December 25, 2009

First Squad: The Moment of Truth (Fāsuto sukuwaddo) (2009)

It's amazing to me that the whole soviet imagery wasn't exploited by anime sooner. The socialist realist aesthetic and the bright red propaganda posters that the USSR is known for, coupled with their uniformed "pioneers" reminiscent of the favourite school uniform motif so common in anime, make for great anime visuals. The plot is some standard anime fare, complete with undead medieval knights, machine-gun wielding young communists and samurai-sword wielding schoolgirl. From my understanding this was supposed to be a series, but for now only the OAV is out. The anime sequences are separated by live-action faux-cumentary talking heads (with titles such as 'Historian' or 'War veteran' for authenticity) although I also saw a shortened, live-action-less version in which the talking heads aren't there, which makes for a more compact, distraction-less experience, depending on which version you see. Overall great Studio 4°C animation with great Russian voice acting. I'd like for this to become a series, as the OAV felt short and I think there is so much more they could do with this than the OAV format allows.