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Studio Trigger’s first film burns bright with loads of candy for the eyes, ears, and heart.

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Throughout my anime travels, I’ve come across a few titles from the famed anime studio Trigger such as Kill la Kill and Little Witch Academia, both which have a unique art and animation style that fans have come to admire and expect from the team. The next big step for the company was obviously a feature-length film, which brings us to Promare. Fans of the studio, the anime Gurren Lagann (one of my personal favorites), and fun animated movies will love the burning passion of this fire-filled anime.

Director Hiroyuki Imaishi (of Gurren Lagann fame) helms this burning hot anime movie that’s a feast of fun for all. The story starts off around our present day when people all over the world become frustrated with day to day troubles such as being stuck in traffic, a crowded commuter train, spousal abuse, and such. When these individuals have had enough, purple flames begin to shoot from their eyes and mouth, causing massive deaths and chain reactions of other people awakening to this power.

These people become known as the Burnish, mutants who our now branded as criminals and terrorists even though they just fight to survive in a world that hunts them down out of fear (think X-Men the anime). Thirty years later they’re still being hunted by special police forces with mecha suits and gear made specifically to combat them and their flames. There’s also a special fire fighter and rescue team known as Burning Rescue that put out these fires and the Burnish that make them while also saving civilians caught in the crossfire (pun intended naturally).

Our hero is the young rookie of this team named Galo Thymos who’s cocky, burning spirit fuels the team and pushes them to fight no matter the odds. It’s not long before the ultimate mutant group called Mad Burnish appears and fights against Galo and his teammates. Without spoiling any of the awesome story, Galo learns about the Burnish and their struggles from their leader, Lio Fotia, and find out they both have a lot in common as friends become enemies and vice versa as they’ll have to put aside their differences, team up and save the world from dangers on and off their world.

I’ll admit it took a bit to get used to the very colorful and wacky art and animation style of the film, as it seems a lot animated movies nowadays are going for what I like to call the “variable framerate” thing, such as what Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse did where sometimes the framerate is steady and other times tends to lower and raise all over the place. Not that it’s a bad thing, but it just takes some getting used to. Once I did however, I found myself pulled into this fast-paced feast of eye and ear candy as it features some of the most intense action I’ve ever seen as well as a catchy-as-hell soundtrack that perfectly compliments the off the wall visuals, often making you feel as though you’re watching an anime music video or game.

Also the awesome characters and story are what really kept me into the movie, as I’m a sucker for X-Men-like things such as mutants or people who have been deemed different and how they have to endure bigotry born from fear. It’s also pretty cool how the characters on both the human and Burnish sides all have their own hopes, dreams, and struggles that become common ground for all of them to stand on later in the film.

Once the adventure ends, there’s a few special features to check out, starting with “Side: Galo” and “Side: Lio” which are sweet short films of Galo’s and Lio’s teams that shows off some backstory as to who they are and what they fight for. “Interview With Director Hiroyuki Imaishi” is a very short clip of the famed director sharing a little bit about his take on making the film, “Studio TRIGGER Roundtable” is a short, roundtable discussion with the director, animator, and lead character designers as they share their thoughts on how the movie came together so well. Lastly there’s “Behind The Scenes With The English Cast” that features a few of the English dub actors such as Billy Kametz and Johnny Yong Bosch of Power Rangers fame discussing their takes on the movie and characters, and there’s some teasers and trailers for the film in both English and Japanese.

Promare is one of the best films I’ve seen in awhile, animated or otherwise. It may take a bit getting used to the zany art and animation, but after that you’ll want to strap in as this fire-filled ride just takes off and doesn’t quit until the end credits. Thanks to loads of awesome characters, visuals, and music that pumps in every scene, you’ll find yourself burning with the feels as you experience this action-packed joyride.

About the Author: Chris Mitchell