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What Hath Science Wrought!?!

<cite>The Humanoid</cite> (1986)

Usually there would be pictures interspersed throughout this review, but the text wall which follows (with the exception of the cover over yonder) was built, word by word and brick by brick, by the author for your own safety and will supply all the mental images you need.

humanoid splash page

Oh, boy. This is the story of Doctor Watson, a man who looks like a reject from Mork And Mindy, and his attempts to build the perfect Gynoid (robot that resembles the female form). It’s also about the governor of the planet Dr. Watson lives on, Mr. Proud, and his attempt to go mad and destroy everybody on his own terms. Oh, and it’s also about coffee and getting engaged to a girl you don’t really show any affection for. And a robot’s in there somewhere. Welcome to The Humanoid, people.

Set on a planet that seems to have a human and a native population, The Humanoid posits itself as a think piece that doesn’t do any thinking, an action movie that has only two action scenes (count ’em, two), and an ending that will make you want to punch life itself in the genitals since it’s now having more fun than you would be watching this. I hate myself; that’s the only way I can explain why I watched this movie. I don’t care that it has Gynoid designs by Hajime Sorayama or that it’s directed by Shin’ichi Masaki, who has done some good work over the years. This movie is a train wreck determined to stay on time for the next station. This is a movie where the plot comes secondary to the visuals, and the visuals aren’t much to look at. This is a movie where the most intelligent thing spoken about seems to revolve around coffee. I have so many questions as to the nature of the film. Where to begin is the best question I can ask myself now.

I suppose I should talk about the characters, but in an attempt to keep my sanity, I’ll only talk about them in loose and abstract terms. Eric is supposed to be the main lead, but he’s beyond help from the get go. He’s shown to be this hothead character who doesn’t really do anything hothead-ish. Plus he’s too stupid to think rationally as he runs into certain death. I don’t mean death as in he may die as a result of going somewhere. I mean people around him are melting, and he keeps going. Alan, sweet Jesus! Alan is one of the weirdest characters I’ve ever seen. Nothing phases him, and he adds nothing to proceedings other than to spout Morgan Freeman style lines and drink a shit-ton of coffee. In fact, I think the only thing Alan is seen as doing well is drinking coffee. I mean, his actual job was flying a spaceship, and he crashed that. Dr. Watson seems to be more of a country doctor than an expert in robotics. I see him working on a drawing of his ultimate robot (we’ll get to the robot soon), but I don’t actually see him doing anything, well, scientific. His daughter, Sheri, is dumb as a post. She doesn’t do anything except worry about things in general, scold Eric, and then look deeply into his eyes when he proposes to her. There, I’ve just descibed her ENTIRE character arc. Minister Liberio worries with his old friend (Dr. Watson) that since the death of the old king, Governor Proud is going, mostly, insane. After all this worrying, Liberio hands the keys of a F**KING DEATH SHIP to said crazy politician. And Proud wants the power damnit! For what reason changes in every scene: sometimes it’s to help Princess Ignasia return to Earth (!?!), others it’s just to rule the world.

Lastly is Antoinette, the titular Humanoid of the title. She’s the ultimate robot, one capable of feeling emotions. Too bad she spends most of her time working in gardens or making drinks for the lousy human meatbags. Of all the characters, she shows the most promise. She learns about love and romance from Alan (of all people) while observing Eric and Sheri. It’s implied that Antoinette falls in love with Eric, but I couldn’t tell you if that’s true. Because after she saves everyone from the evil of the DEATH SHIP and Governor Proud, she kills herself…by falling from a height she can easily survive. I know this, because she got through the DEATH SHIP’s evil field (which disintegrates all living tissue except, of course, Eric, despite him being in the field), turned off the ship, and walked out of the bridge of the ship. Then she looks at Eric, who decides to go to stop the DEATH SHIP’s activation by flying at it. She cries once, falls, and dies. After I watched that scene, I found the nearest can of beer and downed it in one go. It might be a memory formed by alcohol, but I could swear I heard my own brain cracking upon watching that scene.

“The ending is … amazing,” is all I’ll say. After Antoinette dies, we get a credit crawl where Dr. Watson hopes to find Antoinette somewhere in the universe some day. Then the movie ends, leaving viewers doubting everything from their own eyes to the creators’ collective sanity. Everything else I could say is wasting air or bandwidth. The animation’s terrible, the dub is hilariously bad, and the whole thing feels like a tax sinkhole for some Japanese investment group. This movie doesn’t even have it’s own Wiki page; it’s that forgotten. It is almost as if the creators got bored one afternoon, wrote down anything they wanted, animated that, and then got bored again before they came up with an ending. This movie doesn’t just deserve to not escape the Trap Door, nobody should ever watch this rubbish … ever again. I’m so concerned for your safety, I’m not going to post any screenshots from this on the post. Please, if you do one thing right this year, stay away from this title. It makes Garaga look like Michael Bay’s movies and makes Odin look like Shakespeare.

Next month: my first long form anime series since reviewing You’re Under Arrest!

  • Phillip's profile

    Born of fire but now sporting a treacle waistline, Phillip has been a consumer of anime since 1996, graduating into podcasts and reviews in 2006. When he isnā€™t writing for Ani-Gamers, you can find him at his own site or writing reviews for Otaku News and Manga BookShelf. He maintains a lone outpost of random anime, manga, J-culture related stuff plus whatever he finds down the couch at his Twitter page

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