I’m struggling with an introduction for this review because I really have no personal history with Studio Trigger…like at all. I’ve never fully seen any of their prior works, I barely know any of the notable names behind this project, I didn’t even know it was coming out until I saw friends talking about it on social media. I would normally like to talk about my connections with the things I review but in all honesty anime films, especially wholly original ones, aren’t exactly my forte and I don’t have decent reasoning behind that. I dunno I just haven’t watched a whole lot of anime outside of the things under the “Shonen Jump” label and that’s a shame because if I let myself be exposed to more unique things like Promare I would probably be a better person for it because this movie is WONDERFUL for what it is.
That is the word I would use to describe Promare. Very, very simple. Almost to a fault. The plot mainly deals with themes of hope, racism, and unification. The world of PRomare takes place 30 years after a near cataclysmic phenomenon of certain humans (known as the “Burnish”) spontaneously combusting around the world which in turn, causes a mass divide between both sides of humanity. We then skip to the present day with a team known as Burning Rescue going to stop a terrorist attack from a group known as the Mad Burnish. During this exchange, we are introduced to our two main heroes. Galo Thymos, the hot-blooded rookie with a burning soul who really wants to make the mayor of his city proud. And Lio Fotia, the very, VERY handsome leader of the Mad Burnish with a grudge against the same mayor. After this INCREDIBLY explosive and beautiful looking fight the story plays out how you would expect it to. If you’re looking for a movie that will surprise you, you aren’t gonna find it here. You know who the villain is going to be, you know what the central conflict is going to involve. It’s a tad formulaic in that regard and I wasn’t a big fan of characters giving expository lore dumps and nearly every opportunity. There’s seriously a moment early on where Galo says “YOU’RE -this character’s- SISTER” and the other character says “YEAH. I AM -this character’s- SISTER”. It does the job of establishing characters and plot points, yeah but I would have preferred doing it in a subtler way. At the very least I can say the movie is perfectly paced because despite its 2-hour length, Promare fits a ton of stuff in and it never feels rushed. Mishandled a bit, maybe but never rushed. It’s nothing special, but it endearing and an exceedingly fun time. I will say though what this movie lacks in narrative it MORE than makes up for in style.
BRO THIS MOVIE LOOKS SO FUCKING GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD. Every single frame of this film is jam-packed with so much flair and style and it uses so many different kinds of camera perspectives with fast movement and god it’s so good. In my opinion, this is Promare’s biggest strength as it’s with these incredibly intricate and wild fight scenes is where the film is at its most enjoyable, at least for me. The action gets so ludicrous and jaw-dropping that I just became awestruck. I’m also a sucker for a varied color pallet and Promare gave that to me in spades. It was like looking inside a bag of candy. Every color complimented itself so well, especially with the main characters. I was even a big fan of the CG used in the film and how it’s animated at a consistent frame-rate which, if you read my Ultraman (2019) review, is a bit pet peeve of mine if it’s done inconsistently. (Yes I know there’s a difference between tv animation and movie animation it was just the only thing on here I could reference).
I should also mention that I saw the dubbed version of Promare and it was absolutely flawless. I feel like I should still see the original dub but I thought every voice actor was stellar in this movie, ESPECIALLY Billy Kametz as Galo. It was also a treat getting to hear veterans like Steve Blum, Johnny Yong Bosch and MOTHER FUCKING Mike Pollock on the big screen killing it as always.
And….honestly? That’s all I really have to say about Promare. It’s just really fun. It’s pure entertainment. It’s. Simple. I didn’t really want to spoil some of the plot points because even though there aren’t that many twists there ARE some really cool standout moments in the final act that I don’t want to discuss just because of how fun they are. I know that’s kind of a cop-out in terms of discussion but I genuinely think these moments should be as surprising and fresh as possible. Promare is a lot like its central protagonist. It’s loud, it’s colorful, it’s sure as shit dumb as hell but it’s so loveable and it will fill you with a lot of good vibes by the end. Again let me say that if you want something more in terms of narrative you aren’t going to find much here but I really think if you just sit down and enjoy the ride you’re going to find something really special here. If you’re able to support this film in any way PLEASE do so. Studio Trigger did an amazing job and I commend everyone involved with this movie.