If you have read my erlier reviews you may have noticed that i like Soukyuu no Fafner. After watching Dead Aggressor – Right of Left a while back i now after a long wait get to se the sequel to the series.
As i have said in my other reviews of Fafner it is an interesting sci fi and mecha series that is known much because it something that you could best described as a merger of Gundam franchise and Neon Genesis Evangelion. If you watched the series and the OVA you know that there was quite many open questions left after conclusion of them both so you could imagine my reaction when it was revealed that a full-featured movie sequel was going into production.
I’m going to start this review by talking about what was good. The Animation and graphics really great just like the series but not what you would expect from a modern studio known for it’s high-quality visuals. Despite fancy cell-shading techniques, it still looks a bit off.
I do not like to spoil in anyway but in the series half of the original cast was killed of in someway, this included one of three main protagonists which in Heaven and Earth get’s a 1UP as Soushi is revived. I would guess that many of the fans out there would be happy that their favorite character of the series get a second chance. For me it was quite an important factor killing him of and making him as an interesting character he they were. Apart from old, sometimes revived characters, authors promoted a number of secondary cast to more prominent seats. Unfortunately, they don’t do them justice and leave them essentially as background. it is a one and a half hour movie and most of it is wasted on repetitive fights and pointless conversation, instead of an attempt to actually give characters some deep. Even the old ones seem flat now, since their changed personalities are not given any exposure. And to give further insult to original series, everyone survives even the most dangerous situations.
What i find to be the worst fail is that the writes destroyed the concept of main antagonists. It was clear that protagonists face an enemy that’s completely beyond the human comprehension. The Festum were made cold and full of emotions at the same time. This was totally trampled on as the Festum presented emotions, cheerful and happy like a common human which they have never been like.
Let’s go over to the sound as the background music were really good as they reuses tracks from the series which gives a good feeling to the viewer. The seiyuu work evokes this rare, pleasant sense of familiarity. I’m also glad that this dog you may remember from Dead Aggressor has finally been done properly. As in, it sounds like a dog and not anymore like a barking, growling human actor.
In the end Heaven and earth feels like a bag that you have thrown random ideas into and then shook it around to roll out the movie. Heaven and Earth would be medicore at best. However, given that it’s a sequel tightly connected with original series, I rate it as very, very poor in terms of making successful continuation.