I finally got to watch Animax’s much-hyped LaMB anime. This hour-long OAV was produced from the original script of Pinoy otaku Carmelo S. J. Juinio, one of the finalists of the 2007 Animax awards Pan-Asia Animation competition. It’s so far the first original Animax anime production.

Well, what can I say? For all the hooplah and flash this show has gotten (including a soundtrack and MTV from A Simple Plan), the end result is not exactly stellar. The concept of ‘Laminated Humans’- criminals turned into silent, servile super-servants of society- sounds cool, but the show isn’t deep enough or sharp enough to be a morality play versus slavery or political oppression, nor is it slick enough to be just an action vehicle, or sappy or sweet enough to be a love story. It tries to be a bit dramatic with your usual tragedies and lots of tears welling and flowing before the sudden climactic fight scene, and a quite jarring and abrupt happy ending. In the end, perhaps it’s all just a long commercial for Flash animation or for Animax original content.

Perhaps the show was, as its titular laminated beings, limited by the short length. Perhaps the script needed to be sharper and tighter, or at least a bit of humor injected into the dour, if pretty images. The animation isn’t Gonzo or Madhouse, but the cut-out, Flash-type presentation at least looks stylized and the artworks are pleasing to the eye, if a bit derivative of every other anime out there… I mean, how many more Rei Ayanami lookalikes does anime need?

Still, it’s not supposed to be something from Miyazaki or something… it does the job of showing that Animax is willing to go to some lengths to create user-generated content. Now, let’s see some really cutting-edge stuff next time.


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