Review of Angel’s Egg (1985)

Moving picture, 71 minutes

Oshii Mamoru (director), Suzuki Toshio (producer).

An almost deserted world in cold, dark blues. A young girl protects a large egg. A man with a cross-shaped object finds her and starts to follow her around, telling her that she cannot find out what an egg contains without breaking it. He later quotes The Bible (ca. 110 CE) at length and shows bandaged hands. Nearly petrified people throw harpoons at enormous shadows of fish that might not really be there.

Japan’s bubble economy was nearing its peak in 1985. Loans were cheap, so investors like Tokuma Yasuyoshi were plentiful and Japanese animation got mature and experimental in films like this one. Legend has it that Tokuma put in the money on Miyazaki Hayao’s recommendation of Oshii. The movie looks great and some of the symbolism is nice, but the main draw here is not the surrealist myth or the progressive animation, but the legendary bubble economy itself.

References here: Amon Saga (1986), Blame (1997).

animation fiction Japanese production moving picture