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)
Brand: ANCHOR BAY ENTERTAINMENT
Manufacturer: ANCHOR BAY
Original Release Date:
- Elena Chebaturkina
- Cassandra Lee Morris
- Factory sealed DVD
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
An Unfinished Battle,
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
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
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Not bad, no live action on the version I saw,
This review is from: First Squad (DVD)
I was turned off by other reviews talking about "live action" mockumentary sequences. These must have been in an earlier version. The version I watched from netflix was pure anime. I may be giving it higher marks since I have no idea what this "live action" footage is all about. The version I saw had English, Japanese & Russian language tracks, i chose to watch in Russian, assuming that's how the Russian producers envisioned it. It's a great start to what, hopefully, could be a series someday. As others have mentioned, it feels like a pilot for a new series. Hopefully we'll see more of Nadya, Colonel Below, & Nadya's dead comrades in the future. All in all it did seem like an unfinished experience, now I'd like to see the original cut with the live action "interviews" included, simply for reference. A great start to something, but fans will long for more. The ending does leave you feeling cheated, but the 50 minutes or so before that is really fun & quite visually stunning.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Wish there was more...,
This review is from: First Squad (DVD)I have to say after reading/skimming the previous comments, I have to agree with that the 'mockumentary' clips are unnecessary. But I have to guess that the filmakers were trying to intersperse the reality of the war and its suffering along with the animated segments. I do enjoy the music along with the 'summer sequence' which I think is beautifully scored, designed, and animated. So touching, of the past.
The English dub was not bad,I think the chosen voice actors fit the characters well but in a certain scene the english actor for Leo tries too hard to say the lines with a dose of emotion in such a short timing sequence. Some lines are too cliche or too mushy on purpose!
I give animation an A+, English Dub an A-.
Finslly, I can't stress enough that the animation was superb but the movie is best watched without the live-action clips unless you want a little bit of 'history' add into it. I also like to criticize that despite what other people have said... Read more
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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?