Anime Quick Information

Title: Oblivion Island: Haruka and the Magic Mirror
UK publisher: Manga Ent.
Genre: Fantasy
Studio: Production I.G
Type: Movie
Year: 2009
Running Time: 1hrs 40mins
Rate this anime:
Average Rating: 8

christor's review

christor scored this with 8/10. Disagree?

Ever since the original Toy Story came out, Computer Generated imagery has ruled the big-screen animation output in the west. Fantastic as some of these films may have been, for lovers of the art of traditional animation, it's hard not to feel something has been lost. Luckily for 2D fans, Japan has continued to fly the flag of traditional animation, even while incorporating the latest digital techniques. There have been a few Japanese studios who have tried to take anime into three dimensions, but the results have been at best, mixed. Enter Oblivion Island, the latest CGI anime to see release in the UK.

Oblivion Island has a better chance than most, coming from the legendary Production I.G. The studio has been pushing forward Japanese animation for more than two decades, but this is their first shot at a fully CG feature.

The film follows sixteen year-old Haruka, who having lost her mother at an early age has a rocky relationship with her father. Heading to a shrine for a good teenage sulking session, she encounters a fox-like creature named Teo and follows him through a magical portal. There she finds Oblivion Island, inhabited by the fox-thingies and built from people's lost property. From then on she sets off on an adventure to try and find the lost mirror that was left to her late mother, before the villainous Baron can get to it first!

You might have guessed from the plot synopsis that this is aimed at a younger age group than your usual Production I.G release. If you're looking for explosions, robots and fan-service then you've come to the wrong place. On the other hand if it's good, clean family entertainment you're after then Oblivion Island more than fits the bill.

It's a pretty simple story - Alice in Wonderland meets the Wombles - but a solid one, so if you have little people to entertain you can't go far wrong. It's not afraid to go into emotional territory either; Haruka's mother's death is not just brushed under the carpet, but dealt with in believable terms you don't often see in kids' movies. It's nothing worse than you'll see in the first ten minutes of Pixar's Up, but it's still impressively handled.

Visually the film is a treat, with gorgeous animation and design that look fantastic on Blu-ray. The characters look great, pulling off the 'anime in three dimensions' look with real panache. Oblivion Island itself is wonderfully detailed and imaginatively designed, constructed from the objects people have lost and long forgotten.

This arrived without much hype or buzz, so you might be forgiven for suspecting the worse. In fact though it turned out to be something of a pleasant surprise. This is easily the best attempt at CGI anime we've seen so far. While it may not be giving Pixar any restless nights just yet, it certainly shows a lot of promise. Overall this is cracking family entertainment, and an enjoyable watch for just about any fan of animation.

Screenshots (click to pop out)

Review Information

Score: 8 out of 10
Review By: christor
Date Published: Thu, 7 Mar 2013
Post your response to our review of "Oblivion Island: Haruka and the Magic Mirror"

Editorial Spotlight

Anime Quick Information Title: Gurren Lagann: Ultimate Collection UK Publisher: All the Anime Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Crazy, Fan Service, Giant.. Read more (0 comments)
The search for the Legendary Silver Crystal starts to heat up as Tuxedo Mask foolishly makes his search for it known to the general public on national television, leading Luna.. Read more (0 comments)
Hibiki Kuze and Daichi Shijima (best buddies) and fellow high school student Io Nitta rashly sign up to the Nicaea App on their phones that promises to show them the face of a.. Read more (0 comments)

Got news?

Got some news? E-mail it to news@AUKN

Recent Comments

The Anime Girlz on Hetalia: Axis Powers #1

This was an anime a friend of mine recommended because I was beginning to like anime and manga. When I first watched the anime, I was like... (Read more)

Speedy Z5 on Elemental Gelade #2

Still just waiting to talk about the movie/book or something WHY ALPHA WHHY WHY DID YOU ABANDON ME!!? (Read more)

KIBA on Princess Mononoke

princess mononoke is a great blend of magic and fantasy that any one young or old would lose them selfs in this fantasy world (Read more)

kiba on Eureka Seven AO (Astral Ocean) #2

i dont think it was as good as the eureka seaven it could have been better but there was to many things going on it was a bit confusing at... (Read more)

thunder on Outlaw Star

I can not wait until it is out on dvd i have been waiting so long for it (Read more)

About Anime UK News

Anime UK News has been going since 2004, want to contact us or learn a little more about the site? Head to the about us page.