movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] A new entry in a fantasy franchise that is now old enough to legally drink! An R-rated, Highlander anime!

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Stubborn man fails to enact revenge for 2,000 years.

PEOPLE: Directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri, who has done a lot of popular anime, such as Vampire Hunter D, the X series, “Program” from The Animatrix, Ninja Scroll, and Demon City Shinjuku. Apparently this movie is very typical for this director. The English voice for Amergan, the taunting spirit, is Scott McNeil, who plays Wolverine in the excellent Wolverine & The X-Men cartoon, as well as Piccolo in Dragon Ball Z, Beastman in the 2003 He-Man cartoon, Rattrap in Transformers:Beast Wars, Reboot, Spider-Man Unlimited, and even starred in a couple episodes of the live action Highlander TV series.

QUIRKS: Takes place in 2187, with many flashbacks dating back to the Roman empire and all periods of time in between. Profanity. Nudity. Violence. Blood. Gore. And the bad guy is cooler than the good guy, Colin Macleod (NOT the same immortal from any of the other Highlanders).

VISUALS: Decent animation, what with it coming from a well-known anime director, and not being dumbed down for children.

MORALS: Revenge consumes you. Especially if you are immortal, and totally suck at revenge.


At the beginning, I was like, “OMFGWTF is this crap?! Monsters?” But apparently what I perceived as a “monster” is just the “impossibly muscular” way Kawajiri animates villains. The first 10 minutes had me debating with Carolyn as to whether to abort this entirely — something I do with only about 1 out of every 500 movies. However, we stayed the course, and it ended up being much more interesting than the intro sequence.

Some of the voice actors were terribly bad, like the little kid. This is probably better watched with Japanese audio and subtitles, but our copy did not have that option.

Despite the IMDB trivia claiming that, “Unlike most anime, the mouths of the characters in the film were drawn to match the English dialogue,” the lip-syncing was poor enough that I instantly assumed it was originally Japanese language. So I think they failed at that.

And it had a spiritual angle that I don’t particularly remember being so prevelant in the original Highlander movies. Sure, immortals can’t kill each other on holy ground — that was established in Highlander 1 — though that may be my fault for having a bad angle. However, I don’t like spirituality, and view it as a bit hackneyed when used in movies. Still, they did an alright job with it.

CONCLUSION: While the first 10 minutes were cringe-inducing, this ended up being pretty damn interesting! I never watched the Highlander sequels, but most people think this is better than everything but the original Highlander movie.

Clint: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 6/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 6/10. “It really was a search for vengeance!”
Yet another movie where Carolyn & I give it the same numerical IMDB rating, but where I give it another star. NOSTALGIA POWER!

The native public rating for this movie is Netflix: 3.6/5 stars, IMDB: 7.0/10.

RECOMMENDATION: Highlander fanatics who also like animated movies should check this out. Just don’t expect it to truly tie in to the Highlander franchise. After all, Highlander 1 pretty much concluded the story, so technically anything past that is bastardy.

SIMILAR MOVIES: Gargoyles fans might notice that this entire movie bears a striking resemblence to the dystopian, dirty, urban version of Manhattan depicted in the Gagoyles episode Future Tense. New York is an island — just like Manhattan in Gargoyles — with most people living poor, destitite lives, complete with technology-driven troops that ravage their rights, a huge fortress resembling Xanatos’s skyscraper, and even something resembling the Eyrie Pyramid! Plus, Markus addresses the masses via a huge screen, much like Xanatos doing so in Gargoyles. If this is a coincidence, it’s one of the biggest ones ever. Assuming the episode doesn’t get taken down, you can view it here.

And a LOT of people are saying that this is at least better than any of the Highlander sequels. A lot of people are saying they liked this, even though they hate anime.

I have never watched the Highlander animated series… But after this, I think I’ll give it a shot. Then again, I just read that nobody’s head gets chopped off in the cartoon — immortals just GIVE their quickening to other immortals. That sounds kind of lame.

And since we just watched Outlander, we couldn’t help but notice a few similarities, like him being in a clan that was all like, “You are an outsider, but fought by our sides, so we honor you!” Much like Outlander. Or Beowulf.

MOVIE QUOTE: Colin MacLeod: I loved Moya and you killed her.
Marcus Octavius: I loved Rome. Things die. It is the way of life. All we do is try to find a reason to go on, build it again. I have found mine. Why don’t you find something?
Colin MacLeod: Mine, is to bury you.
Marcus Octavius: I wonder, who is the bigger fool?

Here’s the trailer:

And here’s a behind-the-scenes clip:

Mood: argh
Music: Pixies – Vamos (live)