Origin: Spirits of the Past

Origin: Spirits of the Past, known in Japan as Silver-Haired Agito (Japanese: 銀色の髪のアギト, Hepburn: Gin'iro no Kami no Agito), is a 2006 Japanese animated science fiction film directed by Keiichi Sugiyama, written by Nana Shiina and Naoko Kakimoto, and was produced by Gonzo. The film stars the voices of Ryo Katsuji, Aoi Miyazaki, Yūko Kotegawa, Masaru Hamaguchi, Toshikazu Fukawa, Kenichi Endō and Ren Osugi. It premiered in Japan on January 7, 2006, and premiered in the United States on September 24, 2006 at the Fantastic Fest film festival in Austin, Texas.

Origin: Spirits of the Past
Origin Spirits of the Past poster.png
Japanese theatrical poster
Directed byKeiichi Sugiyama
Screenplay by
  • Nana Shiina
  • Naoko Kakimoto
Story byUmanosuke Iida
Starring
Music byTaku Iwasaki
CinematographyHaruhide Ishiguro
Edited byAya Hida
Production
company
Distributed byShochiku
Release date
  • January 7, 2006 (2006-01-07)
Running time
94 minutes
CountryJapan
LanguageJapanese

PlotEdit

Genetic engineering on trees was conducted at a research facility on the Moon to produce trees that are capable of growing in harsh, arid conditions. The trees gain consciousness, ripping the Moon into pieces and expanding themselves through space down to the Earth's surface, obliterating Earth's civilizations. Three hundred years later, Japan has now become a dystopia, covered by the Forest, a huge expanse of sapient trees that is ruled by the tree-like Druids, and controls the water supply for both trees and humans. Agito, a young boy, his father Agashi, and his friends Cain and Minka, live in Neutral City, a city at the edge of the Forest carved out of ruined skyscrapers. Neutral City acts as a buffer and bridge between the Forest and the militaristic nation of Ragna, which was established in part of the empty wasteland that, as a result of the Forest's existence, now covers the rest of the planet. While the people of Neutral City work to co-exist peacefully with the trees of the Forest, the nation of Ragna aims to destroy the Forest to restore the Earth.

One day, Agito and Cain race each other to see who can get to the water hole at the bottom of the city first. By disturbing the sanctity of the water hole and angering the Druids, the two boys are separated. After stumbling upon a large machine with cryogenic pods, Agito accidentally revives Toola, a young girl who has been asleep for the past 300 years, and brings her to Neutral City. The Forest is angered by Toola's awakening, since she carries a Raban—a portable personal electronic device, worn as a necklace, that can be used for communication and a variety of other tasks. The Forest fears that she will fall into the hands of Shunack, a soldier of Ragna and also a person from the past who was awakened from sleep, and he will use her Raban to locate E.S.T.O.C., an "environmental defragmentation system" with the ability to wipe out the Forest and restore human control over the world.

Shunack finds out about Toola and arrives into Neutral City with his army to persuade her to join him. The Forest sends a giant plant creature to stop the meeting, but Shunack destroys it and reveals that he has been "enhanced"—he allowed himself to be genetically altered by the Forest to become stronger by using the power of the trees. Convinced that finding E.S.T.O.C. is the only way to restore the Earth back to the world that she once knew, Toola joins Shunack in his quest despite Agito's plea not to go. Agito consults his father Agashi, the founder of Neutral City who, as a result of being enhanced and having overused his powers, has turned almost completely into a tree. With few days left before becoming a tree completely, Agashi encourages his son to save the Forest from Shunack's plan, since destroying the trees, as they control the water, would mean the destruction of mankind. Agito journeys to the Forest and allows himself to be enhanced, his hair turning silver as a result.

Agito follows Shunack and Toola to E.S.T.O.C., a giant volcano converted into a mechanized, mobile weapon. E.S.T.O.C. was created by Toola's father Dr. Sakul, the doctor who had begun the genetic research on the trees. A hologram of Dr. Sakul explains the story of how the research led to the world's current state, and he created E.S.T.O.C. as the best-possible safeguard against the altered trees. Having betrayed the Ragna army and focusing his attention on using E.S.T.O.C., Shunack reveals he was one of the people who also worked on the original genetic alteration experiments on the trees. However, his impatience to speed up the alteration process resulted in the catastrophic invasion of the mutant trees. Shunack intends to activate E.S.T.O.C. to return the world back to how it used to be and so right the damage he caused and the guilt that has plagued him ever since, even if it means it will destroy the world that has formed in the old one's place. Shunack plans on activating E.S.T.O.C. near Neutral City, thus obliterating it. When Toola realizes this, she tries to stop Shunack from activating E.S.T.O.C. As the Ragna army commences their assault on E.S.T.O.C., Agito faces Shunack. Unable to outfight Shunack, Agito transforms into a tree to save Toola, absorbing Shunack into his body. Toola shuts down E.S.T.O.C. and the weapon's self-destruct sequence is initiated. Having developed strong feelings for Agito, Toola is unable to leave without him.

Meanwhile, Agito's consciousness remains intact on another plane, and there the Forest reveals to him the truth about the relationship between itself and the humans. Agito learns that the genetic admixture that gives humans extraordinary strength and eventually turns them into trees is really a two-way exchange; it also changes the Forest, causing trees to give birth to new humans in giant fruits. Having become one with the Forest, Shunack is now at peace and no longer intends to fight Agito. Realizing that Agito can teach humanity that there is no need for either hostility or separation between themselves and the trees, the Forest returns Agito to his true form, allowing him and Toola to flee before E.S.T.O.C. is destroyed. With the humans and the Forest saved, Agito brings peace between humans and the trees. Toola finally lets go of her past by throwing her Raban off a ledge down into the depths of the Forest, learning to live in harmony with the trees at last.

CastEdit

Characters Japanese voice actor English dubbing actor
Agito Ryō Katsuji Christopher Patton
Young Agito Yumiko Kobayashi
Toola Aoi Miyazaki Carrie Savage
Yolda Yūko Kotegawa Pam Dougherty
Cain Masaru Hamaguchi John Burgmeier
Hajan Toshikazu Fukawa Christopher Sabat
Shunack Kenichi Endō Robert McCollum
Agashi Ren Ōsugi R. Bruce Elliot
Minka Omi Minami Laura Bailey
Jessica Atsuko Yuya Colleen Clinkenbeard
Bērui Kurumi Mamiya Luci Christian
Zērui Tomoko Kaneda Monica Rial
Doctor Sakul Hideyuki Tanaka Kent Williams
Nabe Oyagi Mugihito Grant James
Agohige Katsuhisa Hōki
Kuchihige Takehiro Koyama
Oyakata Hiroshi Naka
The Soldier Mitsuaki Hoshino
Announcer Yukari Horie

Critical receptionEdit

The Anime News Network provided a mixed review:

Visually and audibly, Origin is everything one has come to expect from a top-end Gonzo production: great artistry, quality animation, excellent and well-integrated CG work, and an ambitious soundtrack. It is, in fact, the most impressive-looking anime movie to come out in North America since Steamboy. What it lacks is soul ... the story has all the depth, development, and spirit of an average fantasy RPG computer game.[1]

SoundtrackEdit

Origin: Spirits of the Past
Soundtrack album by
ReleasedJanuary 7, 2006
LabelVictor Entertainment

The film soundtrack was composed by Taku Iwasaki and released on January 7, 2006 by Victor Entertainment. The score was performed by the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra.

All pieces composed by Taku Iwasaki, except where noted.

  1. "Mori no Kioku"
  2. "Chouwa oto (With Reflection)" (Kokia)
  3. "Agito to Kain"
  4. "Doruido"
  5. "Toola"
  6. "Dai Kouzui"
  7. "Chuuritsu Toshi"
  8. "Taizai Kyoka"
  9. "Ragna Gun"
  10. Houshi Katsudou"
  11. "Agito to Toola 1"
  12. "Agashi"
  13. "Kako Kara Kita Otoko"
  14. "Sudachi"
  15. "Toria City"
  16. "Minka no Kanashimi"
  17. "Kikan Shinden"
  18. "Kyouka Karada"
  19. "Agito to Toola 2"
  20. "Chikara no Bousou"
  21. "Yolda no Omoi"
  22. "Tsuki ga Kowareta Hi"
  23. "Chikyuu Ryokka Project"
  24. "Istolk Shidou"
  25. "Soukougeki"
  26. "Istolk wo Yamero"
  27. "Dai Funka (Agito to Toola 3)"
  28. "Boku Tachi no Mirai no Tame ni"
  29. "Mori to Nin wo Tsunagu Mono"
  30. "Ai no Melody (Soundtrack Version)" (Kokia)
  31. "M-10a - M-10b"
  32. "M-21a"
  33. "M-21b"
  34. "M-23"

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Martin, Theron. "Origin: Spirits of the Past". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2013-08-13.

External linksEdit