Now and Then, Here and There (1999 IMDb)

Categorization

Dystopian SF tragedy. Unofficially the most orange moving picture ever.

Subject

A clumsy optimist from modern Japan gets transported to the extreme far future along with a semi-human pessimist whose magical powers make her attractive to an insane ruler. The madman tortures the pessimist to make her produce the water necessary for the operation of a hypertechnological fortress. Meanwhile, the optimist is trained as a soldier, along with brainwashed boys abducted from wasteland villages. Another kid from our modern world happens to be female and so comes to serve the madman's belligerent empire in the capacity of a sex slave for adult soldiers.

Commentary

Borrows a bit from Conan, the Boy in Future (1978), Castle in the Sky (1986) and Green Legend Ran (1992), but NTHT is far darker than any of them. Unfortunately, the darkness hinges upon the implausible madman and his lieutenant. How did Hamdo get power, and why does nobody challenge him from within? Why does Aberia serve him? I do think real paranoid megalomaniacs who come to possess similar power are less raving, demanding and obviously pathetic.

References here: O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000).

Japanese production animation series