Dead Leaves Hiroyuki Imaishi

One of the most frenetic, seizure-inducing, deranged anime films to be released on our shores, or any other, Dead Leaves is literally the equivalent of attempting to animate an absurdly violent, sometimes comedic, at times sexually explicit comic book while it's being flipped through in front of your eyes at hyper-velocity. Visually, it's overwhelming, spanning a number of styles, often amazing and much of the time slightly disturbing, but it definitely stands up as one of the most adventurous Manga films yet. Plot-wise, it gets pretty convoluted, especially with its short 50-minute running time, which, although jam-packed visually with enough ideas for hours of film, story-wise sells Dead Leaves a little short, resolving a complex, fragmented story in under an hour. The plot revolves around Pandy (an almost albino female with a pink "panda" mark around one eye) and Retro (who, well, has a TV for a head), as the duo wake up nude, with amnesia and go on an insane kill-crazy rampage that would make Tarantino proud (coincidently, the same folks behind Dead Leaves were responsible for Tarantino's anime in Kill Bill Vol. 1). As all kill-crazy rampages must, theirs comes to an end and they're sent to the Dead Leaves lunar penal colony, where they uncover a secret cloning scheme, lead a riotous prison break and kill everyone who gets in their way. Of course, it's not as cold blooded as it sounds, and the ample amounts of humour, both visually and in the story, and sex (one inmate has a giant drill for a wang) alleviate the overwhelming carnage (or is that enhances?). In terms of extras, we get a drunken commentary in Japanese, which is kind of appropriate, giving some insights, a Q&A, an interview, trailers and a number of other features. However, despite its short run-time, Dead Leaves is absurd anime for anyone sick of the existential philosophising. (Sony Music)