Metropolis (2001 movie)

From Academic Kids

Metropolis, also known as Osamu Tezuka's Metropolis is a manga by Osamu Tezuka and an anime movie based on the manga.

Despite some similarities, the manga was not influenced by Fritz Lang's pre-World War II epic Metropolis. In fact, Osamu Tezuka claimed not to have seen the film at the time he was working on this story, but rather that he was inspired by the poster of the 1927 film. However, his creation of the character Mitchi was based on the only still picture of the movie that he had seen, which depicted the birth of a female robot. Tezuka did not want his manga to be made into a feature film and if he was still alive, the anime movie version probably would not have been produced.

The manga is published in English by Dark Horse Comics.

The anime movie, released in June 2001 in Japan and on January 25th, 2002 in the U.S. (rated PG-13 by the MPAA), was directed by Rintaro, and written by Katsuhiro Otomo.

A song by Ray Charles, "I Can't Stop Loving You" was played near the end of the movie.

Quote (opening credits of the movie): "Every epoch dreams its successor." - Jules Michelet


The movie opens with the celebration of the completion of the Ziggurat when a robot who was outside its zone tried to crash the party, but was shot down by Rock.

A Japanese private detective, Shunsaku Ban and his nephew, Kenichi, arrive in the grand city-state of Metropolis. Metropolis itself lies in an unmentioned republic and it can best be described as a plutocracy where a man named Duke Red is the most influential citizen besides President Boon and Mayor Ryon, the heads of state and government of Metropolis. In Metropolis' heavily industrialised futuristic world, artificial intelligence has evolved a lot and robots are seen everywhere performing all sorts of tasks. Despite their intelligence robots do not have any of the rights that are granted to human beings. In order not to infringe upon human rights they are not allowed to have human names nor to travel between the four Zones which Metropolis is divided in between without a special permission. Thus they live under Apartheid-like conditions.

In order to protect humans from mischievous-minded robots, the Marduk patrol the streets of Metropolis. Heavily armed men dressed in red destroy robots as they please. The Marduk is a vigilante group who has formed a political party. It's a public secret that their founder is Duke Red.

The private detective and his nephew, along with an assigned robot detective named Pero are looking for a person named Dr. Laughton who is among else suspected by human rights organizations of human rights violations including trading human organs. Little do they know that Duke Red has hired Dr. Laughton to manufacture an extremely intelligent robot in the shape of Duke Red's deceased daughter. The robot is to sit on her customised throne, a supercomputer at the top of the newly built Ziggurat; a mountainous, towering government palace that Duke Red has constructed for military purposes of reaching the stars and establishing dominion over the entire Earth. Duke Red, without consulting military leaders has tested the Ziggurat's revolutionary solar superweapon of mass destruction that compromised national security. President Boon and other government and military leaders, discuss about the current situation and plan to arrest Duke Red for treason once enough resentment builds up against him.

Dr. Laughton plans to flee Metropolis once the robot, named Tima after Duke Red's daughter, is finished. Duke Red's adoptive son and Marduk leader-head of security, Rock discovers Dr. Laughton's treacherous intentions and proceeds to kill him in cold blood, whereas after he sets fire to Dr. Laughton's laboratory intending to destroy all traces including the robot Tima which is in suspended animation at the time.

However, Tima wakes up during the fire and is saved by Kenichi. Dr. Laughton dies before the detective manages to drag him out of there but manages to utter a few words regarding a precious notebook of his which the detective saves from the flames. During their escape from the burning building Kenichi and Tima falls down a sewage drain and become separated from the detective.

Thus a search for his nephew begins for the detective. Kenichi and Tima are at the same being time chased by Rock who is monomanical about destroying Tima. Rock's determination to do so lies in his belief that his father, Duke Red, should be the one whom sits on the throne at the top of the Ziggurat and not a robot.

Escaping from Rock, Tima and Kenichi stumble upon Atlas who is the leader of a group of unemployed labourers whom live in poverty below the Metropolis' glistering surface. The labourers demand better living conditions having lost their jobs due to mechanisation, i.e. robots and with the recent building of the Ziggurat having the food distributions discontinued. They are planning to take up arms and launch a coup d'tat against the Marduks and bring down the Ziggurat like God's wrath once brought down the tower of Babel. The revolution starts when Atlas kills Pero and the revolutionaries caught the Marduks off guard.

President Boon and the government wait for the right time to arrest Duke Red. The protests were later suppressed and the President was betrayed and assassinated by a pro-Marduk general and replaced by Duke Red who declares martial law. After Kenichi's uncle was shot by Rock, followed by a fight between him and Kenichi, Tima briefly points the gun at Rock and was later fallen back into the hands of Duke Red who exiled Rock for trying to kill Tima. At the Ziggurat, she wrote Kenichi's name all over her room, much to the shock of one of the maids. She was interrogated and briefly taken captive by Rock who was knocked unconscious by the detective. He had Tima locate Kenichi in the Ziggurat and proceeds her to infiltrate it when Duke Red recaptures her.

Kenichi was reunited with his uncle who declares the mistreatment of his nephew as a direct violation of international law and Tima who wanted Kenichi to be revived and asks Duke Red if she is a robot or a human and Duke Red replies that she is a superhuman who has a true destiny: merge with the Ziggurat and rule the entire Earth. The detective throws down Dr. Laughton's notebook which contains evidence about Tima and the Ziggurat against Duke Red. After being shot by Rock, disguised as a maid, who in turn was shot by one of the guards, she saw the wound and said that she was an "artificial human" created to conquer and destroy the world and her command CPU was activated, commanding her to sit on her throne in which she fell to the dark side and the throne gives her complete control over the robots.

Robots launch a revolution against humanity and when Kenichi pulls Tima from her throne (at the cost of half of her body and clothing deformed by the throne's electromagnetic effects), he tries to redeem her even though she tries to kill him. The robots kill Duke Red and many scientists before Rock presses a button that self-destructs the Ziggurat.

After her command CPU was deactivated, Kenichi tries to save the now "redeemed" Tima, but fails and she fell to her death as Metropolis is completely destroyed by the nuclear meltdown and explosive destruction of the Ziggurat. The next morning, Metropolis laid in ruins and a few robots survived while the human survivors and Kenichi's uncle evacuate in an airship. Kenichi stays in Metropolis to help rebuild the city and recovers Tima's shoes and a few of her parts from the robot survivors and proceeds to look for more of her parts in order to rebuild her. After a radio finishes playing the music, it records Tima's voice and she said: "Who am I?"

External link

es:Metrpolis (2001) fr:Metropolis (film, 2001) ja:メトロポリス (漫画) pt:Metrpolis (anime)


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