Memories is a series of movies released in 1995 consisting of three different short stories that actually dont really have an underlying theme among them. As such they are of inconsistent quality and execution though one thing remains in all of them the spectacular animation. Katsuhiro Otomo is known for Akira plain and simple regarded as one of if not the best animated anime to date. But hes not the only one behind this production which also has Yoko Kanno known for her work in Cowboy Bebop and Ghost in the Shell and Satoshi Kon one of the most visually creative directors anime has had. Given the A team involved its almost a given how good Memories is supposed to be. However as the three short movies are very different they need to be talked about separately. Magnetic Rose is the first movie and the one on which the title Memories fits the most. A story about regret and escapism shot in space it has impressive use of holograms and machinery to create a world born of nostalgia and denial of tragedy. Being set in space one thing in particular thats very impressive is how natural movements feel when it comes to gravity whether theres none little or full. Story and themewise it is the strongest film in the bundle. Stink Bomb is well a stink. Early on one can know from the use of the soundtrack that this is primarily a comedy and as one it just isnt funny. While the protagonist is nonchalantly trying to do what he thinks is his job everyone around him scrambles as fast as they can in order to survive or even outright try to kill him. It remains just as strong in the visual front the amount of movement in particular is of note with several soldiers and citizens in one frame moving at the same several explosions happening at once and a small motorbike making its way through all that. The gas visuals are also impressive. Cannon Fodder is the most visually impressive of the bunch. I didnt double check but I wouldnt be surprised if there were less than five hard cuts in this film. The cameras perspective is moving at almost all times with an incredible range of movement from the foreground and background at the same time. It leads to an unfortunate side effect once or twice of the foreground and background feeling like two different cells altogether one stacked on top of the other but it happens so little and its so impressively looking otherwise that its easily forgivable. The art style is also very different from the other movies having a more rough drawing style with lots of lines. Many times it felt like an ingame shot cutscene complete with first person perspective. Amazing stuff. As a whole product Memories feels sort of disjointed. There are some incredible visual strengths at play in all entries but very little story in most with only Magnetic Rose really having a noticeable effort in that regard. There doesnt seem to be an underlying purpose for all of these to be packaged together other than being a showcase of the staffs talents and so one entry being weak unfortunately affects the whole thing. While Magnetic Rose and Cannon Fodder can stand by themselves as great anime movies Stink Bomb brings the whole thing down one or two notches despite still being visually impressive. If youre a fan of animation and direction you owe yourself to watch this one even if Stink Bomb sours it a bit.
68 /100
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