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Silent Möbius

Entry updated 25 July 2022. Tagged: Film.

Japanese animated film (1991; vt Silent Möbius: The Motion Picture). Anime International Company (AIC). Based on the Manga by Kia Asamiya (a pseudonym of Michitaka Kikuchi). Directed by Kazuo Tomizawa and Michitaka Kikuchi. Written by Kei Shigema and Michitaka Kikuchi. Voice cast includes Toshiko Fujita, Masako Ikeda and Naoko Matsui. 53 minutes. Colour.

In a high-tech future Tokyo, Katsumi Liqueur (Matsui) battles a Lucifer Hawk – "beings of anomalous forms whose purpose and identity are still unknown" – that are encroaching on Earth. They are intelligent and "come from a Parallel World called Nemesis" whose physical laws (see Physics) differ from our own. Katsumi is a member of the all-woman Attack Mystification Police Department (AMP), led by Rally Cheyenne (Fujita) and set up to combat the Lucifer Hawks, using Magic and Technology. As she gets close, Katsumi recognizes the Monster, declaring, "It's him!"

We immediately cut to a few years earlier, in 2024, when the teenaged Katsumi arrived in Tokyo to visit her sickly mother, Fuyuka (Ikeda). She draws AMP's attention by passing unscathed through a spiritual barrier and by clearly being a person of interest to the Lucifer Hawks. She is dismissive of AMP's concern, even when attacked by a Lucifer Hawk – whilst in the shower, naturally (see Fan Service) – who declares, "It is you! ... and it isn't." Though unaware of having done so, she destroys the Monster by using "extra-dimensional powers that some people call magic" (the Lucifer Hawks recognizing their connection to her mother). Later, when a powerful Lucifer Hawk appears, Fuyuka sacrifices herself to defeat it and Katsumi is unable to save her: when Rally tries to persuade the traumatized Katsumi to join the AMP she is in denial and screams her refusal to accept her powers, her mother's death or the Lucifer Hawks.

We now return to the opening scene: Katsumi realizes the Lucifer Hawk is the one her mother had fought and – temporarily as it turns out – sealed up. There is a climactic battle, at the end of which the monster is killed.

Though the plot is straightforward (and structured so that we know Katsumi will eventually choose to join AMP), this is a minor classic of Anime. The animation is excellent for the time and still impresses, with some evocative science-fictional settings and action, plus suitably horrific monsters (see Horror in SF). A sequel, Silent Möbius 2 (1992) followed. [SP]


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