“The Asylum Session” is a sci-fi film. High School Student. Hiyoko wants to be an artist, just like her mom. However, her father disapproves of her career choice and removes all of her mother’s paintings from the house. Angry, she runs away from home and ends up in the Asylum: an abandoned stadium occupied by weird, kooky people. She meets Akira, a young man who has a prosthetic leg and has the ability to fly. It turns out that the Asylum is goin to be demolished. But the residents aren’t going down without a fight. They decide to hold an underground rock fest. Can they succeed? And what is Akira actually?
The cel shading and animation doesn’t quite work due to the fact that the mouths move in a robotic, stilted manner. This will creep out some viewers who have a very low Uncanny Valley tolerance. The story itself isn’t a bad one, but considering what Akira truly is, it seems like the movie should have focused on his struggles. After all, the story of a sentient weapon wanting to do more than just simply fighting would make for a very moving story. While Hiyoko’s dad is being unfair to her, Hiyoko is at least lucky that she has basic rights and isn’t viewed as an object that can easily be disposed of if they decide to rebel. Thankfully, Hiyoko isn’t a bad person, although it’s a bit of a bummer that the movie doesn’t have a scene where she decides to fight for the rights of sentient machines as well as the downtrodden. Actually, the whole movie might have worked better if the lack of a big bad was empathized more. Luckily, the main characters do get a happy ending. Honolulu anime fans will find this a decent film.
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