Sukai Kurora (The Sky Crawlers)

Critics Consensus

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78%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 9

58%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,989
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Movie Info

This sci-fi tinged, full-length anime feature opens on a peaceful future, where Earth has left the violent conflicts of war in the past. Human nature still craves the clash of battle, however, so private companies now stage "war as entertainment," creating fictional wars for ordinary people to read about in the paper. These companies call exclusively on the services of young people known as Kildren. One such Kildren - a young man named Yuichi - has been newly assigned to a base in the fictional war, but with no memory of his past and a mysterious woman named Suito watching his every move, Yuichi is about to find that this made-up war isn't as harmless as it seems. ~ Cammila Albertson, Rovi

Cast

Rinko Kikuchi
as Suito Kusanagi
Ryo Kase
as Yuichi Kannami
Shosuke Tanihara
as Naofumi Tokino
Chiaki Kuriyama
as Midori Mitsuya
Daisuke Hirakawa
as Aizu Yudagawa
Mugihito
as Mugirou Yamagiwa
Naoto Takenaka
as Bar Owner
Takuma Takewaka
as Uroyuki Shinoda
Yoshiko Sakakibara
as Towa Sasakura
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Critic Reviews for Sukai Kurora (The Sky Crawlers)

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (1) | Fresh (7) | Rotten (2)

  • If you're prepared to meet the film halfway, you'll find it an engaging, spectacular and thought- provoking experience.

    Apr 23, 2010 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • The aerial action has been carefully crafted for excitement and offer impressive scenes of skylines full of fighter planes: the mix of CGI and 2D animation give depth and a gloss that would make Michael Bay proud.

    May 13, 2010 | Rating: 7/10 | Full Review…
  • If you're unfamiliar with the delights of anime, I wouldn't start with this one. But fans will adore it.

    Apr 29, 2010 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • If at times too opaque for its own good, The Sky Crawlers is nonetheless a dark, engagingly surreal thought-provoker animated with Oshii's customary grace and flair.

    Apr 29, 2010 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • The Sky Crawlers is Oshii's finest film since 2001's underrated Avalon and his best animé since the original Ghost in the Shell.

    Apr 8, 2010 | Full Review…
  • how could a movie about the amazing sky-high acrobatics of aerial dog-fighting teenagers end up being so boring

    Jul 10, 2009 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Sukai Kurora (The Sky Crawlers)

  • Oct 06, 2010
    The sky crawlers is a very well done movie and a very good book though like Meany films it takes more then one watch though to understand and get throw it. The book is really good no doubt some people would have waited years to see a film or an animation version of it and finally we get one. With some fantastic battle scenes in the sky and on the ground it proves to be some what of a very slow movie. Though this movie was also nearly on the list for the 81st academy awards for best animated feature. The Sky Crawlers is set in an alternate history where, although the world is at peace, in order to ease the tension of a populace accustomed to war and aggression, private corporations contract fighter pilots to stage combat operations against each other for show. The film introduces a mystery involving characters called Kildren humanoids genetically designed to live eternally in adolescence until shot down in air battles presented commercially for entertainment, after which they are reproduced by cloning. Has a great story that can be very slow moving but its good. 90% for story it can be slow at times but I really liked it 80% for acting and dubbing they really do sound great 80% for animation it's greatly done but could have been better 100% for special effects they are just mind blowing these plane scenes are not animated but both CGI and animation 70% for characters would could have known more about them but overall fine 80% for everything else. But take my word it takes more then 1 watch but its worth it. Keiko's score 90-100
    Keiko A Super Reviewer
  • Sep 30, 2010
    It's astonishing how much heart, soul and depth they managed to incorporate in this gently told, unique story, despite the sterile, but at the same time strangely sophisticated nature of it's characters. This is an adult Japanese anime in a psychological drama, not much as an action-adventure, and it has a very quiet, reserved pacing. The CGI aerial combat sequences were amazing?dizzying and spectacular, with intricately designed air vehicles that spurred the imagination. The characters' emotional depths were thoroughly mined?although not always pleasantly so. The character design and art direction were top notch?the CGI segments were almost photo-realistic, and the 2D segments were beautifully drawn and lighted, too.
    Dean M Super Reviewer
  • Feb 19, 2010
    The Sky Crawlers seem to live up to its name, that it really took its time to tell a story, but in doing so, allowed for the narrative to sink in. After all, it's brought to us by Mamoru Oshii, and as far as his filmography goes, this Japanese maestro's works is often deep, and have more than enough room for multiple viewings, each time allowing you to take away something different, or unnoticed from the previous time round. Adapted by Chihiro Itou from Hiroshi Mori's story, you could see the themes that this movie had that would interest Oshii to be at the helm. They are nothing relatively new, as fans would see some similarities in the characters' struggle about their own existentialism, and what I enjoyed most, the connected thread between war and peace. It's like the notion of having to prepare for war that you get to enjoy some peace, and I guess every National Serviceman would have heard that at one point or another during their tour of duty. While one can find some distinct parallels from Americanized films that pay homage or blatantly ripping off Oshii's earlier works, what I thought could have been toned down, was how toward the end, subtlety wasn't the rule of thumb, and almost every theory got explained verbatim. There were enough unanswered questions along the way to tickle your brain, leaving you guessing and drawing your own conclusions, but there were at least two crystal clear moments that decided to tell all and show all, taking away most of the fun. So in a way, you have less room to maneuver your thoughts during that after-movie discussion with friends. I could imagine and understand any kid sitting inside a theatre hall having absolutely no patience for this masterpiece. Except for the opening sequence which had packed in the action at Top Gun pace, one's notion that this was going to be a war-action movie gets thrown out the window within 10 minutes. Naturally it has the potential to go in that direction by playing up and extending the aerial dogfights, but to do so would be to dumb this film down a lot of notches. Granted its characters are pilots, and kid pilots at that, "Kildren" (I would like to think of it as Killer-Children) who don't seem to grow up, get careers in Corporations that seem to be waging war on behalf of nations, and pilot propeller-powered warplanes to engage their enemy in attacking and defending routines. Heck, there's even a Red Baron equivalent as the resident bogeyman too! They smoke, they kill (up in the air) and they make love, with nary an adult batting an eyelid, that you would deem them all turning a blind eye to their kids' shenanigans (of course there's a reason for this). Imagine the adults being quite nonchalant, and some even supportive, of kids fighting wars while they go about their daily lives, being quite unaffected other than being a feature in news bulletins. So we follow the adventures, and mysteries weaved amongst the characters of Kannami Yuichi (voiced by Ryo Kase), base commander Kusanagi (Rinko Kikuchi of Babel fame, who had also collaborated in Oshii's omnibus movie Kill under the segment Assault Girl 2). The remaining supporting characters serve out their primary purpose, such as Tokino (Shosuke Tanihara) as the wingman/buddy, and Mitsuya (Chiaki Kruiyama, Kill Bill's Gogo Yubari) as the tell-all mouthpiece, which I thought that even without, the coda after the end credits roll would have summed it all up nicely. This is Japanese anime, so its quality is excellent, with some really photo-realistic moments, and aerial dogfights that look as real as if they really built those planes and shot them in mid air. John Woo would also be proud at how balletic the shoot-em-ups can get, pulling back its punches as well to avoid any explicitness in its violence. The main theme of the soundtrack is extremely hypnotic and would linger on you for some time after the end credits roll. After all, it's by Kenji Kawai. This is not an action movie, period. If that's the kind of movie you're expecting, then my advice would be to save your money. If you're looking toward something that's more contemplative, and dealing with themes that would make you think along the way (until the two mentioned moments where the hints get more obvious), and maybe even appreciate life a little more. What worked: The CGI aerial combat sequences were amazing-dizzying and spectacular, with intricately designed air vehicles that spurred the imagination. The characters' emotional depths were thoroughly mined-although not always pleasantly so. The character design and art direction were top notch-the CGI segments were almost photo-realistic, and the 2D segments were beautifully drawn and lighted, too. The Basset Hound was cute. What didn't work: The pacing was slow-this is a psychological drama, not an action adventure-and could have benefited from some judicious editing. Although I found the transitions from CGI to 2D and back to be perfectly fine, particularly after getting into the rhythm of the film, many viewers will likely find the transitions jarring. This sci-fi tinged, full-length anime feature opens on a peaceful future, where Earth has left the violent conflicts of war in the past. Human nature still craves the clash of battle, however, so priv... read more ate companies now stage "war as entertainment," creating fictional wars for ordinary people to read about in the paper. These companies call exclusively on the services of young people known as Kildren. One such Kildren - a young man named Yuichi - has been newly assigned to a base in the fictional war, but with no memory of his past and a mysterious woman named Suito watching his every move, Yuichi is about to find that this made-up war isn't as harmless as it seems. Youngsters called Kildren, who are destined to live eternally in their adolescence. The Kildren are conscious that every day could be the last, because they fight a war as entertainment, organized and operated by adults. But as they embrace the reality they are faced with, they live their day-to-day lives to the full.
    Sergio E Super Reviewer
  • Jan 16, 2010
    It's a really good idea, but it's sorely lacking a pulse.
    Marcus W Super Reviewer

Sukai Kurora (The Sky Crawlers) Quotes

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