Live Action Saikano

Some time ago, I commented on watching an animé called Saikano (最終兵器彼女). I recently discovered that a live action movie was made also. I downloaded a subbed version and gave it a watch.

Obviously, the story is somewhat modified given the much shorter time in which to tell it. Even so, the major elements of the story are all present if somewhat less developed than in the series. In fact, I suspect there are a few scenes which anyone not familiar with either the animé or the manga will find somewhat puzzling. Even so, the story holds together nicely, even given that I knew how it was going to turn out. (Or at least thought I did.)

Probably the most significant difference between the series and the movie is the final ending. In the animé, we are given to believe the entire world has been destroyed by war with only Shuuji surviving, having been protected by Chise, and Chise apparently surviving inside Shuuji. In the movie, however, the world is not ended; rather peace negotiations are successful and the war ends, conditional on the destruction of Chise. Truthfully, that is a much more believable ending. The revised ending is very well put together, especially the final scenes where Shuuji finds the wreckage of Chise and they have a parting moment. It’s not clear, however, whether Chise somehow survived or if we are witnessing something that exists entirely in Shuuji’s mind. (Of course, that was the same in the animé, too.)

Again, I have to give points for not glorifying war and showing the destructive effects of it on people and places. Also, just before Shuuji and Chise escape from the aircraft is a particularly poignant scene. We see just how hard the decision to destroy Chise really is.

All in all, I give the Saikano movie a passing grade. In fact, if you are not one for the ultimate tragedy, the movie is a better choice than the animé since the world survives.

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