Hiroyuki Imaishi (director)
26 November 2019 (released)
23 November 2019
The Burnish – flame combusting mutants who must burn to live - thirty years ago destroyed half the earth with fire. Since then the Burning Rescue team have been putting out fires caused by the Burnish, who are still around, and putting them away by freezing them.
However an offshoot calling themselves the ‘Mad Burnish’ appear, hell bent on causing chaos. This leads to a confrontation between the rescue team’s anti-Burnish hot shot Galo Thymos and Lio Fotia the leader of the ‘Mad Burnish’. They are drawn against each other in battle but the convolutions of writer Kazuki Sawano’s plot mean that there’s far more at stake here as they start to realise that they are intertwined.
The story does get a trifle confusing but the film unravels at such a velocity and directed with such panache by Hiroyuki Imaishi that however ludicrous it becomes, it’s almost irrelevant as the viewer is pulled into a world of giant robots and fire-fights. It is a visually retina scarring delight of colours and soaring visuals. As much as at times it feels totally overwhelming and tempted to look away or walk out, you just can’t, and shouldn’t.
The film may be a giant party popper of fantastical images but there’s some characterisation too, mainly the leads and there’s an unexpected darkness to it. As in the scene where the captured Burnish are used as fuel. It’s really quite horrible in concept but the execution of the images has a ghastly beauty to it.
But it’s the action that dominates and the various fights are brilliantly staged (if at times a little too long) with the animation a curious amalgam of traditional anime with a strangely Flatland geometric form, crossed with brutalist architectural images that works incredibly well.
It’s an all-out assault on the senses as the music is a key element to this as Hiroyuki Yoshino’s excellent score powers the visuals to another level, and only marginally let down by the pop songs that seem to have been slotted in randomly.