The young boy Amon has the mysterious power of the ancient “wind people.” His father, a brilliant military scientist of the Golden Snake Empire, does not want to use his son’s powers for weapons of mass destruction. He burns his papers and lab and tries to escape from the country with his family, but is killed in the attempt. Amon is taken prisoner by the Golden Snake Empire’s despotic ruler, Branik, who intends for Amon’s powers to produce a new super-weapon. Amon escapes to Heart Island when an eagle explains to him how to see the wind and fly. On Heart Island, Amon learns a bit about the history of the wind people from a bear. He then flies off and settles in a small fishing village. There, he befriends a young girl his own age, Maria. When Branik and the Golden Snake Empire launch an attack on the village, Maria’s family are killed and Maria flees with Amon. Eventually Amon and Maria are recaptured, Maria thrown in prison and Amon forced to work on weapons. Amon joins a small revolution against Branik.
If that synopsis was hard to follow, it doesn’t really get any better. There is a severe lack of explanation in this film. I felt it was buoyed up by its visual splendour and production values, and also because I know that I am more critical than most people. Not to say that The Boy was a bad movie. I want to make it clear that it was okay. Not great, but fairly enjoyable. It was obvious what they were trying to do with it, but also obvious that they just didn’t have the talent to reach the high mark of excellence that they were reaching for. However, Branik’s insane lust for Amon’s power keeps hurting those who the boy loves, and he realizes that he must stop running if he is to save those dearest to him. In the midst of a war between Branik’s industrial machine and the nearby civilizations, Amon may be the only one who can bring an end to the madness.
The film’s main strong point is the ending, and like all good films, the execution of an ending is critical. The ending is both heartwarming, happy, and yet sad. The world which is portrayed is a mix of fascist state and mystic nature. As with many anime films what we are shown is a kind of parallel universe: there is violence in this film, and it is all caused by human beings.
The main criticism this film got was from websites saying how the characters’ past was not explored fully. For starters, the story plays in a world in which once an ancient civilization lived: the Wind People. Unfortunately, they died out at one point. How the main character came to be is never fully explained. There are entire scenes seem to be missing, characters act unnatural, and on top of that, there are continuity errors. All in all, it seemed this film was trying to rival that of a Ghibli film but didn’t quite succeed. Still I applaude the effort but this is one anime you might want to overlook.