One of the most popular up and coming studios producing anime today is Studio Trigger. Known for their unique animation style, the team has only been active since 2012. However, it has quickly become a huge player in the anime industry. Although they are primarily known for their TV series such as “Kill la Kill” and “Little Witch Academia,” the studio recently released their first ever feature film: “Promare.”

“Promare” takes place in a world where part of the population has a mutation which allows them to wield fire at will. With their emergence, the world is thrown into turmoil and half of the Earth’s population is killed. Thirty years later, thanks to advanced technology that helps fight the mutated “Burnish,” the world has found peace once more.

When Burnish terrorist group Mad Burnish reappears in the city of Promeopolis, Burning Rescue, a firefighting team specializing in saving people from Burnish, learn that there is more to the Burning than they once thought.

The main thing that got me to go and see “Promare” in theaters was Studio Trigger’s insane animation style. I knew that no matter what happened in the story, the film would at least be pretty to look at. I can confirm that this is absolutely true. “Promare” is gorgeous from start to finish. The film shows the importance of good animation during fight scenes, which many animated films and shows in recent years have neglected.

“Promare” not only has stellar traditional animation but also impressive CGI by Sanzigen. CGI has slowly been implemented more and more into anime in recent years and it can be incredibly distracting. While “Promare” doesn’t feature much CGI, when it is there, it impressed me and didn’t take away from the film at all.

While the film is showing in both English and Japanese, I saw the English dub. The film features a stellar dub, with actors such as Billy Kametz, Johnny Yong Bosch, Crispin Freeman and Steve Blum giving outstanding performances. Some of the delivers can be a little stilted, but its clear this is simply due to the dub having to match the awkward timing that Japanese dubs sometimes have.

Besides the animation, the best thing about “Promare” was without a doubt its soundtrack. The film’s music constantly had me bopping my head. Many scenes that could’ve felt drawn on were completely saved due to their accompanying music.

My biggest complaint with the film is how generic it felt at times. The film’s main protagonist, Galo Thymos, felt incredibly boring. He was the tried and true hero who loves all that is good and hates evil, but is a little airheaded. He felt just a little too similar to every other big anime protagonist like Goku, Naruto, Luffy and more.

Some of the plot elements in “Promare” also felt played out and generic, but thanks to the fast pacing of the film, I was able to overlook them.

Overall, “Promare” was an absolute blast to watch. It’s over the top fight scenes and fantastic animation made it a feast for the eyes. Pairing this with a stellar soundtrack and a mostly satisfying story make for one of the better anime films I’ve seen in recent years.

4/5 Stars

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