RPG: Metanoia is a definite must watch! I’m a skeptic when it comes to Filipino movies, more so with the animated ones, which I am quite sorry to say. I’ve tried watching them in the past and while I love how there’s a continuos effort to make our own animation better than before, I still end up feeling disappointed after watching them.
I first heard about RPG: Metanoia through Roch, who mentioned it on her Plurk and said that she did some translation work for the movie. At that time, the trailer still wasn’t up on the site so I had to make do with choppy versions in YouTube. I was rather impressed, and felt that this would far exceed my expectations.
During the 5th Toycon, Yue mentioned that she already saw the movie (during the premiere night) and she loved it. Coming from her, I think that’s a pretty big compliment. I got more excited when I saw the official trailer.
My first impression was the animation during the action scenes were rather choppy, compared to the regular “offline” scenes*. However, as the movie progressed, that was pretty much the only rather negative comment I had. I was totally taken by the whole movie. I could relate to it in some many levels. Since I’m not very good at doing reviews (I should start improving on that though), I shall list the reasons why I like it and what I can relate to.
(*Note: After much thought, I realized that it was possible that the choppiness of the sequence was to mimic online games. Nico’s computer tends to lag, and as it is when playing video games or MMORPGs. So it does make sense.)
- The MMORPG/gaming life in general. I’m a very casual gamer, and I never really got into the MMORPG scene, but if I find a really good game, I get so into it until it’s done. Plus, my brothers are all into MMORPGs (they’re currently playing Allods) so I’ve seen the whole stay-up-til-morning-just-to-finish-the-quest-and-find-that-elusive-item or the omg-my-pc-is-too-slow-damn-its-lagging-I-need-to-upgrade drama.
- The slices of Filipino life. It was quite something to see things that were normal for you on screen. It was one thing to watch foreign animations (like the Japanese slice of life) shows. It was another to see Pinoy life gloriously animated. Fristine mentioned the little things like the longanisa, and I noted things like “Bawal Umihi!” or the details in the sari sari store. Anyone notice how that building with laser bars look like a giant mosquito killer? However the part I liked best when they were outdoors playing the games I used to play as a kid.
- Seeing Pinoy elements in an “international MMORPG”. I love how the Philippine portal looks like an old Spanish town, and there were so many adaptations of our culture around it. The mechanical calesa was a favorite.
- Jejemon-isms. C’mon, don’t tell me you didn’t laugh when you saw Mark erase “Adonis” and replace it with “Ahdonis”. How about those players who needed help and had a “Pa-heal po me” sign board?
- The music was just AWESOME. I did wonder if they were going to make a totally new soundtrack for it, then I saw “Gerard Salonga” on the credits. Heck, if that didn’t mean some badass score, I don’t know what it would be. I loved the score, and I liked the use of APO’s “Bawat Bata” for the street games scene.
- I loved the costumes and character design. I like May’s avatar, I liked Bryan’s Mang Ernie and his skill/class is probably the one I’d like to have. Each character was pretty interesting on their own. Daniel was funny because he barely said anything in the whole movie except for his attack “Bato bato pick!” The designs on the players on the foreign servers were pretty cool too, and I love how their home portals aptly fits their country.
While I’m aware that the movie wasn’t perfect and still has things it can improve on, it was truly a big improvement over the other animated movies we had in the past. It was very gutsy to venture into 3D animation when the industry has barely cracked the 2D animation scene. I wasn’t too impressed with the voice of Nico/Zero, but everyone else was fan. Still, after a while you get used to the voice but his first few dialogues were rather hard to take. On the whole, the movie is really first rate and a very impressive one too. I wish it won more awards, but getting 3rd Best Picture, Best Original Theme Song and Best Sound Recording isn’t bad at all.
I’m hoping the guys behind this film would create more animated works not just for the MMFF but also for regular screening and maybe get an animated TV series. If this becomes a full fledged MMORPG, I just might sign up. Congratulations!
Randomness after the jump