this tendency to reveal things about characters that ultimately don’t make any difference at all, and it even has the audacity to go back on that and make yet another ~new~ revelation about the exact same things it had magical revelations about previously. That’s not only just as pointless as the initial revelations were, but it really makes you stop taking it seriously.
Near the end the story doesn’t try very hard to make sure everything makes sense, either. If you wanted to watch something with a good story, let me just make this clear. Arion’s probably not what you’re looking for.
tl;dr This movie is actually pretty good, but there are definitely better things you could be watching. Unless you wanted to see Cerberus get decapitated very stylishly, and random horses and people being sliced in half (also stylishly), in which case…
It’s time to eat up, Onii-chan! Say “aaa”!