This post should have been written a long time ago. If you all remember, I have talked about the tv series Go Shogun a while ago. I wrote a review for it in the first real version of Mecha March in 2018. How’s that for blog history? It’s taken a long time for me to finally watch this film and I have no excuse for it at all. The Time Etranger is a film that I’ve heard a lot of great things about from a large variety of people. Other bloggers, podcasters, and random people on twitter have said a lot of great things about this film and not so much about the series that it comes from. It was interesting to see why and I agree with all of them whole heartedly.
I’m not going to ask anyone to read my older GoShogun review. Just know that it’s an average super robot television series. It has a lot of promise in terms of its mecha pilots and its general villains put in charge of armies of the enemy, but there is a problem with the main focus of the show. The people leading the space ship our mecha pilots are on and the main villain who leads his generals are hardly explained and weigh down everything else with their boring and pointlessness. The super robot stuff was fun but nothing stellar and main boy Kenta is alright but kind of annoying. The Time Etranger takes the best parts of the television series and does the best thing, focusing on what works.
After the original GoShogun series, somehow the GoShogun pilots and main villain generals became friends after the bald people disappeared and the kid went into space. It doesn’t matter how, because I could see it happening from how everyone interacted with each other in the show. There was a large amount of respect for each other side and that can create a friendship. This film takes place 40 years after GoShogun ended. Everyone went their separate ways until they were all reunited by one thing that was important to them, Remy’s life was in danger. She caught a mysterious disease that has Remy got from somewhere where she has a small change of coming back from.
Most of this film is set in Remy’s mind and dreams, but reuniting of everyone else to save Remy at all cost was a major part of the film too. Shingo and Kelly, the other GoShogun pilots are 40 years older now and were supposed to be reunited with Remy anyway, but she got in a car crash before they could meet leading to her appearance at the hospital. The other three, Kernagul, Bundle, and Cuttnal how to get involved to get the medical procedure needed to save her life. Remy has lived by herself for a while at this point and she never accepted the glory and benefits from saving the Earth. This film is a result of her still being a car driving bad ass, but also never seeing herself in a positive light.
This film is Remy’s discovery of her own well to live and finding value in herself in her dream world. A version where she is in her younger state along with everyone else stuck in a city that is very Islamic in terms of belief and every character there is given a death sentence in the city. So I think you all know the deal now, escaping the city means Remy lives. What city is it? We have no idea and it doesn’t matter. The citizens are unfriendly and blood thirsty and so are the cops who kill the other people at will when Remy and her group are attacked. (Possibly Islamaphobic?) It’s nearly impossible to get out, but it needs to be done anyway.
The other five characters in the dream are representations of Remy’s inner thoughts and self-worth. Despite this being a science fiction series, there is no magic attempt to communicate with Remy using some dream technology. She doesn’t even know that the others are there in the hospital watching her fight this disease. Remy is doing this all by herself through images of her friends as help. It’s a very uplifting and wonderful film in that way. Especially since in the end, Remy does escape. Did you not expect spoilers? Did you not see this as a predictable premise when the odds are beaten at their lowest? Even a super robot team without its robot fight the way they always do and it feels great!
The thing holding back this 90-minute film are mainly the visuals of it. This is a great looking film for the most part, but there are a lot of interesting short cuts and continuity errors as well. The opening car chase had a scene where the hood of Remy’s car came off and there is a scene seconds after when it returned. There are small things like that through the film. The character designs from the original tv series are back and most of them, except Remy, have forty years added to their age pretty well too. Lots of good and realistic weapons that have a realistic toll on characters, and such. Just so many good things besides limitations.
GoShogun: The Time Etranger is a very solid in and out sort of film. It’s happy, it’s uplifting, it’s fun to watch, and you don’t even need to watch the original mediocre GoShogun series to enjoy it. Sounds like a great time to me. It has very limited in scope, but that is far from being a bad thing. If you need a 90-minute pick me up that examines the power of self worth and friendship, you know where to go. Very underrated film.