Japans top anime creators bring a richly romantic action/adventure fantasy in an imaginary planet where retro-futuristic sky vehicles permeate the skies. Against this lavish background are the lives of young and heroic van ship sky porters Claus and Lavie who are forced to take on the mission to deliver a mysterious girl, Alvis, to the battle ship Silvana. Before they know it, they become entangled in an aerial adventure between two countries griped in an eternal war of magnificent air battleships.
Noted designer Mahiro Maeda gives this sci-fi adventure a striking, muted look that mixes elements of Buck Rogers, Weimar Germany, and Napoleonic France. Childhood friends Claus and Lavie dream of becoming a top Vanship team: daring pilots who serve as mail couriers, flying their small ships to dangerous destinations. Just as they're about to win an important race and establish the reputation they desire, Claus insists they stop to aid a disabled ship. The pilot entrusts them with Al, a mysterious little girl who is being pursued by an angular mecha
-ship. Although Lavie and Claus are clearly in over their heads, they promise to see Al is taken to safety. The storytelling in this new action-adventure is considerably less polished than its original visuals, and the filmmakers fail to set up the odd, war-torn world of the series satisfactorily. (Rated 13 and older: violence, minor profanity, tobacco use) --Charles Solomon