The year 2019 has brought us the anime film to end all anime films: Promare! Featured as a collaboration between Studio Trigger and XFLAG , the film marks the feature directorial debut of established anime helmsman Hiroyuki Imaishi. For anime fans looking for a good time, Promare won’t disappoint.
Hot shot rookie Galo Thymos works to control and stop fires caused by the Burnish people. Working with the Burning Rescue squad, he helps keep the citizens of Promepolis safe from their fiery destruction and hopes to earn the respect of its esteemed governor, Kray Foresight. His plan is stalled when he encounters Lio Fotia – the powerful leader of a terrorist group called Mad Burnish. After spending some time with him, Galo realizes that everything in his world isn’t as it seems. The both of them become entangled in a fierce deadlock of fire that threatens to destroy the world. Can Galo and Lio work together to save it from destruction? Or is all hope lost?
Plot and Story
Promare is vintage Trigger at its finest: epic, enormous, and extreme when it matters. The film embodies what everyone thinks of anime at a first glance: loud, overdramatic, in-your-face confrontations filled with action packed battles and giant robots. Because giant robots solve everything.
The story is pretty standard with some predictable revelations and GREAT ANIME BETRAYALS seen from a mile away. It’s what you’d expect to see from a plot involving the good guy versus bad guy of an oppressive state. If you’re a Trigger fan or love watching Gurren Lagann or Kill La Kill, you’ll definitely find elements from those shows, as well as Imaishi’s past contributions to Gainax. While the film relies on a familiar narrative, Promare is special in its own unique way because you can enjoy the blazing spectacle unfold right before your eyes.
I really appreciate how the characters are portrayed with a degree of duality, as each person involved in the conflict believe they’re justified in their actions. Galo is given the focus on this because of his lovable nature and hot headedness. He makes a great idiot protagonist because he charges everything head on and asks questions later. He doesn’t think of the consequences of his actions and his cockiness endears itself to the overall film. Despite this, he’s more than what his character is on the surface and we’re given enough details to sympathize with him when he learns more of the Burnish’s past.
The core theme of Promare is fire. Setting aside the controversy with another certain anime series, the imagery of flames connects with the burning passion of Galo and Lio. This is key to saving the world and it’s interesting seeing ice depicted as this blocky surface that stops the fire and presents itself as an obstacle for Lio to overcome. For any Trigger fan, your blood will boil when you see fire dragons, flaming motorcycles, and tons of explosions. The fire, while destructive, is ultimately what protects the planet from imminent destruction at the end of the day.
Music and Animation
The animation in Promare includes some prominent CGI effects fromanimation studio Sanzigen. The result is an eclectic mix of blocky, abstract shapes flying across the screen. The more notable shapes include the like of squares, circles, and triangles, giving the film a distinct look and feel. It’s jarring when you first see it and may not be to everyone’s taste. A good example is in the first few flashing scenes describing the film’s backstory. The animation compliments Shigeto Kodama’s character designs and improves the studio’s previous attempts at incorporating 3D effects into their work. If you look closely, you’ll also spot a nice easter egg from Gurren Lagann somewhere in the film.
Hiroyuki Sawano’s musical score is top notch and inspirational. This comes as no surprise for a composer who has a reputation as one of the best in the industry. His musical selection matches the intensity of the film’s climactic battles. The insert songs are also handled pretty nicely and I half expected to hear “Don’t Lose Your Way” from Kill la Kill pop up. Sawano’s music gives the film its manic energy and captures your attention throughout the jaw dropping fights.
Movie ‘Promare’ Poster Visual
Promare will definitely have its audience and its detractors, but you’ll be thoroughly entertained nonetheless. With great animation, music, and a solid storyline, the film goes beyond its action packed, fun sentiments by introducing some humanizing messages. It’s an inspirational film that calls for people to stand together against injustice and compromise in order to save the world. At the end of the day, there’s no better message to send your audience out than that.