Anime is Japan’s pinnacle of cinematic achievement. Opinions on animation are changing in Hollywood, and across America. Human Lost is one more work of cinematic animation that proves not all “cartoons” are created equal.
The basic synopsis for Human Lost goes as follows: The year is 2036. A revolution in medical treatment has conquered death by means of internal nanomachines and the “Shell System”, yet only the richest can afford to partake. Yozo Oba isn’t the richest. Troubled by strange dreams, he flippantly joins his friend’s biker gang on an ill-fated incursion to “The Inside”, where society’s elite lives. This instigates a journey of terrifying discovery that will change Yozo’s life forever.
The premise itself reminds us of the Netflix series Altered Carbon. Seeing as we love it, one look at the premise and we knew our curiosity wouldn’t let us leave this anime title untouched. Human Lost is set to have a limited theatrical release here in North America, which is sure to further expand the love of anime sweeping across the nation. Ever since the internet has been able to easier connect anime fans to new titles, we’ve seen a large growth in its popularity.
The idea of the “lost” seen in the title refers to the very human condition of feeling like an outcast. The animation is stunning, and the trailer reminded us of Akira (currently in the works for a live action production) which is why we dove in for a film review. Osamu Dazai’s novel Ningen Shikkaku, commonly translated as No Longer Human, has previously been interpreted as being about the impact of Western influences on Japanese culture and traditions. What resonated most with us in this film adaptation of the novel, is its personal narrative of a creator clearly dealing with various forms of depression and alcoholism. With mental health and addiction becoming a more visible subject matter as of late, Human Lost is quite a timely title to dive into. The scifi mantle of this adaptation takes liberties by creating the very visceral battle of inner demons. With characters being devoted by the very thing that plagues them as they battle one another if not actually battle themselves for control over their state of mind. It is not a film you will walk away from without wanting to have introspection on the impact of social norms, mental health, and outside influences. We urge you to give the film a try. This is no Saturday morning cartoon.