Loups=Garous – Review

The movie shows us the dark future of everyone being so dumb that they would get lost in their own hometown without GPS…

Loups=Garous is one of the worst movies, I know. Sure, there are enough 80s/90s OVAs out there that are far crappier than this but this movie despite its solid staff and the involvement of Production IG is really bad because of its flawed execution. I think this movie has some of the most glaringly obvious logical lapses I have ever seen. This is the movie of people facepalming at what happens on screen. On the surface this movie is okay on a generic bland level but as soon as you start thinking about it you’ll realize how retarded this movie is. It’s still a mystery to me how anyone could’ve called the script for this movie ‘reasonable’.

Summary:
Release-Date:2010
Running Time:99 minutes
Synopsis:In a near future, the world’s population has decreased dramatically due to a deadly virus that terrorized the whole planet. Now people eat only synthetic food and tend to avoid as much as possible any form of physical connection or “real contact” with living creatures. Real shops have disappeared from the streets, and with the exception of the community centres (what were once called schools), people communicate with each others exclusively online. But even in this tightly controlled and systematized society, there is a group of young girls who actively pursued real contact. And when a string of brutal murders emerges, their challenge to this closed world is just about to begin.
– ANN

Imagine you’re alone at home in the night and suddenly the light goes out and you hear a suspicious noise. What would you do? It’s probably not what Makino’s doing in that situation. Because she’s saying loudly ‘Someone is here!’ which isn’t only a bad case of stating the obvious but she’s also telling the intruder where she is.

Review:
Loups=Garous is one of the dumbest movies, I know. You’d think that since Orwell’s 1984 writing dystopias as setting would’ve become somehow a ‘been there, done that’-kinda thing. But looking at how much Loups=Garous is doing wrong I still shudder just thinking about the possibility that someone sane thought up this movie’s script. This movie isn’t your usual messed up low-quality B-movie, though. This movie has a plan – but the plan sucks.
So, first the setting: Because of a plague, war and other nasty things people live separated in a controlled society that provides them with the means to live a clean life while being watched over by the system. On one hand you have the alienation of people from each other and on the other hand you have the authoritative regime doing injustice to what we call freedom nowadays. Both of these things play a role in the story but the catastrophe which led to the founding of this society-system plays never a direct part in the story. Instead it’s simplified to the formula that adults are the evil ones protecting a bad society-system. Also, the lack of social contact due to the plague (which we never get to see as a danger in this movie) is used as an excuse to keep the number of people seen in this movie to a handful and each scene (no matter where) only shows these people (with few exceptions of people who show up but don’t talk). This leads to the impression of a ghosttown. There’s simply no ‘life’ to be seen in this setting. Makino’s father (and mother, too… I guess, at least) is away because of some big job and that’s seemingly used as explanation for why the parents of every kid are absent. Even worse than the shounen-series with parents being childish and moe, there are animes like this one that simply tries to ignore the topic of parenthood and that although parents have a large impact on a teenager’s development. Of course, there’s also the point that parents are creatures of a very nagging and interfering disposition. Therefore it’s all the more bothersome when they simply don’t play any kind of role whatsoever in the plot. So you have these two story-lines related to the setting but completely out-of-context the movie also got a third story-line relating to the fact that at the top of this evil society is an evil guy who’s VERY evil.
The first two story-lines are still fairly interesting even if badly executed but the third one is boring and very simple in its tropes. But there are three aspects of this movie that prove why only a dead-drunk person could’ve thought this movie is watchable. So back to the third storyline and the first reason for why this movie is so horrible: You’d think some kids running around, investigating suspicious murders that finally lead to the VERY evil leader of the evil society would be an easy story to tell but this movie proved me wrong in that assumption. The way this story is told is so confusing and convoluted that I don’t even want to think about how everything that happens during the movie is telling a story. It already starts with the suspicious murders which we never see happen. What we see instead is the failed attempt at murder as far as the villains (or something like that) are concerned. All except one in this movie were killed – by one of the protagonists named Kono. In the movie we see Yabe being killed because the protagonists stupidly thought they just should give her to the authorities for protection and we see the villain apparently eating the flesh of one of his victims (could be Yabe, so in the end the villains killed only one person if you’re generous) because of his hunger for human flesh. In contrast we see Kono killing five people during the movie for reasons like ‘If he had simply walked away after I’ve seen him attacking Yabe I wouldn’t have needed to kill him’ (the italic part was of course added by me to make it at least clear why the thug tried to kill him). And at the end we’re supposed to feel sympathy for him. Loups=Garous is a movie telling you that serial killers are just people like you and me meaning that nobody should make such a big fuss over these people killing people. The movie pardons Kono for killing five people, too.
That brings me to the second part of this movie which is really wrong: The characters and the dialogues. Apparently living in the future means an over-reliance on technology which leads to the movie’s great insight that this would make everyone of us – a big moron… Except of Kono, who’s just a psychopath, everyone in this movie is really dumb. You have Tsuzuki, the hacker who insists on hacking being called ‘magic’ to the point where she says that she isn’t hacking but using real magic. And before her flat was blown up she had a kind of generator in her apartment with which she could’ve blown up the whole town. That was supposed to be funny or something. There’s also Myao, the unregistered illegal Chinese immigrant who dresses like a character out of Street Fighter – but she plays such a marginal role that nobody ever grants her enough brain cells to ever say anything of relevance. But the two characters who really take the cake are Makino and Kono.
Makino is the main-character of this movie and going with the mood she’s the king of morons. She’s supposed to have a communication disorder but it’s not only talking she has a problem with, it’s more like – everything. And her dialogues were a grating experience of having an echo for the rest of the characters because usually it goes like this:
(Fairly at the beginning of the movie Tsuzuki, the hacker, uses her magic to come into Makino’s house and after making Makino understand how she came to be in her house, this is what they talk about)
Tsuzuki: Also, Yabe was absent today, right? So I went to Yabe’s home to talk to her directly. It looks like the police are after Yabe.
Makino: The police are searching for Yabe-san?
Tsuzuki: Yeah, so I thought we should search for her.
Makino: Why?
Tsuzuki: Why, you ask…? Because we’re friends, of course!
Makino: Friends?
Tsuzuki: Let’s go! You’re friends, too, right?!
Makino: Y-Yes.

Imagine this dialogue without Makino’s answers; would it have made a difference? I don’t think so. And she actually talks during the whole movie like this. It’s really painful watching her and how she’s never of any use besides telling Kono that he’s also a human being (which makes it okay for him to kill people or something like that). Otherwise, nothing. She fails to do anything in fights, she’s too slow to understand anything of what’s going on around her and the dialogues with her remind me atrociously of the other characters talking to a wall. She’s simply useless. Kono on the other hand is a sociopathic killer. His voice is always monotone and he has no qualms about killing someone if he’s in the mood for it. He hates being watched over by the society and humans in general, it seems. That’s Kono. Normally characters like this would be villains but here it’s supposed to be some kind of ‘hero’ relating to this Loups=Garous myth (the movie wants to make him a kind of werewolf with a psychological interpretation but like everything else this part is executed very stupidly as well). It’s hard for me to describe how stupid this movie is and because of that I transcribed the dialogue of a whole scene of this movie:
(Kono, Tsuzuki and Makino meet at Kono’s place in the middle of the night to talk about their group performance for school but end up talking about Yabe’s disappearance. As for how the characters sound: Tsuzuki’s always energetic and enthusiastic, Kono’s voice is always monotone and Makino sounds obliviously ignorant.)
Tsuzuki: I stopped by Yabe’s place. She was absent and the police were accessing her home Monitor log. Also, Sakura Hinako from the same class and someone I don’t know named Nakamura were accessing it too.
Kono: The police, eh? That’s worrying.
Tsuzuki: Worrying?! What are we going to do if Yabe is involved in an incident?
Makino: Incident? You mean, Yabe-san isn’t just missing?
Tsuzuki: it’s a possibility. You’ve heard about the serial killings?
Makino: Hmm.
Tsuzuki: Do you know who got killed?
Makino (like having an idea): Could it be Yabe-san?
Kono: Yabe isn’t dead.
Tsuzuki: Right, she isn’t dead. He’s the one that died (shows a picture and info about the boy to Makino who stands a few metres away)
Makino (standing still and therefore unable to see what’s on the little monitor Tsuzuki’s holding): Who?
Tsuzuki: Come here.
Makino: Hmm (goes to her).
Tsuzuki (explaining): Kawabata Ryu, 16.
Makino: Who?
Tsuzuki: A boy in Wednesday’s class.
Makino (understanding): So it isn’t Yabe-san…
(This was such a moment of complete stupidity. The dialogue never shows any hints of Yabe being assumed dead but Makino still thinks she’s dead and despite Tsuzuki and Kono telling her that she isn’t it takes her another ten seconds to acknowledge that.)
Kono: Where did you get this data?
Tsuzuki: From the storage server at D&S that does area security.
Kono: Hacking?
Tsuzuki: Who knows…?
Kono: That’s illegal. Don’t you agree, Makino?
(Makino’s speechless out of surprise that Kono has talked to her.)
Tsuzuki (complains to Makino): You don’t have to act that surprised just because you have a problem communicating.
Makino: I-I’m sorry.
Tsuzuki: Kono, you should be more considerate, too. You’ve read your friends’ profiles, right?
Kono: I haven’t. I hate having relationships with others.
Tsuzuki: But still, it’s amazing that you knew Yabe wasn’t dead. That’s classified information, you know.
Kono: That? I had Real Contact with the kid who died.
Tsuzuki: You mean you met Kawabata?
Kono: Three nights ago, I just happened to see him…
Kono’s flashback:
(In the beginning it’s shown that Yabe is chased by some dude with a mask and a baseball bat and now in the flashback we see that nearby in the shadows Kono’s watching them – and doing nothing.)
Kono: I often leave the house when it gets dark. It was the same that time too. Kawabata seemed to be chasing Yabe, without success.
Tsuzuki: And you didn’t save her?
Kono: I was merely watching. Because my route home goes the same way, it led to me following them. Then another person wearing a mask appeared. They were able to corner Yabe.
Kono’s telling them that she saw
Tsuzuki: So you finally saved her?
Kono: I didn’t save her. Someone else saved her.
It’s just hilariously stupid how he tells the others this. Not only is he telling them in his monotone voice how he followed a murderer who chased a girl screaming for help he also continues to say that he just happened to see how the girl was cornered by another mask-wearing murderer and how those two were then beaten up. And supposedly he just went on after that. It took three retellings before Kono finally is ready to tell them the whole story. Three! For God’s sake, this story sounds so stupid, who the hell would even believe this crap the first time! And still the characters just accept Kono’s psychopathic tendencies like it’s no problem. Makino of course supports him wholeheartedly because she’s stupid beyond salvation.

The most baffling scene of the movie is definitely Kono’s story of how he watched Yabe being attacked without doing anything. I have no idea how that part is supposed to make sense, it’s simply… stupid.

What this ultimately leads too is the failure of having the most ridiculous setting you can imagine because it’s one that doesn’t really exist. The world-building makes the mistake to not consider what I call out-of-context-logic. Loups=Garous tries to explain why it’s so frigging stupid to anyone with a decent working brain and you may say that the movie’s logic is sound enough but the world-building doesn’t help you to feel like you’re part of the world. And that’s the moment where the out-of-context-logic really has its shining moment. The moment you don’t think about the setting anymore you apply the normal world’s logic to it. Of course you always do that, otherwise one wouldn’t recognize the difference between fantasy and fiction but what this out-of-context-logic does is reminding you how stupid some shit is if you think about it in terms of what would happen in the real world. This goes beyond laws of physiques and especially in this case describes how the characters’ behavior often seems preposterous and totally out-of-sync between what they are saying and what they are doing. This movie isn’t stupid because clowns dance to a children song, this movie is stupid because we’re supposed to take the clowns serious and regard the children song as something deep. But it’s not and this leads to a kind of delusional thinking where a main-character like Makino is considered shy instead of very dumb and Kono who’s obviously a serial killer of the worst sort becomes a hero whose reasons for being a serial killer are introduced to make us pity for him. Tsuzuki is this rebellious genius-hacker but what we see is a quirky girl thinking about blowing up the town and who calls her hacking real magic to the point of obsession. The picture this movie is painting is clearly dysfunctional.

Loups=Garous is a dumb movie beyond salvation. Its bland animation-style may be a fault in better movies but in this case it seems strangely appropriate to see such a crappy style supported by a crappy story with dysfunctional characters. The movie has some good ideas in its basic form but the execution is so bad that it will be hard to even notice that. This is the kind of failure you can safely laugh about knowing that nobody sane will like this movie.

Rating: 3,5/10

About M0rg0th

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

Posted on January 4, 2012, in Anime, Loups=Garous, Reviews and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Wow. WTF? While I’m not sure I think this movie is as awful as you say, it’s still pretty bad. It’s a shame, since it does have a potentially interesting premise. Interesting, because I started to feel like the “monitors” in the movie seemed more and more like my smart phone… A good friend of mine says that our phones have cameras on the front and back now so that they can see what you see, while keeping an eye on you too.

    I suppose my biggest ish with it all was that it seemed like they tried to pull a lot of material into the story which essentially got dropped or disregarded along the way. Like, what did the enraged manga fan guy with the steel pipe have to do with anything in the end? I suppose we can just shrug it off and somehow attribute everything to the virgin’s-liver-eating final boss? Like, why even bother spending 7 minutes of the movie explaining the DC’s (“deformed characters” which basically were manga drawings) if it wasn’t going to connect with the rest of the plot?

    I think maybe this movie is easier to stomach if you can spend the 98 minutes speculating on the various psychological disorders and developmental disabilities the main characters likely represent. The movie is easier to stomach if you spend the 98 minutes speculating about anything, really. Trust me, a wandering mind won’t result in missing any important dialogue. 😉

    I suppose it was a fine movie to watch while doing various chores (laundry, cooking, paying bills, cleaning my office, checking my voicemail). Some more background on the world they live in, a little more info on how things got to be how they are (plague?), and a bit more “happy” time between the girls would have done a lot to assist with the viewer’s “suspension of disbelief” and empathy for the characters’ inter-relationships.

    At least the “Chinese” girl (Myao) was pretty cool, and the battered baby doll floating down the river was a well-placed creepy moment. I suppose we can’t have it all, right?

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    • Well, I suppose it all comes down to “It should’ve been a series”, doesn’t it? The story wouldn’t have been so convoluted and the dialogue might have gotten some variation from having the characters saying the same thing again and again. But in the end that’s all speculation what it could’ve done with more time. Looking at what this movie actually does I only see any potential buried by a confusing plot with bad characters and baffling stupid dialogues.

      “I think maybe this movie is easier to stomach if you can spend the 98 minutes speculating on the various psychological disorders and developmental disabilities the main characters likely represent. The movie is easier to stomach if you spend the 98 minutes speculating about anything, really. Trust me, a wandering mind won’t result in missing any important dialogue.”
      Hmm, I don’t think the “speculation on the viewer’s part might enhance the experience of a movie”-theory works in this case. For that the movie had too much of a lack in terms of world-building. Like you mentioned the Deformed Characters, the plague, the Monitors and so on. It’s simply thrown into this story without integrating it properly into the plot. And while I may speculate what each element is supposed to tell me as viewer the story doesn’t really show any kind of effort to make me care about that.

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  2. The movie isn’t great, but you didn’t even get that Kono isn’t a guy but a girl. If you don’t pay attention then it’s obvious the movie is going to look like crap to you. Pay more attention, you’ll see it isn’t as bad as you think it is.

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  3. The movie had poor time explaining whether or not Kono was a he or she as well. They constantly referred him as a “he”, but slightly hinted him as being a “her”. Get it? :p

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  4. I only made it through 20 min of them movie but:

    Kono has breasts and the same physical structure as the other girls. Biologically, he is a girl. But referring to her as a ‘him’ is not an uncommon motif in anime. (Kino no Tabi) Think about what that symbolizes. I think that that’s the Japanese version of an ‘every-man’ or a character that represents a mass or an observer. It’s a cultural-literary difference. I think. Just speculating.

    But now, apply that to the characters reactions. I’m not sure how the story pans out, but look at how the characters feel about Kono. Could that be representing their feelings toward an aspect of society or their world?

    It’s not mistake that you’re in the dark about his/her gender, I mean, that’s a pretty big mistake for an animated movie, which looks like it had a high budget. :p

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  5. Okay, I’m obviously wrong about Kono being a guy. She’s a girl and Kino no Tabi is a good example as Em pointed out as to why she’s called a ‘he’. I still think, though, that this movie has a ton of problems that made it impossible for me to enjoy it. And it’s less what it wants to say which makes this movie dull it’s how it wants to say these things.

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  6. Crappy movie. No character development. Poor story development. Made it to the end, just bearly.

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  7. I thought the starting was ok, but then towards the middle, I thought I missed out a lot of things. It really seems to be a better idea to make it into a series, as there looks like a lot of ideas in the story, but with no time to flesh them out. I thought Kono can be developed even more as psychopaths are really good story material! I thought the girl genius could be developed since she goes against the idea of nerdy girl geniuses (such as Cowboy Bebop)! But in the end… that character at the very end looks more like a deus ex machina to me 😦

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  8. WHAT HAPPENED TO KONO AT THE END!? DID KONO DIE!?

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    • As far as I remember… she sacrificed herself… right? Man, it’s been quite some time since I’ve watched the movie… Besides, who cares… Kono was the sort of dull character of the no-emotion-variety which always are quite dull without other good characters to interact with (also meaning that such a character can never amount to more than a boring sideshow). And her being on the spectrum or just straight-out being a sociopath-killer isn’t really an excuse for her soulless characterisation (there is and should be more to this kinda thing than just speaking in a monotone voice and kill without remorse).

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