Random Curiosity

Rakuen Tsuihou: Expelled from Paradise

「楽園追放」 (Rakuen Tsuihou)
“Expelled from Paradise”

To be alive is to be at odds with the world.
Man against nature. Man against man.
The instinct to survive is what has made us who we are.
Titanium Rain Vol. 1

When it comes to describing humanity, there are few quotes more apt than the aforementioned. A lot of things had to work out for us to even exist, and even though many of us are living comfortable lives, it’s a notion that betrays the truth of our circumstances. Whether directly or not, we’re constantly fighting against nature (and occasionally ourselves) to survive, and we’ve managed to survive due to our instincts, our intelligence, and our ability to exert a measure of control over the environment. The question is, how far can we go?

Put broadly, that’s Rakuen Tsuihou‘s thematic focus in a nutshell. With the Earth now almost completely covered in desert, 98% of humanity’s population is now living digitally—still alive in a cyber paradise known as DEVA, a mainframe in space made to ensure humanity’s survival. In the world of Rakuen Tsuihou, humanity has evolved to a point where it has abandoned the need for physical bodies, and it’s a story that not only highlights the ability of humanity to survive, but the duality behind many things—including the fact that abandoning the physical body exchanges one set of limitations for another and the notion that a paradise for one could be hell for another. Like a coin, there’s almost always two sides (or more) to everything, and it’s this kind of perspective that gets emphasized in the narrative here.

Combine that with a small cast in DEVA System Security Agent Angela Balzac (Kugimiya Rie) and her earth guide Zarik “Dingo” Kajiwara (Miki Shinichiro), and the end result is a story notable for its singular focus on their interactions—ones that tie in character development and give a view into their respective worlds and perspectives. When it comes to exposition in Rakuen Tsuihou, almost all of it is constantly tied into relevant conversations and events happening concurrently, and it’s laudable how the movie manages to touch upon a fair amount about the world without ever going on extended narrative dumps. At the same time, it does a good job not being bogged down trying to explain specifics (such as how DEVA came to be and what happened to the Earth) that we didn’t actually need to know—something many series could learn from.

Adding further to the positives are the fact that interactions within the movie are filled with light-hearted moments and internal references that really can give you a chuckle—a necessary balance to thematic and ideological foci that aren’t all fun and games. The fact that Frontier Setter—the hacker who infiltrates DEVA and leds to Angela’s deployment—ends up being anything but what we expected was also a nice twist, the value of the moment complemented by the always awesome Kamiya Hiroshi at his helm. I mean, how can you not smile at the guy? And how can’t you break out a smirk at the whole “we regarded rock as useless so we discarded it” joke they were going on about the whole time? (That’s blasphemy by the way.)

That said, this is an UroGen work through and through. For all the positives I’ve felt regarding UroGen’s works and all the solid execution on Mizushima Seiji’s (Full Metal Alchemist, Mobile Suit Gundam 00, UN-GO) part, I did feel somewhat less positive about Rakuen Tsuihou being a re-hash of themes from some of Gen’s prior works. Its inclusion is understandable to the degree that this is his thing, and the premise jibes well with that focus, but there’s something to be said when all I thought about was PSYCHO-PASS and its Sibyl System at some points throughout the movie.

Rakuen Tsuihou uses the latest in 3DCG… I believe we made a good piece of entertainment.

For those of you that watched the movie in theaters, those lines (not exact, but close) were part of a prologue recorded for audiences by Mizushima Seiji, and I think it does a good job in ultimately summarizing what Rakuen Tsuihou ended up being.

For entertainment purposes, Rakuen Tsuihou is indeed a good work. It’s action packed, includes some awesome mecha fights, and it was extremely fun to watch (especially in theaters) when considered from that perspective. The overall plot leaves some things to be desired from a novelty standpoint, but it’s counteracted by the nice soundtrack by the rarely seen NARASAKI, the great main theme from Elisa, the brilliant jobs done by the respective seiyuu on their characters (especially Mr. voice behind Kaiki), the open to imagination portions, the compelling questions it presents, and the fact that the future of 3DCG looks extremely promising.

Compared to recent works such as Arpeggio of Blue Steel, Sidonia no Kishi, and this season’s Ushinawareta Mirai wo Motomete, one could hardly tell they were even using 3DCG here, and that’s likely only because we were told so before hand so we knew what to look for. A vast majority of the janky motion and jarring contrasts between the 3DCG and the hand-drawn backgrounds are nowhere to be seen, and with it, comes the perspective future of productions that look great while also being easier and cheaper to produce. The 3DCG is worth the price of admission alone here, and although not everything here will rock your boat, Rakuen Tsuihou is a solid movie that’s worth watching if you have the time.

Special thanks to Xumbra for providing the caps!

Full-length images: 001 + Theater Exclusive Poster.

Epilogue:

 

ED Sequence

ED: 「イオニアン」 (Eonian) by ELISA connect EFP

February 8, 2015 at 7:21 pm
62 comments »
  • February 8, 2015 at 7:41 pmKairoru

    IT’S SO FAAAAR AWAAAAYY~~

    • February 8, 2015 at 8:04 pmZephyr

      FARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR AWAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY~

    • February 8, 2015 at 8:23 pmFlayvorOfEvil

      Starting ooooooooooooovvveeeerrrrrr

    • February 9, 2015 at 8:47 amSolace

      >It’s so far away

      http://youtu.be/7IkvAb6THQY

      Actually wouldn’t be too out of place in the movie

    • February 11, 2015 at 4:05 amOasis

      haha, I enjoy that part very much at the end. XD

  • February 8, 2015 at 8:00 pmMincemaker

    I felt that Angela Balzac is one of the better Rie tsundere to date.

    • February 9, 2015 at 8:39 amZephyr

      I think that’s not so much Rie as it was how Angela is written and her being cast aside Miki Shinichiro. There’s definitely a really good set of interactions between the two.

      • February 9, 2015 at 7:08 pmMincemaker

        Having a competent writer makes a whole lot of difference.

  • February 8, 2015 at 8:09 pmfirecow

    hey zephyr, which fansub group did you choose when watching this movie?

    • February 8, 2015 at 8:30 pmZephyr

      I watched it in theatres.

  • February 8, 2015 at 8:11 pmWanderer

    Just so you know, the thumbnails for the epilogue images are mislinked. They should be 117 through 120, not 121 through 124.

    That said, this is an UroGen work through and through.

    Filled with the torture and murder of innocent girls? Those are his favorite themes, as far as I can tell, so if you don’t mean that I’d appreciate if you’d expand on it a bit more.

    • February 8, 2015 at 8:35 pmZephyr

      Fixed. Thanks!

      As to this being an UroGen work, I refer to the inclusion of themes that came from prior works such as PSYCHO-PASS, particularly the philosophical take on society and the notions of an idealized society leading to the seizure of control and freedom. Then there’s the whole thing about humans in general and the focus on their response to various situations etc. The list goes on, but basically you can tell that there’s a lot of hallmarks here in Rakuen Tsuihou that he’s used before (for better and for worse).

      • February 8, 2015 at 9:23 pmLonghaul

        The conflict of ‘which side is more human’ is one of his themes I have really liked, be it the Hideauze and Galactic Alliance in Gargantia, or digitized humans and AI here.

  • February 8, 2015 at 9:13 pmdanes256

    it’s good to know i’m not the only one that think rakuen tsuihou is very much worthwhile to watch

  • February 8, 2015 at 9:25 pmstarss

    Usually, the characters in the focus of a scene are hand-drawn, with background extras in CGI to economize. This is the first example I seen where they’re REVERSED!

  • February 8, 2015 at 9:29 pmLonghaul

    We got some Itano circus out of it, I have no regrets.

  • February 8, 2015 at 9:59 pmRingletts

    I can’t get past the 3DCG for the anime characters.

    The girl with the long hair? The way her locks flowed was incredibly unnatural. I feel like these have even more lack of life in their characters because of their constraint to the 3D model. There’s few expressions that have any exaggeration to them.

    I’m not really impressed with the 3D quality of some of the latest anime shows and movie offerings and I hope there will never come a day that it completely replaces 2D animation, unless it can be improved on in terms of character body motion and expression.

  • February 8, 2015 at 10:05 pmbakakubi

    Still waiting for EONIAN to come out as a single. ;_;

    • February 9, 2015 at 8:38 amZephyr

      There’s the ARISE and English versions on the original soundtrack. Elisa’s version is on her single. Both have been out for a bit. :P

      • February 9, 2015 at 9:37 pmbakakubi

        Holy crap, really?! Hopefully they’re out on Amazon Japan. To the wallet I go! Thanks for the info!

  • February 8, 2015 at 10:40 pmDorian

    I’m going to be that person. I would’ve liked this as a series. It works as a single movie, but I believe it would’ve been even better as a series. Mind you, maybe that’s why it was a movie. Because they could secure enough to make it a series.

    I think knowing the backstory of how things are right now, not the why, would’ve been interesting to see. How was rock determined to be not needed? How do you decide who’s worth is worth what? I so wanted to know that. Sure, why the world became like this is interesting, but the how is really intriguing.

    For the most part, the animation is solid. There are blips here and there, but it is very strong overall.

  • February 8, 2015 at 10:49 pmPtolemaios00

    This was a great movie from seemingly out of nowhere. I loved the animation and the dialogue didn’t get boring.

    I also just watched Tsukimonogatari before watching this and I kept hearing Araragi-kun from Settler. Kaiki Denshu was also Dingo cowboy. So, a lot of the dialogue in the end reminded me of Monogatari series.

  • February 8, 2015 at 11:20 pmWanderer

    Well, congratulations. You got me to watch this movie. From midnight to around 2 am. On a Sunday night. The problem was if I didn’t watch it now, I probably wouldn’t watch it.

    It’s good. Angela’s cute. Underlying messages are interesting. Animation is high quality. A keeper.

    • February 9, 2015 at 7:10 pmMincemaker

      Could use a full course season though. I felt that the movie raises ALOT of interesting issues but there wasn’t enough time to explore all of them due to the movie being limited to an hour and a half runtime.

  • February 8, 2015 at 11:28 pmBROOKLYN otaku

    WOW i remember this…what a HOT MESS it was hahahaha!…and don’t get me started on that CGI *Barf*..feels like i was watching a live action Pinocchio from the 90′s……….early 90′s

  • February 9, 2015 at 2:44 amMagnus Tancred

    Casting gag:
    Rie Kugimiya –> Nena Trinity
    Shin’ichirou Miki –> Lockon Stratos
    Hiroshi Kamiya –> Tiera Erde

    Dead in one form or another.

    Director: Seiji Mizushima (Gundam 00) :P

    And Dingo calling her a loli… “not with those boobs, mister”.

  • February 9, 2015 at 4:00 amgandalf8

    What a surprise. I just got around to watching it just last night, and after I finished I immediately went to Random Curiosity, wanting to read a review of it. But I went back a bit disappointed that there wasn’t a review yet. And now here we are, just on the next day and a review suddenly pops up. It’s like you were answering my call for an RC review, ehh?

    On to the movie, I thought it was a pretty good movie with a lot of interesting ideas to chew on. I didn’t feel Gen was rehashing too much material from his previous works, instead I felt everything was quite fresh. I also loved all the main cast, especially Frontier Setter. On the artwork and animation, I differ with you a bit there in I think the artwork and character design was excellent, as is the animation of the mechs, but the character animations looked very bad. I still think we’re a long way away from more natural looking movement using 3dcg. Still, it was not too bad.

    • February 9, 2015 at 8:40 amZephyr

      I seem to have that timing down quite well… happened quite a bit when I released the Madoka Rebellion post too, haha.

  • February 9, 2015 at 5:10 amTechim

    http://randomc.net/image/Rakuen%20Tsuihou/Rakuen%20Tsuihou%20-%20Large%20108.jpg

    Off-topic: Throughout this movie I couldn’t help but imagine this as a distant, alternate universe where Kaiki Deishuu became a badass, while someone powerful who was tired of Araragi fooling around with girls disembodied him and turned him into an AI.

    (The basis for this is because of the exact same seiyuu)

  • February 9, 2015 at 8:00 amWorldwideDepp

    3DCG?

    You cannot see the difference?

    http://randomc.net/image/Rakuen%20Tsuihou/Rakuen%20Tsuihou%20-%20Large%20110.jpg
    This Girls are 3DCG, the background is not

    Background you can see the Watercolors shadows, even the Corners of the Mecha is hand drawn. But the Girls are made in 3DCG

    http://randomc.net/image/Rakuen%20Tsuihou/Rakuen%20Tsuihou%20-%20Large%20002.jpg
    This Guy is living in 3DCG. You nearly see these Metallic Colors on his Body

    http://randomc.net/image/Rakuen%20Tsuihou/Rakuen%20Tsuihou%20-%20Large%20003.jpg
    This Rock Vally is modified 3DCG, they put just a Filter to grain more the picture

    http://randomc.net/image/Rakuen%20Tsuihou/Rakuen%20Tsuihou%20-%20Large%20004.jpg
    Full 3DCG

    http://randomc.net/image/Rakuen%20Tsuihou/Rakuen%20Tsuihou%20-%20Large%20006.jpg
    nearly all on this Picture is 3DCG

    I could continue for more, but i need to stop :)

    • February 9, 2015 at 8:47 amZephyr

      I talked about how the 3DCG was a lot smoother than one would’ve expected given the original trailers and the other 3DCG being used. You can always just pause a scene and point out differences because that’s where the frames per seconds come into play and make it obvious, but that’s not the point. The point is the future looks promising given the lack of jarring that occurred as you were watching the movie.

      That’s how it seemed to me, anyway. At least, it ain’t no where near as obvious as the other series I listed before, which makes it a very important upswing in the grand scheme of things.

      • February 9, 2015 at 9:16 amWorldwideDepp

        I was joking anyway. But these kind of Animations reminds me now of Sidonia and Ronja. Why both? Sidonia was the knot that unfold the 3DCG for me (Yeah i know Ghost in the Shell is there, too), and Ronja. because they use the same Hair “Shader model”

        Yeah, the 3DCG looks smooth and no “Uncanny Vally” so far for my Eyes. Yep, they done it all right, they even used the 3D on the Sound of the Characters with the Camera

      • February 9, 2015 at 10:30 amWorldwideDepp

        You know what, when i can get in touch to buy the Blu-ray i will definitely buy this one. Hope they put some nice Bonus on it

      • February 12, 2015 at 10:09 amsonicsenryaku

        eh, i can agree that it’s a bit better but the 3dcg is still very jarring to me; I guess i just need to adapt a bit more but so far it still sticks out like a sore thumb.

    • February 10, 2015 at 3:35 pmtotoum

      This movie is 100% CG, if there’s any part you think is not CG then you’re being fooled.

  • February 9, 2015 at 8:46 amWorldwideDepp

    Ok joking aside, i only saw 12 Minutes into this Movie, and it’s Awesome. It can even top Ghost in the Shell OVAs Quality

    Yep, 3DCG has arrived in the Current Generation

    • February 9, 2015 at 10:04 amDorian

      Animation could be a bit better, but overall I agree that if they are going to do 3DCG like this, I’d sign up for more series.

    • February 10, 2015 at 9:35 amWorldwideDepp

      okay, i forgotten Appleseed. But Appleseed is some bit different. Appleseed try to be to perfect

  • February 9, 2015 at 11:44 amWorldwideDepp

  • February 9, 2015 at 1:28 pmflCer

    Thanks for this post, it prompt me to locate and watch this gem :)

    Indeed the best CGI I’ve seen. Makes me wonder how realistic it could be in the years to come. Although I’m visually intolerant of full-out visuals, I found myself fairly accustomed to this art style right off the bat.

    Dingo – Lockon Stratos
    same seiyuu, both locked on and firing!

  • February 9, 2015 at 1:39 pmWanderer

    Angela really is adorable. Are you sure I can’t keep her? Please? Or at least get more of her?

  • February 9, 2015 at 1:54 pmStormyAngel

    Y’know, in the moment of watching the movie itself I didn’t think much of it: but do they only have female pilots? It’s really not that big of a deal, but you think they’d have at least one or two guys in those mecha. Maybe their policy is to only send women to investigate the earth? Who knows, but funny in hindsight. I wonder if that was a conscious decision the animators made or if they just subconsciously assumed that all mecha pilots had to be fanservice girls.

    • February 10, 2015 at 11:49 amWorldwideDepp

      i think i knew why they sent only Female Pilots to Earth. Seduction bonus, you saw how many they lack on Woman in the Cities?

  • February 9, 2015 at 2:46 pmJohn Hunt

    If this movie contains the best 3DCGI that anime can possibly offer than it still has a long LONG way to go before it can act as a convincing alternative to traditional animation methods.

  • February 10, 2015 at 9:38 amWorldwideDepp

    can someone explain this scene for me? i not mean the fight. i mean, in a flash you see this
    http://randomc.net/image/Rakuen%20Tsuihou/Rakuen%20Tsuihou%20-%20Large%20104.jpg
    then next flash, all green is gone and desert is there..

    How is now the illusion? Did she see something like a fata morgana? Water in the desert where there is not

    • February 10, 2015 at 9:40 amWorldwideDepp

      and neat idea. Living a digital life, without aging. Living forever. And if you need to go outside of the VR, you grown a real Body in express mode, from your stored DNA.. As if they living their life in the “afterworld” as Souls

      Are this really the solution for mankind?

      • February 10, 2015 at 10:22 amflCer

        It’s a possibility, but it has intrinsic risks that we aren’t certain about. There’s been a theory for some time, regarding the concept of teleportation. It sounds doable; To disentigrate a body to its elementary particles, send it in a wire, and reconstruct the human body with those particles. Although complex, in the same way we build architecture, it may be possible to create a blueprint for constructing a human body.

        The problem lies on the “soul”. Is it possible to retain your memories, your personality, your “soul”?
        What’s to say that the reconstructed person is actually another entity?

        An analogy is… if you were able to clone yourself perfectly, all the way down to the atomic level, you are still you…who’s the other person? There’s no way to tell which one is the “real” one.

      • February 10, 2015 at 10:33 amWorldwideDepp

        And there is the change to get the exactly same Body you had, when you left it. I mean, DNA is nice to have. But do the body really grow the same way like the original? There is some kind of mutation. i dunno. as if you want to clone a body. But will it really grown the same way, or will it have some mutation inside a Chromosome or something

        Yeah, and there is the Brain thing. But hey, perhaps we should not dig to much here, even this Show do not want to explain it right, it wanted to tell the Story, not the Universe there in. And, if you strip it to the Bone, then we have here nearly this Anime (Link is a AMV https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oc2Y1BU2N4A)

      • February 10, 2015 at 10:37 amWorldwideDepp

        yes, AMVs from Nostromo inspired me very deep

    • February 10, 2015 at 9:43 amWorldwideDepp

      i wanna have some of this Mecha, too
      http://randomc.net/image/Rakuen%20Tsuihou/Rakuen%20Tsuihou%20-%20Large%20023.jpg

      But with a Offline OS, if possible :)

    • February 10, 2015 at 10:14 amflCer

      It doesn’t make sense to be a mirage; There’s no contribution to the story for her to hallucinate and not talk about it later. It’s most likely some sort of symbolism… I didn’t get it either.

      Based on one theme of the story: “Virtual reality is not a replacement for mother nature”, and the fact that Angela has been complaining about the ugliness of the Earth, I would think that this scene is to suggest that Angela finally understands Earth’s beauty; Albeit it’s just a glimpse of its past.

    • February 11, 2015 at 4:10 amOasis

      I saw it as….she saw what it was it before..but a more real understanding of it.. not the fake version. that why she like i have more to see.. because out there who knows maybe their green and water. but at least she came to understand what the earth was and what it could be again.

  • February 10, 2015 at 11:53 amWorldwideDepp

  • February 11, 2015 at 4:04 amOasis

    haha., Yeah I was touch by the AI singing it’s so far away.at the end. I found that sweet.. i also found it nice seeing her laughing at the end , also when she did her hand wave for friendship, hahah and making two real true friends ^^

    also..show that sadly deva..will forever keep it self trap… and prove the point..of how they are stuck in their silly idea.

  • February 11, 2015 at 6:06 amsherrislok

    I wish they will make a sequel one day.

    • February 11, 2015 at 9:26 amWorldwideDepp

      I would be happy, if someone would made a Figure out of the female lead..

    • February 12, 2015 at 5:24 amOasis

      I guess coming soon. XD hmm.. that what be fun to see a sequel..they did something well with the cg.. even if they dont pick up a squeal..they show you can do will with their style of cg. so future ideas for shows or films..

      hmm but as for a squeal..i don’t know.. they did have the part where deva leads are talking.. hmm I toke it as more..showing how they will for ever be trap in their cage.

      but it could apply a squeal..making going after her..because she proves a threat to them no..

  • February 15, 2015 at 12:20 amc2710

    At the end of it, DEVA is nothing more than an illusionary uropia much like Sybil. Although Deva hides a totalitarian control over a hedonistic and choice centric society.

    I must say, Kaiki truly shines in this movie. Frankly speaking, I didn’t know this was an UroGen work. Now that you mentioned it, and someone mentioning about souls, isn’t digitising your soul, memories and personalities, storing them in what ever storage system and downloading them into an empty shell sounds all to familiar?