Anime: Submarine 707 Revolution: The Movie [UMD]
As the first episode opens up, we are quickly thrown into an attack on the Peace Keeping Navy (PKN) by the USR. The PKN is a diverse, all-ages group comprised of representatives from each of the world’s nations who have come together to keep the seas safe from the shadowy USR terrorists (yes, all Cold War references here are intentional). We are quickly catapulted six months after the attack to see the captain of the Submarine 707 (or “Snapping Turtle”) being pulled out of retirement to go track down the dastardly Admiral Red of the USR, and then the plot wanders here and there a bit through characters which are clearly designed for use as filler.
A clear example of this filler material lies within the three junior officers on board. We also get glimpses of the ‘personal side’ for both commanders over the course of these two episodes, although these extra scenes do nothing to build sympathy for either side if that was the design. We have Red’s quiet wife, trio of doting daughters, and of course, the favored baby son to make up the home team of the USR. Hayami’s home front is comprised of a fairly quiet wife (although by the end of the second episode we see she is clearly transforming from quiet naval wife to a bit of a Desperate Housewife) and a daughter prone to prancing about in loose clothing and underwear. The countries that make up the PKN are also stereotypically portrayed – the Americans are annoying and arrogant; the technology they possess is made a big show of before they are completely shown up by Admiral Red, as an example.
A cacophony of voices opens up the second ‘episode’, or ‘mission’, as the viewer is given an extended look into the initial attack. After killing time for a bit, the second episode finally finds focus on the big battle between Admiral Red and Captain Hayami, but the ending is clearly a setup for more episodes and a bit of a disappointment.
When I see the word movie, I expect to hunker down for 100 minutes and watch a movie, not two full episodes smashed together without a menu to go between them. Whoever decided to just neglect to mention the fact these are two episodes on the outside of packaging and the menu of the UMD – all I have to say is: you have got to be kidding me. If there is an option to stop cleanly in the middle of viewing, it is entirely too well hidden for the taste of a casual anime viewer wanting a quick fix. The synchronization between the subtitles and vocal track was excellent and genuinely worth noting, however.
In an almost tragic note, the “movie” is beautiful, with lovely visuals and well chosen music/atmospheric sound effects. The submarines are lifelike, and the imagery is dark, yet absolutely pleasing to the eyes. However the music possesses a strange lulling quality that could push you to sleep if you aren’t careful. I actually did restart the first “mission” because I watched the first half of the UMD and wondered if I somehow fallen asleep and missed something resembling a plot. Turns out on a second viewing the answer is no, Submarine 707 really is that dull and moves entirely too slow to be much of an entertaining venture, and I found myself struggling to pay attention. This is hardly an “exciting deep-sea military action-adventure thriller” – it does however, live up nicely to the “deep-sea” part as you find yourself drowning into a large ocean of boredom. Lifeline, please.
Trivially speaking, I realized somewhere as my mind was wandering through the second episode that Captain Hayami looks a lot like Mario, and this quickly led to the UMD being dubbed “Mario’s Underwater Adventure” in my brain. This anime had great potential in the first couple minutes, but quickly flailed about and sank to the bottom of the ocean, running out of air before it could resurface and be regarded as a valuable piece of entertainment. Your time will be better invested in other UMDs.
Overall Rating: 4
Features: PSP version, no frills.
Extras: Trailers for Elemental Gelade, Starship Operators, and Gun Sword.