Sky Crawlers is an unconventional anime that promises a thought provoking story and an interesting premise for those with a long attention span.

This sci-fi tinged, full-length anime feature opens on a peaceful future, where Earth has left the violent conflicts of war in the past. Human nature still craves the clash of battle, however, so private companies now stage “war as entertainment,” creating fictional wars for ordinary people to read about in the paper. These companies call exclusively on the services of young people known as Kildren. One such Kildren – a young man named Yuichi – has been newly assigned to a base in the fictional war, but with no memory of his past and a mysterious woman named Suito watching his every move, Yuichi is about to find that this made-up war isn’t as harmless as it seems. ~ Cammila Albertson, Rovi

Japanese films have a habit of creating twisted and odd concepts out of the ordinary. This animated film is a good example. It tackles the futility of war and poses interesting thoughts on human nature through an intriguing premise.

If you are patient enough, you will be rewarded with a thought provoking and engaging story. The clues are subtle, left in conversations and day to day lives of its characters.

The animation is detailed and superb, combining 2D and CGI. The world of this alternate history is peaceful yet dark, painting a quaint picture with a foreboding atmosphere. The dogfights are few but realistic.

It’s not your typical anime film, so you may have to leave all your expectations at the door. The pace is very slow and nothing much happens on the first half of the film. The story came in late and concluded early. Despite it’s premise, there’s only a few action scenes. Audiences who are expecting to be entertained will be thoroughly disappointed.

Most of the time the characters are expressionless with blank stares, making them creepy and unrelatable. There’s plenty of angst here to feel their pain, but the characters are forgettable.

Nonetheless if you are prepared to sit through this animated film, it will leave you with something to think about as the ending leaves you with possibilities. Sky Crawlers is not just about war. It draws upon that side of human nature that disregards ethical and moral values to appease itself.

My Rating: 6.5/10

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