Newest Reviews
Killer Party
Holmes & Watson
Monster in the Closet
Sand, The
My Brilliant Career
Knife for the Ladies, A
Man in the Attic
No Kidding
Honkytonk Man
Woman in the Window, The
Shed of the Dead
Dead Easy
Last Movie Star, The
Death Game
Juliet, Naked
Sugar Hill
House with the Clock in Its Walls, The
Devil Thumbs a Ride, The
Secret People
Spy Who Dumped Me, The
Beautiful Stranger
House That Jack Built, The
White Chamber
Summer of 84
On Secret Service
My Sister Eileen
Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween
Last Picture Show, The
Newest Articles
Outer Space and Outta Sight: Gonks Go Beat on Blu-ray
Tucked: The Derren Nesbitt Interview
Locomotion Pictures: The Best of British Transport Films on Blu-ray
Roman Scandals: Extreme Visions from Ancient Rome
Spider-Wrong and Spider-Right: The Dragon's Challenge and Into the Spider-Verse
Monster Dog: Cujo on Blu-ray
For Christ's Sake: Jesus Christ Superstar and The Last Temptation of Christ
Not In Front of the Children: Inappropriate Kids Movies
Deeper into Ozploitation: Next of Kin and Fair Game
Between the Wars: Babylon Berlin Series 1&2 on DVD
Hard Luck Story: Detour on Blu-ray
Oh, What Happened to You? The Likely Lads on Blu-ray
Killer Apps: The Rise of the Evil 60s Supercomputers
How 1970s Can You Get? Cliff Richard in Take Me High vs Never Too Young to Rock
A Perfect Engine, An Eating Machine: The Jaws Series
  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 3604 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

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
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Paul Shrimpton
Darren Jones
George White
Stately Wayne Manor


Last Updated: