What They Say:
From the chief director of PSYCHO-PASS, director of Afro Samurai, and the studio that brought you Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters. The year is 2036. A revolution in medical treatment has conquered death by means of internal nanomachines and the “S.H.E.L.L.” system, yet only the richest can afford to partake. Yozo Oba isn’t the richest. Troubled by strange dreams, he flippantly joins his friend’s biker gang on an ill-fated incursion to “The Inside”, where society’s elite lives. This instigates a journey of terrifying discovery that will change Yozo’s life forever.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The story begins featuring the masses in gasmasks during a 4am rush hour. None of the people are interacting with another. No one is paying attention to anyone else. Not even when one of them is acting strangely, bleeding and eventually turns into a Lost. A Lost is a transformed human, who turns into a creature that seemingly attacks nondiscriminatory. Special forces are needed to destroy the Lost, as there is no cure, even though all other injuries and illness can be eliminated due to nanomachines. This is how people have a guaranteed lifespan to 120 years old.
Meanwhile Yozo and his friends, who are on the outside are trying their best to not only get inside, but to also demonstrate to those inside, that they want to be “normal” humans with normal lifespans and have a regular life that isn’t dictated by others. This protest is spearheaded by Masao Horiki, who is looking for a way to destroy the current system, even though he is the one that started and designed it.
Things spiral out of control when Yozo, reacts different when he turns into a Lost. He becomes the third to do so, the first being Horiki and the second being Yoshiko. Each of them has a different ability when it comes to the Lost, and Yozo discovers when he turns into a Lost, he can maintain his sense of control and become the one thing that can protect others from the Lost.
The story goes onto to explore the rights of the people, mixed with the will of those governing and simply those that just want to protect and save the masses. During the climax of the story, emotions, promises and desires go all out in spectacular fashion with an end where no quite wins, but humanity might just find itself again.
This movie is based on Osamu Dazai’s novel No Longer Human. Dazai “was a Japanese author who is considered one of the foremost fiction writers of 20th-century Japan” (Wikipedia) and so taking a story from a such a renowned author was an excellent decision that was adapted beautifully through animation. I admit I haven’t not read the original story, but I am under the impression that this is an interpretation of what is considered Dazai’s quasi-autobiographical story. Also, it must be taken into consideration that this was the very last novel Dazai wrote before committing suicide. With this background information, the story takes on a much deeper meaning and of the character of Yozo.
If that sort of stuff really doesn’t interest you, maybe this will. This movie is bound to be a classic. It will sit amongst great animation films like Akira and the legendary series of Ghost in the Shell. This is the type of film this is. The film also has a very close premise to Psycho Pass’ Sibyl System, but in Human Lost it’s called Shell, which makes sense considering who the director is. It is a film entrenched in a future not too far away, 2037, where a few are making decisions for the many. For Psycho Pass it was crime and in Human Lost it is health.
This film is built on the idea of what the impact of technology might bring to humans and what is also lost at the same time due to technology. There are themes of a caste like system of those on the inside (wealth) and those on the outside (poor), the detachment of humans to other humans and selfishness of a few and their imposition on the many. This film certainly could be analyzed deeper than this, and which I am sure it will be deconstructed in a college course someday.
The animation is beautiful. The voice actors are all-star cast whose acting is phenomenal. This is simply a really wonderful film. It will be in select US theaters Oct 22 (sub) & 23 (dub) and Canada cinemas Nov 6 (sub) & 9 (dub).
Presented By: Funimation Films