A essay about Otomo’s work, “Freedom” and “Akira” part onePosted: March 12, 2011
I found this video on Youtube.
As you can see, this is a TV-commercial for Nissin cup noodle. There were ten versions that were made and broadcasted from 2006 to 2008. Throughout the series, these commercials show one anime story. This promotional project was titled “FREEDOM project.” As part of the project, the 7-part anime video DVD, titled “Freedom,” was released simultaneously.
（You can watch the trailers of the DVD on the official website FREEDOM-PROJECT.JP ）
I watched some parts of this commercial series on TV and they were very impressive. But I couldn’t watch all of them. (Isn’t it difficult to watch a commercial on TV that you actually want to see?)
Then I was able to watch them in their entirety on Youtube and I was attracted the anime. The movies really stimulated my otaku mind.
I also rented the DVD immediately.
FREEDOM 1 [DVD]
FREEDOM 3 [DVD]
I will explain the outline of the story.
The stage is set in the 23rd century, in a city named “Eden” on the moon’s surface.
Civilization on the Earth was destroyed by a large disaster and war 160 years ago. Eden had been built by people who survived on the moon. For the sake of human beings surviving safely, the society of Eden was completely managed by the Eden Administration Bureau.
Eden was located on the far side of the Moon, so ordinary people couldn’t see the earth. It was believed that it would be impossible to live on the earth even now.
One day, a boy whose name is Takeru and his friend, Kazuma found out a strange message when they went out of the city dome. Takeru thought that it was from the earth. He and Kazuma went to the near side of the moon in spite of the danger.
Takeru and Kazuma saw not a reddish earth (as people believed) but a beautiful blue earth.
They headed for the earth on a rocket while they were pursued by the Eden Administration Bureau because they had known the secret.
By the way, the characters in the story, Takeru and Kazuma, resemble Kaneda and Tetsuo, who are the characters who appeared in a manga that was adapted to the anime movie in 1988 entitled “Akira.”
In fact, the character design of “Freedom” is by Katsuhiro Otomo who is the author of “Akira.”
However, Otomo only worked on the character and mechanical design, not on the story, so it is improper to call “freedom” Otomo’s new work.
If you watch it as Otomo’s work you might be disappointed, because the story is simple, straight and kind of juvenile Si-Fi, not at all like his normal work.
Anyway, the characters are the children who still have genes from Otomo.
Although there are those who criticize Otomo as he made repeated use of the same characters from Akira, I think that it can’t be helped that all his characters are alike since Otomo will always have a certain style.
It’s enjoyable for me that it looks like Kanada and Tetsuo are playing in another world.
In that way, I enjoyed this “Freedom” series immensely.
I also found fan-sites of “Freedom.” These sites were very interesting.
Most of these sites have content about Akira, which made me want to reread Akira.
So, I reread all volumes of that manga during Golden Week, and also watched the anime DVD.
(Continued to part two)