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Steamboy - Ray SteamThe new animated film by Katsuhiro Otomo, 17 years after the masterpiece "Akira", which has now become a cult film in science fiction cinema. The film is called Steamboy and is part of the science fiction genre Steampunk. Stempunk was born in 1979 with the novel Morlock Night by KW Jeter where we imagine a past, set in the Victorian London era of the mid-800th century, dominated by highly advanced technology powered by the power of steam (which in English means steam), a cornerstone of the industrial revolution of that period , when it was thought that scientific progress would change the world for the good.
The protagonist of Stemboy รจ Ray Stem, a boy who with a passion for inventions proves to be a worthy heir to the brilliant scientist Eddie Steam and his grandfather Lloyd Steam, father and son inventors who distinguished themselves for important discoveries on the potential of steam. In London in 1851, when preparations are underway for the inauguration of the first Universal Exposition, Ray Steam along with his mother and sister, eagerly awaits the arrival of his father and grandfather who have moved to America for the purposes of research for the Ohara foundation. In the meantime, he is delivered a package containing a metal sphere accompanied by various data sheets, sent to him by his grandfather Lloyd. Before they can figure out what that strange machine is, two shady individuals from the Ohara Foundation arrive, trying to take possession of the object, but the grandfather arrives just in time and shouts at Ray to escape with the sphere to deliver it to the scientist Stephenson ( character who really existed). SteamboyThe boy does not have it repeated twice and escapes aboard a strange motor wheel of his own invention. After a daring chase, which takes place aboard amazing steam engines, Ray is captured by the agents of the Ohara foundation and taken inside the great tower, a hyper-technological building equipped with sophisticated machinery powered by the power of steam. Here you will know Scarlet Ohara, the spoiled daughter of the very rich industrialist, the butler Simon and to her great amazement, will meet her father Eddie again, who will however find profoundly changed both in appearance and in intent. Now he is wearing a strange monocle and thinning hair suggests a severe burn occurred in the head, but what worries Ray the most are his delusional speeches about technological progress and the potential of steam, aimed at the power of England. Steamboy - Eddie SteamHis father explains to Ray the importance of the sphere invented by him and his father Lloyd. After a thorough study of steam, the two discovered a particular very pure water, capable of giving the compressed steam an unlimited energy which is now stored inside the metal sphere, which is why that precious object is coveted by multinational organizations. But at a certain point Grandpa Llyod reappears and tries to sabotage the functioning of the tower, to recover the sphere. Lloyd explains to Ray that science must be used for the good of humanity and not for military and power purposes. From here on we will witness exciting scenes, full of action and with a strong graphic impact that see on the one hand grandfather Lloyd and Ray facing the sophisticated machines of their father Eddie and the Ohara foundation, Steamboy - Ray and Scarletbut the dividing line between the good and the bad will always be uncertain. The designs are astounding, both for the fantastic design of the machines and for the minutiae of their mechanics, not to mention the faithful reconstruction of Victorian London and the Crystal Palace. The graphic line is the unmistakable one of Otomo, with the rich expressiveness of the characters, the faces, the dynamic scenes and the hyper-realism of the environments, where the 3d computer graphics integrates perfectly and invisibly, with the traditional drawing and coloring, which skilfully highlights the oxidized and opaque colors typical of iron and steam. In the chase scenes, it seems to fly with the characters aboard their ghostly steam-powered flying machines. The film required a 10-year processing time, amounting to a cost of $ 22 million.

Another Japanese cartoon of the genre Stempunk is Last Exile recently aired on MTV.

Original title: 
Animation, Steampunk
126 '
Directed by: 
Katsuhiro Otomo
Official site: 
Shigeru Watanabe
Exit date: 
03 June 2005


Steamboy is copyright Shigeru Watanabe - Metacinema and of those entitled and are used here only for cognitive and informative purposes.

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