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Writer: Urusai_Uni#0007

Just recently, I finally sat down with my best friend and watched one of her recent favorite movies, Promare. I was a bit skeptical at first, I have to say. She told me about gundam like mechas and intense battles, all things I had never really been fond of. The art style, however, immediately caught my eye and upon watching it, I was surprised to find the much deeper themes of duty vs responsibility and equality among other things. Promare has quickly become one of my favorite movies as well, and I hope this article will convince some of you to join in as well!

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Background

Promare is the first feature length film by Studio TRIGGER and was co-produced with XFLAG. It was directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi and written by Kazuki Nakashima, who both worked on Gurren Lagann and Kill La Kill. Running just under 2 hours, it was released in theaters in Japan in May of 2019. Originally announced in 2017 at Anime Expo as an anime produced by Studio Trigger and XFLAG, it was officially revealed to be a film in 2018.

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The Plot

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People all around the world suddenly begin combusting due to intense rage. They suddenly burst into flames, along with everything around them. This event is called “The Global Burning” and these people are called the Burnish. 30 years later, society has been rebuilt and the Burnish are persecuted as terrorists. Enter Galo Thymos, a member of Burning Rescue, a team of firefighters sent to get Burnish flames under control. On one of these missions, Galo encounters Lio Fotia, the leader of an insurgent group called “Mad Burnish”.

Throughout the movie, Galo, who was indoctrinated to believe that the Burnish were indeed the dangerous criminals that they were made out to be, runs into Lio, a Burnish who’s mission is to protect his people against the discrimination they’re facing. After a turn of events involving his idol, Galo reevaluates this position and while he maintains his responsibilities as a firefighter, he teams up with Lio to help save the Burnish and ultimately, the world.

The Pros

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First of all, the animation of this film is awesome. Incredibly colorful and vibrant, the animation is smooth and captivating. The fight scenes are intense and fun to watch, with lots of angles and changes in lighting. It definitely gave of Kill La Kill vibes to me. For anyone who enjoys mecha anime, the fight scenes of Promare at the very least will make it worth it to watch.

Second, while the plot is predictable, (I knew immediately who the protagonist and the antagonist were as soon as they stepped on screen, even though the antagonist is supposed to be a “twist villain” of sorts.) it has enough twists and turns to keep you interested and wondering where it would take you next.

Third, it’s overall incredibly entertaining. I’ve always had a hard time sitting through movies and shows in general, and Promare held my attention the entire 2 hour run time, even though I’m not crazy about mecha or fighting anime.

The Cons

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One, it can be a bit confusing. The burnish are explained, but if you miss even a bit of it, it won’t make any sense, and the explanation itself is strange at best. Luckily, it’s not so important that if you don’t understand, the entire movie won’t make sense.

Two, the plot is predictable. Like I said under pros, it does have many twists that aren’t as predictable, but if you’re looking for something that’ll have you on the edge of your seat wondering what’s going to happen next, Promare may not be the best choice.

Third, the main antagonist is an alright character with motivations, but the secondary antagonists, the police-esc “Freeze Force” are grating at best. There is little to no character development for them, and they’re really only there to be “the bad guys”.

Summary

In summary, Promare is a great casual watch. You’ll constantly find little details you missed during rewatches, but it’s almost best to watch it without reading too far between lines. Promare tells the story of two unlikely comrades coming together for a common cause, with mecha battles and stunning animation to help it along the way. The main characters are likable and the story itself is reflective of current events and is entertaining to boot. Overall, I give Promare a 7.5 out of 10, and would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a fun to watch movie to pass the time.

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Further Reading/Sources

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Promare

 https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/promare

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