boy with backpack
Film Name Gin-iro no Kami no Agito (Origin: Spirits of the Past)
Programme World Cinema
Director Sugiyama Keiichi
Production Gonzo Digimation
Country Japan
Year 2006
Runtime 94
Film rating PG


Canadian Premiere

Thurs. Nov. 16, 18:30, The Gig Theatre

In a massive cataclysm, a life tree breaks the moon and causes the surface of the Earth to be consumed by flame. Three hundred years later, there is a tenuous balance between two ways of life: one in which certain humans have mutated and live in synchrony with the forest; and one in which humans are trying to reclaim the planet and re-establish civilisation. In this world, a free-spirited Agito discovers an ancient machine in which a girl from the past sleeps – a girl who holds the key that may tip the balance. By acclaimed anime studio GONZO and director Keiichi Sugiyama (Evangelion, City Hunter Special, Macross).

Curator's notes:

Of the small number of anime films ever made, the post-apocalyptic genre has a disproportionately high share – reflecting the fact that most of Japan’s top sci-fi auteurs choose manga and anime as their narrative medium of choice. Gin-iro no Kami no Agito does not blaze any new paths for anime fans: the hero and heroine are teenagers, each gifted in their own way; the mechanised world wars with the forces of nature, and only one will ultimately triumph; etc. One could almost say that, having seen Miyazaki’s ephemeral masterpiece Kaze no Tani no Nausicäa (Nausicäa of the Valley) that one has seen them all.

Luckily, Agito carries the tradition with pride: its world drips with detail, the animation beautiful and smooth, the soundtrack powerful, and the thematic material grandiose and epic; but reflecting modern sensibilities, the plotline and the characters move along with too much haste to allow the full potential majesty of the film to be developed. What remains, however, is darned fine anime, and more fun than any of the current critter-filled 3D fare in the theatres. This is a fine first work by GONZO, and we look forward to their next: Brave Story.