You are Umasou!!! [EPIC Movie!]

Tuesday, July 17, 2012 0 Comments:

Land before time ain't got shit on this!

Watched it for the first time... BEST THING I've WATCHED THIS SUMMER!

Time for an obscure anime review! :D This time I’ll be going over the children’s movie, “Omae Umasou da na,” or (loosely) translated into English, “You Look Delicious!” (I think the pun is better translated with, “Aren’t you Delicious!”)

I say children’s movie, but it’s a movie for all ages (then again, rated E-for-Everyone is technically for children after all). “Omae Umasou da na” is an anime movie adaption of the children’s picture book tetralogy (with the same name) by Miyanishi Tatsuya. The plot is different for each of the four books, but generally centers around an unusually kind-hearted T-Rex. The anime takes elements of this, and spins it into an adorable 90 minute movie that surprisingly keeps to the plot.

Therefore, without further ado, and with great pleasure, let’s dig in! Itadakimasu~

The movie works chronologically, starting out with the third book in Miyanishi’s books, about the T-Rex’s past. A female Maiasaura picks up an egg from a stream, and hatches it with her own, naming it Heart (and her other child Light, cue Light Yagami reference). As Heart matures, the rest of the Maiasaura pack fear that he is a carnivore, and demand that he be killed on the spot (the irony!). When Heart’s mother protests, she is banished from the pack and is left to raise her two sons on her own.

After a time skip, Heart grows into his T-Rex shape, and it becomes obvious to even him that he is different from his mother and brother. His fears are confirmed when he wanders into carnivore territory and has the truth laid out for him. He runs back towards his mother for comfort, but when one of the aforementioned carnivores follows and tries to eat Light, Heart bites off the intruder’s tail decides to separate from his family, fearing that one day he’d eat his own mother and brother.

                    Doing one-handed push-ups to buff up those puny T-Rex arms.

Another time skip leads into the first of Miyanishi’s tetralogy. After running away, Heart throws away his herbivorous ways and becomes strong and wily enough to take down his own food. However, he comes across a egg that hatches into a baby Ankylosaurus before his eyes. The baby mistakes Heart for its father, and also thinks its name is “Umasou,” which in Japanese means “delicious-looking.” The pun is clever, but in English it would go something like this:

Heart: Well well, what do we have here. Aren’t you delicious?
Umasou: Daddy! Daddy! Did you just name me? You just called me Delicious! What a wonderful name, but what does it mean?

What indeed! Let’s take a look at the trailer for a better understanding…

Unable to come back with a retort while Umasou cuddles up to him, Heart is totally smitten and convinces himself that he can eat the baby when it gets bigger. The anime follows their time heart-warming times together, until Heart decides that Umasou is better off with his own kind, other Ankylosaurus.


                                         What are YOU lookin' at?

They separate but Umasou stumbles upon the same carnivores that crushed Heart’s world before the time skip (I know, what jerks, right? What a bad tendency, to pick on children). Heart comes to the rescue, and ends up staying with Umasou after all.

                                Undersea adventures riding your girlfriend!

The next part is based on the second book in the series, although personally I don’t think it fits the plot as well as the first two arcs. In this arc, Heart befriends an Elasmosaurus and (almost) nothing happens. Umasou is basically a cameo in this arc, although it looks like the Elasmosaurus has a thing for Heart.

The last arc is separate from the picture books, and reveals Heart’s true father. I’ll say less about this arc since I don’t want to spoil the obvious confrontation scene and overarching bigger problem that the protagonist will have to deal with. (Actually, I should note that the ‘bigger problem’ this time leads to the directors’ implications of how the dinosaurs die out, so the ending was a little weird…)

Ultimately though, since this is a family show, everyone will live happily ever after. But I would never rule this as a strictly for-kids movie; this plot is still filled with grin-inducing moments, fight scenes (they were pretty good), emotional moments and worthwhile lessons that, cheesy as it sounds, no one is too old to learn. There were also some disturbing themes (such as domestic violence and partial cannibalism) that I didn’t notice the first time around. Nevertheless, I cried like a baby for both of the times I’ve watched the movie.

Done with the plot. Onward, to the rest of the points! It should be obvious from the plot, but all of the characters are incredibly endearing. Heart is the lovable tough-on-the-outside-but-kind-on-the-inside rascal everyone loves. Umasou is just cute all around, spikes and all. Heart’s mother is one who gives unconditional and all-forgiving love, while Heart’s (real) father is the type that gives an awkward, quiet love; these parental stereotypes are ones that everyone can relate to, which makes the movie all the more personal. The only characters one might not adore generally are unimportant or die, and even those characters are necessary. This is one of the few movies/series in which I have absolutely no complaints in terms of the characters (it helps that there aren’t any annoying stereotypical heroines).

The art style is perfect for the story; the dinosaurs are all adorable (even the scary ones). Surprisingly, the cuteness isn’t overdone either, as a friend of mine recognized that Umasou was an Ankylosaurus at first glance (sadly, I did not, since I don’t know my dinosaurs). The animation is great as well, although I didn’t notice the first time around. The first time I watched, all I noticed was that the quality was good and everything was very fluid (A.K.A., the fight scenes were cool), but that’s standard for me. The second time I watched (in delicious 1080p) I noticed the incredibly detailed and vibrant backgrounds, and it just added so much more to how much I appreciated the movie.

                                                          Doing push ups with dad.

Finally, the music. I loved the first insert, it was hot-blooded and fun, and is perfect music to listen to while doing kung fu moves. I loved the repeated Big Jaws nursery song (sung by multiple characters and also as an insert). I loved the ED theme, it was a very relaxed, happy-end-ish song. Umasou also had his own sound effects when he walked (the token high-note xylophone walking), which were adorable. Otherwise, the actual soundtrack was great in-movie, but, like most soundtracks I’ve heard, don’t work quite as well stand-alone.

Other notes: Some things I noticed about the movie is that the voice acting cast doesn’t seem to be one that usually does acting. However, that’s not to say that the budget was lacking; in fact, quite the opposite. The voicing was spectacular, and Umasou was even voiced by famous child actor Katō Seishirō. Heart’s real father is voiced by Bessho Tetsuya, another relatively well-known TV drama actor. (Likewise, Heart’s Maiasaura mother is voiced by Harada Tomoyo, an actress-singer). The only one with an actually voice actor’s voice is Heart, voiced by Yamaguchi ‘Kappei’, probably best known for his roles as Ranma in Ranma ½, Usopp in One Piece and L in Death Note. So in hindsight, the budget looks like it was really buffed up.

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