Experience the classic anime masterpiece in the highest visual and audio quality ever with this ultimate Blu-ray & DVD Two Disc Set! — "I will not give up. I will realize my dream...even if it means death!" Acclaimed by an... more »ime fans all over the world, Royal Space Force-The Wings of Honneamise comes back to life 20 years after its original release! The stirring odyssey created by nascent anime masters at GAINAX is still unsurpassed for its meticulous artistry and heartfelt drama of a young man's coming of age in a turbulent world!« less
This latest release ranks in the top 3 of must-own releases
Dennis A. Amith (kndy) | California | 08/08/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My first viewing of "The Wings of Honneamise" was back in the early 90's and to tell you the truth, because it was in straight Japanese, I had no idea what the storyline was about. But of course throughout the next decade, there would be several releases such as a dub version by L.A. Hero, then came the Manga entertainment release which a dubbed and subtitled version were release and had to buy both and then a DVD release by Manga Entertainment (which was overcompressed) was released.
But 20 years later, Bandai Visual/Honneamise released a "Royal Space Force - The Wings of Honneamise" via a combo pack for those who preferred to own it via the DVD+HD/DVD or DVD+Blu-ray Disc.
Because this film has been reviewed so many times throughout the past decade online, I'm going to review this release a bit differently.
It's one thing for us, that have been around for a long time viewing anime to simply claim that this film is one of the best releases out there especially if you have knowledge of GAINAX and the history behind this film.
But for today's modern anime fan, after reading reviews online of "Why?" or "what is the significance of this film?", let alone hearing comments that this film is appreciated for mainly older anime fans, I figured I best explain the significance of this animated film and possibly reach out to newer anime fans who may not be familiar with this film.
Back in the 70's and 80's, the majority of anime films were typically edited compilations from popular television shows. One of the most popular examples of this are the "Mobile Suit Gundam" trilogy films which more or less compiled and edited 50 TV episodes. And many films were created by live-action directors and the main sponsors of these films were national sponsors and toy manufacturers (this is explained in detail by an accompanying booklet included with the box set written by Hikawa Ryusuke).
But in the 80's, a group of young amateurs known as DAICON FILM which were a group of college students that created anime shorts via 8mm film were given a chance to create a 35mm theatrical movie.
This was very rare in the industry especially since these young students haven't had any actual achievements with the exception of Sakamoto Ryuichi (music director of the film) who was known for his music at that time.
These students had to prove that they were up to the task and the group which would be known as GAINAX would make their mark by this one film alone with its intricate animation and storyline by creating a new world, a world with its own language, a world with its own vehicles, style of buildings, the clothing down to the vases and jugs used by citizens of the country of Honneamise.
Every scene was well planned, from the dog fights of the airplane battles of how missiles flew through gravity, how crashing vehicles and its shards of metal and glass are flying around to the way an explosion was animated and how a fireball was truly done.
To create animation in the 80's and to attempt to attain some sort of realism, "Honneamise no Tsubasa" (Wings of Honnemaise) was a complex film that these young creators put everything on the line and were able to create a film that was critically acclaimed and would lead to more wonderful anime such as "Gunbuster", "Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water", "Neon Genesis Evangelion" and many more wonderful titles in the next two decades.
So, for those who rented the older DVD and asked themselves "Why is this so popular?", you have to think in the context of when it was released, what was accomplished in the overall creation of this complex film.
This is not just a film to just sit for two hours and wait for some hardcore action, this is a film that you watch, you immerse yourself in the world created by Yamaga Hiroyuki, enjoy the character designs of Sadamoto Yoshiyuki and just be amazed of how meticulous the special effects animation was by Anno Hideaki and various animation by directors Iida Fumio, Moriyama Yuji and also Sadamoto Yoshiyuki.
OK, I'M SOLD...BUT WHY BUY THIS VERSION OF THE DVD, WHEN I CAN BUY THE OLDER VERSION ON eBAY or Amazon?
As mentioned earlier, there was a 2000 release by Manga Entertainment. It's pretty much the VHS release that we watched back in the mid-90's with director's commentary. DVD-wise, the Manga Entertainment was just horribly compressed and it was unfortunate. If there was one reason to own that older version of the DVD, it was simply because it had the director's commentary by Yamaga Hiroyuki and assistant director Akai Takami.
The version I am reviewing, Bandai Visual/Honneamise's release is just light years ahead of the 2000 DVD release.
In fact, part of the reason why it took me a while to review this DVD is that I had to test the video and audio at friend's home theater setups along with mine because the Blu-ray disc was phenomenal. I just had to find out if the video and audio is just as beautiful and awesome on a variety of setups. This DVD+Blu-ray disc combo set release is the definitive "Wings of Honneamise" release yet.
So, for the new modern anime fan or newbie who have read the reviews and saw many of us put "Royal Space Force - The Wings of Honneamise on top for must-own DVD releases, I ask you to not watch this film like you would watch a animated television show you would watch quickly.
Just immerse yourself into the complex world that GAINAX has created for you. Look at things visually and just imagine of how this was all created back in the 80's and how much detail and what was accomplished at that time.
Almost like the world George Lucas has created for the "Star Wars" series and how fans find that special connection with a planet or land and its inhabitants, "Honneamise" is such a world where you can see how much was put into the creation of this world, the people living in that world and the language they speak.
How much was put into creating the world through its beautiful backgrounds and animation. Even the small things that involve a few frames, just the detail behind it is just simply amazing.
So, if you can immerse yourself into this world, embrace "Honneamise" for its complexity and its beauty and you will discover why many of us, old school anime fans, regard this film so highly."
Some comments and responses to some of the other reviews
GrayD | Wayne, PA USA | 08/05/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I have to say that I am a great fan of the movie and based on that alone, I would easily give the movie a 5 star rating. It is indeed a maturely themed movie and I would certainly not recommend it for children mostly because of the infamous near rape scene and some violence.
-- - Regarding the price, it is obviously ridiculous and easily brings down the review of the product by 2 stars. For the people that commented that that has nothing to do with the movie, I submit that Amazon is a site for purchasing items and the reviews should include information regarding the whole product. That includes price, video quality, sound quality, bonuses, commentaries, etc. If you only desire a movie review, I suggest visiting an anime review site (of which there are plenty.)
- One reviewer did not seem to understand why the launch site is so near the enemy's border. It is made clear in the movie that the launch is pure propaganda. The government expects the launch to fail and regards the Space Force as a joke. The launch site was a blatant provocation so that when the enemy attacks the launch site, the government could use that as an excuse for the failure.
- That same reviewer characterizes the near rape and apology of Riquinni as some sort of "Japanese" norm. This I find pretty ridiculous and I suggest going to Japan and see how many women apologize to him if he attempts to rape them.
Let me try to explain the near rape scene's significance. The movie is about Shiro. Riquinni is a supporting character. Therefore, her actions support Shiro's character development. Riquinni is a religious fanatic. She is a victim of her poverty, her "child", her (lack of) social status, and then, her near rape by the one man she begins to trust. And yet, she apologizes to him. Is she really a victim? Or has she surpassed her situation? She did indeed hit him on the head with the vase (hardly defenseless.) She shows great resilience in dealing with all her regular-day problems. Her apology is an affirmation of her true spiritual beliefs - that she is "saving" someone (the world) and that there is something greater than her own personal needs or situation. In my opinion, without that scene, if somehow her romance was consummated with Shiro, it would fail the overall message of the movie. The message that one can "be" more. Shiro realized the truth of that - what is the "more" of his life? Shiro's answer isn't the same as Riquinni's. Yes, it is uncomfortable to watch as it should be - just the word "rape" is enough to cause us to cringe. But, I hope that the some of the readers of this review can see how it is not a gratuitous scene and realize the import of it to Shiro's development.
It is that kind of complexity and layering that permeates throughout the anime and makes this beyond most others. It isn't "a hero defeats the bad guy type of movie." It requires your analysis (intuitively perhaps) and so, it isn't a movie you can only watch once. I agree that it isn't for everyone but, I hope that you can appreciate it for what it is as much as I did.
ps If you can find the soundtrack, I also recommend that as well. "
Marvelous anime movie, outrageous price!
ccmboy | Jersey Shore | 09/25/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you could only own ONE anime movie, Wings of Honneamise is the one to own. I have an older DVD cut, and the quality is execrable. A Blue-Ray edition was a long time coming, but for that price, I'll watch my old copy, thank you!"
Wonderful and unique, but not for everyone
Sam M. | 01/04/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'm glad they finally put out a new printing of this, since the Manga one was so terrible. Unfortunately, the way this is marketed and priced is ridiculous. The film is quite excellent though, and is deserving of a re-release. The animation is pretty good, but not up to the standards of newer releases like Paprika or Metropolis. It looks nice for the time, but isn't as good looking as Akira, which came out a year later. Nonetheless, the world is detailed, and fully fleshed out. And it really looks like a lot of time and effort was put into the creation of this world. The reason this film is 'unique' and 'not for everyone', is due to the story. Or the way it is told, to be specific. It's deliberately slow paced, and can try the patience of those who are waiting for anime's patented action spectacles. You're not going to get that with this. This is primarily a sci-fi drama, which is told at a slower pace, similar to sci-fi films like Gattica. The slow pace allows for lots of character work, and i'm impressed with the animator's willingness to animate small gestures, looks, and conversations. The small things really make the animation stand out. The story is quite good with it's delving into religion and politics, and it builds to a pretty powerful ending. A very ambitious work, which I think is just wonderful, but is certainly not for everyone."
Paul Scott | CENTRAL COAST,, N.S.W. Australia | 11/12/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I agree with the positive reviews on these pages.
If you want just the movie on DVD without having to buy the High Definition disc as well, it is available in Australia as a normal DVD release at normal prices . Hope this helps"