The new anime film from Polygon Pictures being distributed by Funimation Films, Human Lost offers a glimpse into a future where technology creates adrift in society. It showcases the kind of setting which became infamous with the genre of cyberpunk. So, does this make it a great film overall or just a good cyberpunk movie?
In a future where technology has allowed people to cheat death and live to a mandatory 120 years thanks to nanomachines, unrest occurs involving those who seek change. A painter named Yozo soon finds himself dragged into civil unrest only to meet a girl who will change his life forever.
When you take the time to research the original novel this film was based on you quickly realize it is basically an adaptation in name only. The original book No Longer Human did not have anywhere near the setting or setup of this film. This means the environment is a studio exclusive creation and exemplifies the real appeal of the film: The world. The setting feels like a cyberpunk future. Instead of just casual mentions of the people being unhappy, the first part of the film hammers into the audience the unrest and need for change demanded by the citizens. Technology is out of control but it is necessary for people to live in this twisted version of society. This is the very definition of cyberpunk.
Despite the achievement in setting, the film becomes convoluted in its plot near the middle. Without going into a deep dive into all the themes the film decides to tackle, it needs to be stated the film is still good. It’s good but not perfect which is why it will not get the recognization it deserves. Too many cyberpunk films are judged in comparison to Akira and Blade Runner. Both are cinematic masterpieces but it leaves everything else to pale in comparison. Still, the film does a lot better job showcasing a proper cyberpunk future than Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale (which yes is somehow on a list of cyberpunk films on Wikipedia).
The usual tropes associated with a Polygon Pictures production are tone down in this film. The characters don’t look like they are wearing dirty and grime the entire time. Instead, the dirty look is more used for the technological aspects of the film to help give them a more realistic feel. It also provides much more vivid colors than those showcased in the Godzilla anime film series the studio previously released.
The great design of the monstrous help to give the film a very unique look. Some are so intense they border on looking as nightmare fuel. Unfortunately, the excessive use of these designs in the second half of the film does come off as a bizarre contrast to the first part. Yozo becomes a superpowered version of the monsters and uses it to tear apart an even larger monster (hence the Devilman reference in the title). This juxtaposition only adds to the evidence the film is far from perfect.
The ending theme, “Human Lost feat. J. Flo” has a unique sound to it. It is a bit melancholy to reflect on what happened but also has a good beat which picks up and helps to energize the audience. Its style almost seems to encapsulate the feel of the film but is not nearly as heavy in places.
Human Lost is a good film, but not perfect. This feels like a film destined to become a cult classic but in a bad way. It won’t get the immediate attention it deserves and will instead be regulated to being the kind of movie a film buff pulls out insisting their friends need to see it.
is being released by Funimation Films.