Expelled from Paradise is a film that I’ve wanted to watch for a long time and, as expected, the animation impressed me and the story is decent too.
After writing those opening lines, I decided to see who wrote the story and it doesn’t shock me that Gen Urobuchi wrote it – I find his work is either really well-written or ends up being the complete opposite. On space station DEVA, people have their minds put into digital bodies as it’s supposed to be the next level of human evolution and Angela Balzac, an agent working for DEVA, is tasked with the mission to find the hacker ‘Frontier Setter’ who has different ideals for mankind. Sent to Earth, she meets Dingo and the pair set off to find the Frontier Setter. The plot is mostly straightforward and not exactly hard to follow, but I feel like Urobuchi didn’t do the best job in explaining Frontier Setter and an important part of their character goes unexplained, however I do like their role in the plot and it threw me for a bit of a loop! Angela and Dingo are likeable characters and whilst DEVA’s actions are questionable, they fit in tone with the movie and I found myself liking the film the more I thought about it. It’s a hopeful movie, especially for Urobuchi, and the themes it explores are handled well. It helps it’s a damn gorgeous film too!
This is one of Toei Animation’s finest efforts in animation as Expelled from Paradise is a gorgeous, fully CGI movie that looks fluid and smooth rather than blocky and unnatural like some CGI films can be. I love Angela’s design and outfits, and Dingo looks as likeable as his character proves to be. The action really stands out though, especially a massive battle towards the end, which is explosive, bombastic and bursting with colour and special effects, making for an exciting watch that could have any outcome. This really is a gorgeous film that I’d happily watch again for the visuals, and thankfully Expelled from Paradise takes pride in each individual aspect of the film and is well worth the watch.
Of course, as you may have guessed, I watched Expelled from Paradise in English although Japanese and French options are also available, and I was satisfied with the English Dub. The wonderful Wendee Lee breathes life into Angela with the equally lovely Steve Blum voicing Dingo, and they make an excellent pair with great chemistry. Johnny Yong Bosch is Frontier Setter, and it’s clear that Expelled from Paradise is well-casted with some of the best voice talent around. Brina Palencia, Patrick Seitz and Megan Hollingshead, amongst others, also have roles in the film and I have nothing negative to say here. The soundtrack is catchy with some brilliant techno, rock and chill tunes suitable for the action and down time Angela and Dingo face, and I’d like to get my hands on the OST if possible! The end credits song in particular is beautiful.
Expelled from Paradise is a film I found myself liking more as I watched and thought about it, and I know I’d like to watch it again in the future. The visuals are stunning, the story is intriguing and expertly handles multiple themes in a realistic and believable manner, and the audio is top-notch. There’s plenty to get you thinking and even if you aren’t looking for a thought-provoking film then the action will keep you happy, too. There’s a 30 minute making-of for those wanting to know more about the movie and this comes with English subtitles. Expelled from Paradise is a great film and it’s one you should definitely watch.
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