Published on February 17th, 2012 | by Chris0
First Squad (2009)
OK, Nazi occultists are trying to resurrect some ancient Germanic wizard and its up to the Russian um, super psychic squad to stop them. Or something. And all but one of them are already dead. What?
Usually I like this sort of thing. Raiders of the Lost Ark (AND The Last Crusade!) were pretty damned, well, awesome, and I've played the crap out of Return to Castle Wolfenstein....
...but this. No. Just didn't feel it. Maybe its because I'm just not a big anime fan. This was a joint Russian and Japanese production, so it had that stereotypical anime look and feel to it. Nothing wrong with that, but it just doesn't do it for me.
Not to mention the story was just plain flat and silly, and was over way too quick. It was like "um, that's the ending? really? ran out of money did we?"
I don't know what else to say about it. I watched it with the original Russian dialog, subtitled, thinking it might be a better experience (usually this is true) but it still felt like I was watching a half-ass dubbed barely-animated cartoon with a paper thin plot.
So, no, I didn't much like it. Unless you are a die hard anime fan or are morbidly curious, just steer clear of First Squad.
First Squad [Blu-ray]
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Set during the opening days of World War II on the Eastern Front. Its main cast is a group of Soviet teenagers with extraordinary abilities; the teenagers have been drafted to form a special unit to fight the invading German army...
DVD InformationBinding: Blu-ray
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Manufacturer: ANCHOR BAY
Original Release Date:
- Elena Chebaturkina
- Cassandra Lee Morris
- Factory sealed DVD
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
An Unfinished Battle,
This review is from: First Squad [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)"First Squad" has been on my must-buy list for quite some time now, mainly because it's subject matter intrigued me. The animation is handled by Studio 4C, whose pedigree is quite impressive and includes some classic titles like "Tikkon Kinkreet" and "Tweeny Witches." It's also one of the rare standalone anime films that gets a US release without having any attachment to a major franchise or genre. Last time I saw a movie come this out of left field was "Strait Jacket", which I absolutely adored. So after months of wait and a barely promoted release, the movie was of course a first-day purchase for me. But maybe I should've waited until some more reviews came in, because "First Squad" is one of the most frustrating anime films I've ever seen.
It's not that this Russian/Japanese co-production is what one could fairly call "bad." At it's very core, the plot which drives "First Squad" forward is quite a unique one. In the middle of World War II, Nadya is a 14 year-old psychic,... Read more
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Oh what depths the Nazi's wouldn't sink to...,
This review is from: First Squad (English Subtitled) (Amazon Video)"First Squad" is a Russian (Molot Entertainment) & Japanese (Studio 4'C) collaboration featuring some uniquely stylized animation (with an old film effect) and an incredibly imaginative story... think maybe "Battle of the Bulge" meets "Resident Evil".
The setting is WWII along the Eastern front of the European theatre and centers on a young girl named Nadya, who is essentially being called upon by her beloved Russia to resurrect the team she lost at the beginning of the war in order to fight an undead army the Germans have summoned. The majority of this movie plays out sort of like a spy thriller (including live-action commentary which lends a feeling of historicity) but progressively becomes more horror as it focuses on the occult forces from each nation.
As expected in a war film there's plenty of gore while on the anime side there's zero fan-service and the voice acting is Russian with English subtitles (which are extremely easy to keep up with as this is not... Read more
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
An Incomplete Success,
This review is from: First Squad (DVD)
There's some very impressive animation here, and the main character is a little more compelling than you'd expect, considering she's yet another one of anime's sword-wielding little girl tourists in Purgutory, but the story is terribly rushed. This version (a movie, not the original anime series) feels like it was patched together from parts of the series. However it came about, it fails to satisfy.
However, for specialists willing to forgive its flaws of pacing, there's much to enjoy. Some will want it for the well-animated shots (like the one of the little girl atop a train car, receding into the distance, looking back at her would-be assassins). Others, like me, will enjoy the Soviet "Great Patriotic War" history augmented with supernatural elements: Teutonic Knights returning from the dead, hungry for revenge against the Russians. (See "Ghostapo" in TVTropes.org--and try not to cheer *too* hard for Stalin's side, okay?)
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Summary: Nazi occultists are trying to resurrect some ancient Germanic wizard and its up to the Russian um, super psychic squad to stop them. Or something. And all but one of them are already dead. What?