In a near future, the world’s population has decreased dramatically due to a deadly virus that terrorized the whole planet. The movie just starts somewhere in the middle of a city after some war. People that live in there are controlled everywhere even in their own houses by countless cameras and patrouling services. When the shy 14-year-old Hazuki Makino finds that one of the members of her new group of online “friends” has gone missing, she is coaxed into braving the outside world to help by the young hacker Mio Tsuzuki, who also brings the cold, solitary Ayumi Kono into their plan to find the missing girl, Yuko Yabe. Helping them out is the older, but strong Rei Myao, a skilled fighter who has been trying to help girls that have been attacked by the presumed killer. On top of that, all food is synthetic (nobody has tasted meat in years) and children go to school only once a week.
With some very good animation to it and great sense of color, the transfer stands out well here with how clean it is but also having that tinge of a film like feeling to it. Colors are very solid with only some very minor elements of banding to it at times that almost look intentional in some ways. I was worried I might find some gradients in the darker colors, I didn’t see any. Line detail is generally very strong throughout this presentation and the colors, while muted a lot of the time due to a preponderance of dark nighttime scenes, look decently sharp and well saturated.
Loups=Garous is a haunting, intriguing and somewhat gruesome tale you will not forget. To imply that it is a masterpiece is wrong however, as the ending twists are a bit predictable. Aside from personalities, what is great about the characters is that we have a dual-protagonist story going on, and it works. Makino is the point-of-view character here, and she has her own, deep character growth that she experiences. The film also never develops a real narrative or dramatic flow, so that when we do get a series of denouements toward the end, they seem anti-climactic at best and just kind of pointless at worst. In many ways, Loups=Garous is more Kono’s story than it is Makino’s. Pacing issues and awkward CG moments aside, this is still a movie you will not want to miss and more so if you’re a fan of the genre.
Considering how things have changed in the last thirty years, how much more can they change in another twenty to thirty? It’s hard to imagine in a way how people will act and communicate. This film challenges you to think about society, our reactions, and how our world will change. A dark, intelligent and engrossing story that paints a bleak and fascinating future, Loups=Garous is a wonderfully executed anime feature film that does justice to the science fiction and mystery genre. It’s not a constant stream of action or activity and it actually spends time building up what the world is like with all the cameras and monitoring and the way it’s changed so many people. This anime film comes highly recommended.