Steamboy is the second film from the legendary manga artist and director, Katsuhiro Otomo. Known for the classic anime and manga series, Akira. As a result, Steamboy was always going to be held to a very high standard. Steamboy is a 2004 anime film produced by Sunrise, written and directed by Katsuhiro Otomo. The film took a decade to produce and is one of the most expensive Japanese movies ever.
The movie is set in an alternate nineteenth century Europe. Scientist Lloyd Steam and his son have discovered a pure mineral water in Iceland. This water is believed to be a potential unlimited power source for steam engines. While experimenting, Edward is engulfed by freezing gases, as the pipes burst. Ray Steam the son of Edward receives a package from his grandfather. It’s a metallic ball, along with instructions telling him to guard the ball. Two members from the “O’Hara Foundation” try to steal the ball.
Ray escapes with the ball on his monowheel invention, a one-wheeled single-track vehicle similar to a unicycle. However, he’s eventually captured. Ray has dinner with Scarlett O’Hara, the granddaughter of the foundation’s head, Archibald Simon the companies administrator and his father Edward that has been given mechanical parts after his accident. Ray is asked to help complete the “Steam Castle,” a facility that is powered by three steam balls.
Lloyd later informs Ray that the foundation intends to use the new technology to manufacture weapons. Ray escapes with a ball again and this time manages to give it to Robert Stephenson, who then uses it to power his tanks. The steam castle becomes mobile and then goes off course. The castle then becomes unstable and is about to explode near the city. Lloyd, Ray and Edward manage to divert it away from the civilians. The ending shows that Ray becomes a superhero named Steamboy.
This movie was boring. The action was repetitive, Ray steals a steam ball THREE times and his grandfather gets arrested and escapes twice. It was predictable, everyone lives. The concept that a evil corporation uses science to make a profit while making the world worst off is a common narrative. The only thing that’s great about this movie is it’s spectacular animation. The CGI and animation work well together and Otomo hard work paid off resulting in amazing detail. However, it doesn’t save the movie.
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