Promare is a Japanese anime feature film co-produced by Japanese animation studio Trigger and XFLAG. Directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi and written by Kazuki Nakashima, the film appears to follow a bunch of elite firefighters in the future that try to put out fires made by terrorists with pyrokinetic abilities. But in truth, the film is much deeper than that.
Thirty years ago, Earth suffered a calamity known as the ‘Great World Blaze’. Fires were ignited from mass spontaneous human combustions, killing half of the planet’s population. This was caused by certain humans mutating and developing pyrokinetic abilities. These pyrokinetic mutants became known as the ‘Burnish’.
Cut to present day and we meet our protagonist, Galo Thymos voiced by Kenichi Matsuyama, who is a member of the firefighting group of Promepolis city, Burning Rescue. Burning Rescue’s responsibility is to respond to incidents involving the Burnish terrorist group Mad Burnish. The team are to put fires out and rescue civilians but are not to engage nor apprehend any of the Mad Burnish as this is out of their jurisdiction.
Galo, although an official firefighter and part of Burning Rescue, is a bit on the wild side. With long spikey blue hair, Galo is often shirtless in his firefighting mecha suit (not that I’m complaining), and throughout the film in general. Having trouble following the rules, it isn’t long before we see Galo going rogue and to the source for his answers. After discovering the truth, which turns his world completely upside-down, Galo looks to Mad Burnish leader Lio Fotia voiced by Taichi Saotome, in a new light.
What I loved about this film was pretty much EVERYTHING. The animation is STUNNING; it’s bold, colourful and emotive, with a vector looking kind of style. The narrative is fast paced, but never too fast to understand. The characters are beautifully designed, interesting and feel somewhat real as they are all flawed. We could probably name people in the public spotlight and in our life that could easily describe the personalities of these characters.
Last but not least, the music in Promare is INCREDIBLE and brings the film to a whole new and dynamic level, containing songs by Japanese artists including Superfly, and score compositions by composer Hiroyuki Sawano. I loved the music so much that I immediately went searching for the soundtrack after leaving the cinema and have been listening to songs from the film ever since.
Promare is visually stunning, has a strong storyline which kept me on the edge of my seat for almost the entirety of the movie, and highlights not only terrorism but prejudice and corruption as well. It is fresh, exciting and I was honestly blown away. This film is pretty much PERFECT, and I don’t say that often. Promare is one of the best films of 2019 and one that you must see before the year is out. Trust me.
Promare is in selected cinemas now.