Review of Bagi, the Monster of Mighty Nature (1984)

Moving picture, 90 minutes

Tezuka Osamu (writer-director).

A skilled expatriate Japanese hunter—trained by a man named Cement Bond—attempts to kill a certain creature in South America. It turns out that he knows what he’s looking for, since the creature was once his pet, and later his partner in a fight against implausible experiments performed by the Japanese government.

Shōnen catgirl kitsch SF, bearing many of creator Tezuka’s trademarks, though fortunately not his rehash characters.

Made for TV, presumably because transgenic experiments on animals were legalized in Japan in 1984. The real-world basics of transgenesis are explained in animation by the ex-med-student director in an amusing intermission, but the use of those concepts is laughable. A strain of gargantuan rice which forms a deadly poison would hardly make it out of the lab. Visually awful even considering its time, the year of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984), but the half cat and a few of the backgrounds look OK. The main attraction is the anti-GMO kitsch.

References here: “Unnatural Selection” (1989).

moving picture animation Japanese production fiction