I just finished watching Kai Do Maru. Kai Do Maru is an animated film by the same animation group as directed the more well known Ghost in the Shell, and once pointed out, it’s hard not to see distinct similarities in the artwork. The color pallet is unique among anime that I’ve seen: it has a washed out feel with almost no use of blacks, or bright colors. It feels muted, something which lends a dreamlike quality and helps mute some of the more violents scenes, except where the limited use of bright, vibrant red intentionally brings it out. I think the dreamlike ambiance of the film made it more difficult to follow though, as did the emotionless voice acting. This, I think, is intentional, tying into the overall tone of the film.
Overall, I think Kai Do Maru is good, but not great. I did like that it’s an unapoligetically grownup film, and the artwork is certainly interesting, and debatably beautiful. At 45 minutes, it feels right, any more and it might be too much, any less and it would be unsatisfying. Watch it via netfix’s watch now feature and you won’t be disssapointed, but don’t plan an evening around it.
If you’re interested in reading more, there’s a much more full-fledged review here.