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Aru Kararu no Isan

Entry updated 2 July 2021. Tagged: Film.

Japanese Original Video Animation (1993; vt Legacy of Aru Kararu; vt The Inheritance of Aru Kararu; vt Al Caral no Isan). Animate Film. Based on Al Kalal no Isan ["The Inheritance of Al Kalal"] (1985 Ryū; graph 1990) by Katsumi Michihara. Directed by Kôichi Ishiguro. Written by Mayori Sekijima. Voice cast includes Yuzuru Fujimoto, Aya Hisakawa, Hideyuki Hori, Ai Orikasa and Hideyuki Tanaka. 75 minutes. Colour.

In the mid-twenty-sixth century we watch a golden-eyed Alien boy pursued and captured by a Robot, then cut to a documentary by the Volg Production Studio (VPS) that uses a brief clip of the boy. This was stolen from the Hartz Bougen Corporation (HBC), which has a virtual monopoly on investigating alien relics, having found many scattered throughout the galaxy. The clip is big news as this is the first actual alien known to the public.

The VPS team arrive on Planet Badam, seeking relics overlooked by HBC. A new employee, Shana T (Hisakawa), goes wandering off and the pilot, Hammer (Tanaka), follows her – only to see her eyes glowing as she interacts with a wall carving. Meanwhile, a Dr Hanagi (Fujimoto) arrives on the HBC Space Station orbiting Planet Go 7498; here, he learns, aliens live and the space station's boss, Zach Isedo (Hori), is preparing for First Contact. Hanagi has been invited to study the boy, but is shocked to find him a prisoner. The alien, who seems to have a symbiotic relationship with a reptile-like creature (see Parasitism and Symbiosis), is called Toryune (Orikasa) and he explains the makers of the relics were another race, the Al Caral – who also created his species, the Saanan. HBC Scientists discover Toryune's DNA is very similar to humans; Toryune overhears one's impatience to vivisect him – whereupon they all kill themselves (see Psi Powers). HBC order Toryune to be brought to their HQ: he briefly escapes during transit and, before recapture, meets Shana, declaring her an Al Caral.

HBC, seeking the knowledge that once made the Al Caral rulers of the galaxy, are trying to Clone them from a mummified corpse: they once succeeded, but wrongly believe the clone died in a fire nine years ago; this was Shana. She persuades VPS to help her rescue Toryune, but the attempt fails – the humanoid part of Toryune is killed, though the reptile survives. The tragedy releases Shana's Al Caral powers, forcing the head of HBC and his guards to commit suicide. Later Shana and Hammer prepare to take the reptile back to Planet Go 7498. Meanwhile, a chastened Isedo – who tells Hanagi that HBC was his father and Shana his mother (presumably involving Genetic Engineering) – lands on the planet to make first contact. The pastoral Saanan (we see no Al Caral) watch him arrive.

It is unclear whether the finishing of the film before key plot threads are concluded was intended as a Slingshot Ending or to allow for a sequel. The characterization and adventures are adequate rather than noteworthy: what is intriguing is a sense that we are only seeing part of the story, with much only hinted at. For example, Hammer has a reptilian pet living inside him that can heal wounds; it was sold by HBC and is clearly a result of their relic research and connected to the Saanan symbiotes. Though not original, sf ideas are the core of the film rather than an excuse for action scenes, making this a good and interesting Anime. [SP]

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