© 1999 A.D. Vision
Sin: The Movie
When it comes to watching anime based off video games, I have had almost exclusively bad experiences. So, when it came to watching Sin: The Movie, I had myself fully prepped with fifteen different synonyms for the word "crap". But much to my surprise, my fears of a poorly-animated, cheesy, and monosyllabic story turned out to be mostly unfounded.
This isn't to say that Sin is a stellar piece of anime; far from it, in fact. But while it doesn't rise above the typicality of the action genre, it also does enough things right to keep from falling into a pit of mediocrity.
Sin does have one noteworthy distinction worth mentioning. It was produced by A.D. Vision, a company of no small repute among anime fans. This was their first foray into producing anime, so I was quite curious to see how it turned out (and more than a little skeptical).
The overall plot is quite generic, centering on a tough member of an elite police force named John Blade. A rash of kidnappings and killings by mutated organisms has infested the city, and the elite members of HARDCORPS (which bear striking resemblance to the A.D. Police of Bubblegum Crisis) are up to their necks in causalities. One of the casualties is none other than techno-geek, J.C., who finds his way into an early grave at the business end of Blade's own sidearm after mutating into a hideous creature. Of course, this little melodrama sets up a nice revenge plot for Blade, who then goes after the one responsible for the monsters, Elexis Sinclair, head of the faceless corporation SinTEK. Blade isn't the only one with a notion for revenge, though, for soon enough we meet J.C.'s buxom sister, also called J.C. (and henceforth all references to "J.C." will refer to her). She too, is seeking revenge, and they form a quick alliance in tackling in the evil forces of SinTEK.
While the plot seems quite typical on the surface, there is a decent amount of back story into Blade's past to help explain how he became such a badass (which always seems to involve personal tragedy, this case being no exception.). He also has some ties with the mob, which works into a nice subplot surrounding his father. Villianess Sinclaire also has a semi-decent background story to go along with her motivations. In both cases it's fairly dry, typical fluff, but helps to flesh out the characters so they're slightly more than two-dimensional.
Action fans will eat this up, as the latter half of the movie seems to be taken straight from the video game. Blade and J.C. must penetrate the corporate fortress of SinTEK, and battle hordes of hideous mutants, before coming to what I can only describe as being the "boss" monster (and a butt-ugly one at that). The ties with the video game are quite evident, and while I have little experience with it first hand (having only played the demo version of Sin), the final battles through the fortress of SinTEK had me expecting to see numeric scores flashing across the screen.
The production qualities are a fair bit better than I expected, but not without their faults. Firstly, the audio element of Sin is quite well done, with decent sound effects, above average voice acting, and generally good music of the instrumental variety, as well as a pretty solid techno theme for the introduction. The animation is a blend of 2D-style background and character art, with some 3D animation thrown in for good measure. Well, not all good. The 2D artwork is fairly average, and the animation is about as fluid as you'd expect from an anime like this. The 3D animation, however, does look a little out of place and a little too shiny in some instances. There are also some truly bad examples of compositing (layering of foreground and background elements) which are a distraction. On the whole, though, the production does more to enhance rather than detract from Sin.
Pleasantly surprised is how I'd sum up my feelings towards this action-fest. While I won't harbor any false notion that this is an anime worth multiple viewings, as A.D. Vision's first effort into anime production they should be commended. For fans of the video game or action fans in general, Sin is worth a shot.
The Verdict: * * * (average)
|last modified: 05-26-03||The Anime Critic and associated content © 1999-2003 Pete Harcoff. All rights reserved.|