Patema Inverted, A Tense, Beautiful Sci-fi Adventure

The world of Patema Inverted is a strange place. Shown to us initially through the eyes of a young girl, whom is the animation’s namesake, Patema. The first thing you’ll notice is the rusted steampunk appeal of this world. Enigmatic metal pipes line mysterious hallways while claustrophobic tunnels stretch out into the dark depths, which are themselves riddled with curious machinery that leave you wondering what their purpose ever was.

Patema likes to spend her free time exploring the lesser known expanses of the labyrinthine world she calls home, despite protests from her guardians the young girl’s powerful curiosity can not be easily stopped.

In this world there are two different civilizations that exist, the underground dwelling tribal society to whom Patema belongs too. And the surface living so called: “True Humans”, the citizens and people of Aiga, who believe that those who fell into the sky long ago are sinful people. They refer to them as inverts and think of them as something less then human. The Aigans fear the sky so much so that to even gaze upon it is akin to gazing into something evil and malicious, they live in fear of the sky, afraid to the point that they see it as if it were Hell.

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Boundless beautiful sky? Or horrifying void?

Some scene’s in the film were actually pretty tense and frightening. Other’s are beautiful and give off a sense of awe. Even still there are some that evoke feelings of melancholy and sadness, the movie had it all.

“Is it a sin to fall into the sky?”

At one point early in the film Age the film’s second protagonist asks the question.

Good Japanese voice acting. I started watching the film in the English Dub but despite Patema’s performance being great she sadly was not enough to overcome Age’s awful one. I ended up switching to Sub and the difference was night and day. Both Japanese voice actors did very well and I really enjoyed hearing their vocal performances.

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The soundtrack was great! High quality quirky music permeated the film. At times eerie and other’s bombastic; it was always the highlight of any scene without dialogue, and when the dialogue was there it empowered the moment rather then overshadowed it. It may have been the best thing about the film in my opinion.

Four OVA’S (Original Video Animations) called Patema Inverted: Beginning of the Day, were made prior to the film’s release, sort of like a manga one-shot pilot to see if the work would gain any interest. The same scenes are shown in several screenshots below that showcase the difference between the two productions.

Differences Between The OVA’S and Film

As you can see the difference is mainly an increase in animation quality, the background is occasionally revamped as seen in the first comparison picture but it’s mostly just better looking art. In terms of story nothing was omitted from the OVA’S in the movie version so they can be safely ignored, I simply watched them cause I’m a bit of a completionist.

In Conclusion

Patema Inverted is a compelling animation and an enjoyable family friendly story. While not perfect I nevertheless enjoyed the watch and could see myself re-watching it again later on down the line. Give it a go and hopefully you’ll like this fun little odyssey too.

85%
  • Animation
  • Soundtrack
  • Plot
  • Story
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