HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Await Further Instructions
Ewoks: The Battle for Endor
In Order of Disappearance
Charlotte's Web
Meg, The
Christmas Blood
Equalizer 2, The
1985
Mowgli
Ski School
Ant-Man and the Wasp
Age of Shadows, The
Mission: Impossible - Fallout
Othello
First Reformed
Red White and Zero
Death Wish
Cry Wilderness
Heiresses, The
Millhouse: A White Comedy
Skyscraper
Born of Fire
Teen Titans Go! To the Movies
Lucia
Yanks
Sweet November
Ballad of Buster Scruggs, The
Real Men
Shoplifters
Redeemer
   
 
Newest Articles
Phone Freak: When a Stranger Calls on Blu-ray
A Name to Conjure With: David Nixon's Magic Box on DVD
Which 1950s Sci-Fi was Scariest? Invaders from Mars vs The Blob
The Empire Strikes Back: Khartoum vs Carry On Up the Khyber
Stan and Ollie's Final Folly: Atoll K on Blu-ray
The Big Grapple: Escape from New York and Its Influence
The Conquest of Everett: The Kenny Everett Video Show on DVD
Bout for the Count: Hammer's Dracula in the 1970s
Nopes from a Small Island: Mistreatment of American Stars in British Films
You Know, For Kids: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box
If He Were a Carpenter and It Was the 80s: The Fog, Prince of Darkness and They Live
Tee-Hee, It's 80s Sci-Fi Horror: Night of the Comet, The Stuff and Night of the Creeps
Chance of a Ghost: The Uninvited and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
3 Simian Slashers: Phenomena, Link and Monkey Shines
When is a Jackie Chan Movie Not a Jackie Chan Movie? Armour of God and City Hunter
   
 
  Leda: Fantastic Adventures of Yohko Oh Yoko!Buy this film here.
Year: 1985
Director: Kunihiko Yuyama
Stars: Hiromi Tsuru, Chika Sakamoto, Kei Tomiyama, Shuuichi Ikeda, Koji Toya, Kozo Shioya, Mahito Tsujimura, Naoko Watanabe
Genre: Animated, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Adventure
Rating:  8 (from 1 vote)
Review: Cute, pink haired piano prodigy Yohko Asagiri is in love with a boy who doesn’t even notice her. She composes a song to express her feelings, but this magical tune somehow opens a doorway into the fantasy world of Leda. It’s a wonderland of fairy villages, ten foot tall magic flowers, friendly monster turtles, and rampaging super-robots. Yohko befriends a talking dog named Ringhum and, whilst fleeing a gaggle of punk cyborgs on shapeshifting robo-steeds, is magically transformed into bikini-clad heroine with superpowers and a magic sword, able to trounce whole space-armies single-handed.

Glam rock supervillain, Master Zell sets a trap, but Yohko is saved by an enormous robot reminiscent of the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz, and little warrior-priestess Yoni who foretells her destiny. Aided by her friends, Yohko must overcome all fears and pilot her own skyscraper-sized super-robot, the Wings of Leda, into the floating Castle Garubo and stop Zell’s army from conquering Earth, the galaxy and beyond.

A much beloved title from the golden age of anime, this crams more ideas into seventy minutes than most televisions serials manage in an entire season. Giant robots, plucky girl pilots, battle bikinis and love songs to save the world were reoccurring elements of anime from this period, but Leda pulls them off with wit, panache and a surprising layer of profundity. The tone is set from the opening image: fishes swim in a tank, through which a silhouette slowly forms into young Yohko playing her haunting piano theme. Ingenious visual storytelling conveys internalized adolescent angst and the exuberant release offered by daydreams, music and fantasy adventure.

Led by co-writer and director Kunihiko Yuyama, the talented production team create a remarkably evocative fantasy world, drawing imagery from fairytales, pulp sci-fi, teen magazines and girly, bubblegum pop. Many of the crew went on to major careers, with Yuyama inflicting Pokemon upon a defenceless world, while key animator Shigenori Kageyama later wrote and directed the conceptually similar Zeguy (1993).

At heart this is an empowerment fantasy for adolescent girls, albeit one also peddling eye-candy for teenage boys. Lovely, leggy Yohko became quite the video crush for young fans, even if in her only anime appearance. She has her ditzy moment, conversing nonchalantly with Ringhum for a whole minute before exclaiming: “A talking dog!”, but grows into a poetic, faceted heroine with no lapse into squealing caricature. Key to Yohko’s worth is an ability to discern true love from falsehood. When Zell entraps her in a syrupy romantic fantasy with her dream hunk, she breaks the spell using common sense as a symbol of dawning maturity. Shiro Sagisu supplies a wonderful score that switches from sitar-driven pop, Britney ballads and John Williams-style orchestral flourishes, and weaves in Yohko’s beguiling piano melody as a reoccurring motif. Animation wizards pull off an exhilarating finale with duelling spaceships, hair-raising escapes across not one, but dozens of Death Star-style flying fortresses, and fast paced robot-fu before the poetic, understated coda.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 3404 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Stately Wayne Manor
George White
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
Rashed Ali
   

 

Last Updated: