Send comments to
It is 2142, and the world has been ruined by pollution. A self-sustaining city, which feeds on the pollution, called ECOBAN is the last civilized refugee for man. Except, the militaristic counsel of ECOBAN thinks their population is high enough and turns away refugees. These non-ECOBAN citizens do whatever it takes to survive in a city named Marr and are essentially a pool of cheap labor. This is all cool and clear, but then things get hazy. For some reason, the leaders of ECOBAN believe they are running low on energy and must create more pollution, which would piss off the locals in Marr. I do not understand why this is necessary when there is already so much pollution that you do not even see the sky; you just see an endless cover of hazy black clouds. Maybe those counsel members are motivated by some other reasons.
That aside, the story is told through the eyes of Jay, a female member of the ECOBAN security force. While protecting the city from terrorists, she finds her childhood love, Shua, trying to sabotage the city with the help of the scientist Dr. Noah – one of the many Noah’s Ark references. Then there is something with Simon, the security force chief, who loves Jay but hates Shua. It is a very basic anime plot. If I say any more, I would give the whole story away. But this movie is not about the plot.
What is really impressive with this film is the animation. The director combines 2D and 3D animation flawlessly. It never bothered me that the city, the other locations, and the vehicles were rendered in 3D and all the characters were 2D. Furthermore, the lighting is fantastic, and the colors shine extremely well. A lot of the times, I was just staring at how beautiful all of it was. Seriously, the first time I saw it; I stopped paying attention to the story after maybe 10 minutes. That is how good it is. It reminded me somewhat of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, but to compare Wonderful Days with that is illogical. To me, while the CGI in Final Fantasy was so realistic it was scary, it was just CGI. I saw it and went, “Wow, the CGI was very well done. Technology is improving.” But in Wonderful Days, the combination of the animation and the music made me say, “Wow, that is so beautiful.” If I were to compare the look of this film with another, I would have to compare it with Hero. That is how good the animation is; it is so good that it should be considered art.
So what does it boil down to? This film is not for everyone. The story is decent at best and is not character driven. In fact, it was hard to care for or feel anything for the characters. All of the emotions I felt came from or came because of the animation and music. Also, the ideas and concepts behind the movie are not explained either, and the movie has more of a fantasy feel. That, I think is one of the major differences between science fiction and fantasy. The science in a sci-fi film should be explained so that it is believable; while in fantasy, you just go with what you have. Most Asian sci-fi films are, in my opinion, more fantasy films. Is it worth seeing? Yes, I think it is because it looks so gorgeous. Even if you do not watch all of it, the first eight minutes and the last seven or so minutes are must-sees.
Director: Moon Saeng-Kim
Voices: Ji-Hoon Choi, In-Sung Oh, Young-Seon En
Official Web site: www.wonderfuldays.co.kr