If there is one thing I love about anime, it’s the extreme variation in styles used. Not many anime shows, or films look the same, but nothing is quite as different to its counterparts as the extraordinarily unique and twisted Violence Voyager which is probably better described as a puppet show… one messed up puppet show.
Violence Voyager is the brainchild of one clever and messed up man Ujicha. The story follows Bobby, an American child living in Japan, and Akkun his friend who find an amusement park. After a quick introduction with the premise of the park they are unleashed to battle the alien invaders with their water guns before things get dark…quickly. Around the half hour mark the sun sets and they are attacked by a dog, in the kerfuffle a girl they found in the park is taken away by a robot. Bobby and Akkun go after her, finding a group of survivors.
At this stage the movie takes a sudden step up in violence. The survivors introduce Bobby and Akkun to their mutilated friend who can’t talk, with a screen thing on the side of his head with his eye running down the middle. Immediately upon seeing him covered in blood and deformed they throw up. This is where things get more gruesome as the mad scientist with his deformed creations hunt the kids down for more of his experimenting.
The most notable aspect of the movie’s style is its animation which uses painted cut-outs which move around on the background. The lack of moving mouths is a little weird at first, but I came to like what it was doing here. Characters are designed beautifully, until the gore kicks in, at which point I wouldn’t have minded them being a little less detailed.
The other thing that is used to great effect is real world liquids. Early on when the kids are using the water guns, the use of water streams hitting their opponents is jarring in a cool way. When the liquids jump to things like vomit and blood, well I started enjoying that effect a whole lot less. Unfortunately, I also didn’t think too much of the voice acting which would be best described as good enough, and sometimes even that was a touch generous, though this could be on purpose I wasn’t a fan.
Violence Voyager is a tough movie to recommend. If you are a fan of B-Grade horror, this is likely right up your alley with its strange effects and twisted imagery. Otherwise watch a trailer and see if it’s something you will enjoy. Although I didn’t like it, I can appreciate some of the awesome things that were achieved in it, even if I didn’t enjoy the experience in the end.