Memorîzu / Memories, movie (1995) - Film review by KadmonMemorîzu / Memories, movie (1995) - Film review by Kadmon
image © MadhouseStudio 4°C

Article updated: 2020.06.26

The Memorîzu / Memories (1995) is an animated anthology film, made up of three segments. The movie was reviewed by Kadmon.

Product: Memorîzu / Memories, movie (1995)

Original title: Memorîzu, English title: Memories

Series: -

Setting: various

Product type: Film, Genre: various, Style: animation

Release: 1995.12.23 premiere

Reviewer: Kadmon, Type: Male, 40s, Taste: Immersive, logical story, consistent setting, prefers surprises

Watched: very recent (2020.05), first time

Rating: Good (2+ out of 3 points), Enjoyment: Good (2+ out of 3 points)

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This is my review of Memorîzu / Memories, an animated anthology movie from 1995. It has three segments, with unconnected stories or animation style. I liked two of the three segments of the Memories film.

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Overall review (spoiler-free) - Memories movie

I already knew about the Memorîzu / Memories movie, but as I watched the Meikyû monogatari / Labyrinth Tales movie, I thought I'd continue with this. I didn't watch the trailer.

The Memories film has three segments, that do not have any connection with each other. All three of them is a self-contained story, with its distinct animation style.

The first segment, Magnetic Rose is a about a rescue mission sent on a derelict spacecraft. The second segment, Stink Bomb, is about a medical research gone awry. The third segment, Cannon Fodder, is about a day in the life of a family in a retro-futuristic society.

All of these short movies have great visuals. There's no common running theme or similar animation style between the segments, so you might watch any of them, in any order without missing anything.

Memories is visually interesting film, with good stories.

My experience

I enjoyed most segments of the Memories film.

Rating: Good (2+ out of 3 points). Technically it's okay, the Memories movie is watchable, and it has some good stories.

Enjoyment: Good (2+ out of 3 points). I had a good time watching the Memories anthology film.

Chance of watching it again: Sure. I liked the Memories film enough that I'd be happy to watch it again. I'd probably skip Stink Bomb, though.

Rewatchability: High. Memories has great visuals, and great atmosphere, that would work even with knowing the secrets of the plot.

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Will you enjoy this?

If you like animated short films, you might like the Memories film anthology.

If you like futuristic movies, you might be interested in Magnetic Rose and Cannon Fodder.

If you like dark comedy movies, you might like Stink Bomb.

If you like retro-futuristic, steam-tech settings, you might like Cannon Fodder.

Watching for plot points

If you are interested in the Memories film, I'd recommend Magnetic Rose, it has a couple of interesting plot points and twists. Stink Bomb is not very interesting, while Cannon Fodder doesn't really have a story.

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Review with no spoilers - Memories movie

As the stories of the Memories film are not connected, I'll review each of them separately.

Memorîzu / Memories, movie (1995) - Film review by KadmonMemorîzu / Memories, movie (1995) - Film review by Kadmon
image © MadhouseStudio 4°C

Magnetic Rose

Review with no spoilers

It's about a crew of a space salvage ship, that responds to an emergency signal from a derelict spaceship. It's about 45 minutes long.

The story is interesting and engaging. The tension is built up well. The music was fitting to the story itself.

The characters are interesting, their animation is lifelike. I liked that they all looked distinct enough.

The technology looked good, they really put some effort into the details. The EVA suits looked good.

My experience

I really liked this short film. I like futuristic stories, and animated films. This mix worked well for this film.

Rating: Good (3 out of 3 points). Technically it's good. The story works well.

Enjoyment: Good (3 out of 3 points). I enjoyed this.

Memorîzu / Memories, movie (1995) - Film review by KadmonMemorîzu / Memories, movie (1995) - Film review by Kadmon
image © MadhouseStudio 4°C

Stink Bomb

Review with no spoilers

It's about a scientist with a cold, who tires an experimental medicine they are working on in secret. It's about 40 minutes long.

The music is very intrusive. You either like the style of music, or be distracted by it.

For a serious theme, it's unrealistic, for a comedy it's too morbid.

My experience

I didn't really enjoy this. I also didn't like the music, and that was not a good start.

Rating: Weak (2- out of 3 points). Technically it's okay, the short film is watchable, but the story is weak and too long.

Enjoyment: Bad (1 out of 3 points). I was mildly interested up to the middle of the story, then I became bored. I feel this is the weakest segment of the Memories film.

Rewatchability: Low. After you have seen the story, I don't think you'd be interested enough to watch it again.

Memorîzu / Memories, movie (1995) - Film review by KadmonMemorîzu / Memories, movie (1995) - Film review by Kadmon
image © MadhouseStudio 4°C

Cannon Fodder

Review with no spoilers

It's about a day in a life of a family, living in dystopian militaristic society in the future. It's about 20 minutes long.

It doesn't really have a story, but it shows the working of a society well. It also spends a lot of time on showing the workings of technology. If you are not into technology and war, you might not be interested in the film at all.

It is set in a retro-futuristic, steamtech world.

My experience

I like military stories, I like stories about oppressive regimes, and I like technology. So, for me, the short film was enjoyable.

Rating: Weak (2- out of 3 points). Technically it's okay, the short film is watchable, but it's for a very limited audience.

Enjoyment: Great (3 out of 3 points). I liked every aspect of the film.

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Review with spoilers - Memories movie

Memorîzu / Memories, movie (1995) - Film review by KadmonMemorîzu / Memories, movie (1995) - Film review by Kadmon
image © MadhouseStudio 4°C

Magnetic Rose

Review with spoilers

The crew tries to investigate, then everybody dies. It was interesting that I liked the ending, even though these kind of endings usually don't work for me. The difference between this and those other stories is probably the build-up. The main character got enough time so we could relate to him. Even the antagonist got a lot of time to get to know her. When the film ended, I didn't feel emptiness, the story was finished without a resolution.

I think the main element that differentiates it from the similar "killed by the derelict" stories is the background of the main character, with his dead daughter. We get references about his girl in the beginning. We even see her image when he pulls out his vallet. Then we see a doll falling down and breaking - shocking the character. Then we see a vision of the falling doll. Then we see that his daughter climbed up the roof to be closer to the stars, where her father works as a spaceman, and tumbling down to her death. We get to see the reaction of the father in the past, and again, in the present, as the hologram replays it for him. This touch really makes the difference. Interestingly, it was added later in the writing phase, this side-story was missing from the original script.

I also liked that the story had a fine balance of supernatural and technological elements. The superstitious crewmen often felt the place is haunted, due to the creepy special effects and the crumbling architecture.

Although it looks like there's no supernatural element involved, just robots and holograms, they still read the memories of the crewmembers somehow. This might be some high-tech gadget of the future, but we don't get any information about this.

The physical elements also looked right. The use of no-gravity for the small spaceship was fun, the switching to the artificial gravity of the space station was a nice addition.

The only thing I would have preferred is to get a little bit more characterization for the characters outside the main one. We barely get to know anything about them, so when we lose the crewmember to the temptation, we might feel it justified, and when the spaceship gets destroyed, there's probably not enough connection with the crewmembers being left on board.

The setting

Some time in our future, when space travel is more frequent.

The derelict is an old space station. The owner wanted to live a fantasy life, when her own didn't succeed in a way she wanted. The original owner is now dead, but the computer of the station attracts people with a distress signal, to make them live here, and satisfy their needs. Different kinds of robots serve the main computer. There are hologram projectors all around the station, and holograms are projected in globes around certain androids. The food is long spoiled, and there is no clean water on the station.

Plot summary

The crew of a salvage ship receives a distress signal. They start to investigate it. They find out that the derelict is in a part of space that has strong radiation that their ship doesn't have shielding against. Two of them fly a shuttle to enter the derelict, and they find a strange interior. It looks like an opera hall, and they see holographic scenes playing past events that happened to an opera singer woman. They split up as they try to find the source of the signal.

One of them gets lured by the singer to be her lover, and he joins her. The other is being seduced with the promise of resurrecting the memory of his lost daughter as a hologram. He refuses and shoots the woman, to realise that the woman is a robot with a holographic disguise. Meanwhile, the derelict destroys their shuttle.

Outside, the radiation grows so the salvage ship has to leave, but they start to fall apart. They fire on the derelict, and this depressurises the area, sucking the crewmember out of the derelict. The salvage ship still gets destroyed.

We see the crewmember who joined the woman living happily with her (until he dies due to thirst, because there's no clean water to drink). The closing shot is the crewmember who didn't accept the offer, floating among the debris.

The message of the story

It raises the question: would you give up living your real life if you can live an imaginary one in complete happiness? It's also interesting that those who refuse to give into the illusion, all die.

The structure of the story

The scenes are played in sequence. It has the usual arc of the dramatic structure.

Memorîzu / Memories, movie (1995) - Film review by KadmonMemorîzu / Memories, movie (1995) - Film review by Kadmon
image © MadhouseStudio 4°C

Stink Bomb

Review with spoilers

Too long for a one-off joke. Might have worked in a 10, max. 20 minutes short animation.

The plot depends on everyone being very stupid. As the characters are scientists, military leaders and politicians, this seems unlikely. This also makes the story weak for me.

They crammed a lot of miliatry action into this film, enough to fill a war movie. This might be interesting for some people, for me, it was somewhat out of place.

Other reviewers mention how hard was to achieve the visuals for the film, how much work was put into creating all those elements in a seamless animation, but for me, visuals are a way to convey the story, not to replace it.

The setting

Contemporary Earth, Japan.

The chemical, taken by the sick scientist, produces a strong odour coming from the body of the scientist. The gas kills every animal that breathes it in. The flowers start to bloom due to the gas. The gas also seems to have a negative effect on electronic systems. If he is excited, agitated, has higher blood pressure, than more gas is produced.

Plot summary

A scientist has cold, but still goes to the medical research facility he works for. He tries one of their newly developed substances, he believes to be a cold medicine. He starts to give off a stange odour, killing everybody in the facility. He calls for help. His peers answer, asking him to get the research papers and the sample to the capital.

As he leaves the facility, animals around him start to die. He finds death people, and those who try to rescue him also die. The toxic gas he emits is so strong that even gas masks are useless against it. The military tries to stop him, but he generates some kind of electronic jammer, making their weapons useless. The USA brings in people in space suits to handle the scientist. Their plan seems to work.

In the end, there's a meeting among the leaders of the country. A man in spacesuit enters. It's the scientist, who takes off the suit, killing everybody.

The message of the story

I'm not sure there's one.

The structure of the story

The scenes are played in sequence. It has the usual dramatic structure, with a twist ending.

Memorîzu / Memories, movie (1995) - Film review by KadmonMemorîzu / Memories, movie (1995) - Film review by Kadmon
image © MadhouseStudio 4°C

Cannon Fodder

Review with spoilers

Just like the Magnetic Rose, this short doesn't really have a plot. Things happen, then it ends. I didn't feel my watching time wasted, but I can see how it could be boring for a regular audience to watch ten minutes of gun loading and shooting.

The setting

Futuristic setting, probably Earth. The story is set in a city that has lots of cannons pointing to the skies. They regularly shoot at a hidden enemy, somewhere beyond the horizont.

The inhabitants of the city are pale and gaunt, they look like zombies. They wear helmets all the time, except for sleeping.

Plot summary

A kid wakes up, has breakfast with his family. The kid goes to school to learn how to aim cannons. His father is a cannon loader, so he goes to one of the cannons, and loads it to shoot at the enemy. His mother works at a shell factory, and the workers there cheer every time the cannon shoots. During lunch break, there is a demonstration, people demand that they should use non-toxic gunpowder for the cannons. After their day is done, all three of them go home to have lunch together. The kid goes to sleep, dreaming about becoming the man shooting the gun, not a lowly loader, like his father.

The message of the story

I'm not sure there's one.

The structure of the story

The scenes are played in sequence, there are multiple parallel stories running at once. It has the usual arc of the dramatic structure, but there is not much of a resolution.

Things I liked

  • The detailed working of the cannon.
  • The look of the city and the inhabitants.

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How does it compare to the other works of the creators?

I've seen a couple of the works of the creators, but it's hard for me to compare them to the Memories film.

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Resources - Memories movie

IMDB: Memorîzu (1995): Database article.

IMDB: Kanojo no omoide (1995): Database article. Another record of the same movie.

WikiPedia: Memories (1995 film): Database article.

Rotten Tomatoes: Memories: Database article.

TV Tropes: Anime / Memories: Database article.

Reviews with no spoilers - Memories movie

: Review article of the Memories movie, with no spoilers.

Reviews with spoilers - Memories movie

Alex Sheremet (for Ideas on Ideas): Critique Of Katsuhiro Otomo’s MEMORIES (1995): Review article of the Memories movie, with spoilers. Includes a very detailed analysis.

Allen Simpson (for Tech Smart): Know your Anime: Memories: Review article of the Memories film, with spoilers.

Bennett White (BennettTheSage): Anime Abandon: Memories: Review article of the Memories movie, with spoilers. Includes behind the scenes information, and a plot summary of the Magnetic Rose segment.

Franco Macabro (for The Film Connoisseur): Memories (1995): Review article of the Memories film, with spoilers.§

Niels Matthijs (Onderhond): Memories: Review article of the Memories movie, with spoilers.

szantaii (for Sidenote): Memories (1995)(in Hungarian): Review article of the Memories film, with spoilers, in Hungarian. Includes a plot summary.

English version by Google Translate

Teoh Yi Chie (for Parka Blogs): Anime Review: Memories (1995): Review article of the Memories movie, with spoilers.§

Tim Brayton (for Alternate Ending): Memories: Review article of the Memories film, with spoilers.

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Buying the product - Memories movie

 

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Have you seen the Memories film? How do you like the movie? Would you recommend it to others? Do you know reviews or resources you'd like to add? What further thoughts do you have about it? Tell your opinion in the comments!

 

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