It's not so often that you see an anime as deliberately unsexy as Rintaro's Metropolis. This is not to say that the film, based on Osama Tezuka's 1940's manga of the same name, blends digital and hand-painted animation in ways that aren't completely seductive. Metropolis's skyscrapers tower to ominous heights, its fires rage with a liquid brightness, and its core machinery (robots, factories, weapons, and the struggling lower class) rumbles with uneasy predictions of disaster. But the characters are such innocents -- including, to a certain extent, the villains -- that even massive plots for world domination are curiously bumbling. As for sex, well, given that the key relationship is between a human boy and a robot girl, both of whom look no older than 14, Metropolis is a bit more wholesome than Blade Runner.
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