LILY C.A.T.: Body Horror and Paranoia Through The Lens Of Animation

This is another old anime movie I watched with Helen on youtube, and frankly it was delightful. It fucking rules. It's got everything a weirdo who stays up all night watching 80s horror movies would love, and also, that weirdo is me, and I love this movie. It's like the director watched Alien and went 'hm. I want to do that' and then he did. Obviously it's not perfect as a piece of art, but it accomplishes everything it sets out to do. It's fun and engaging all the way through and the art is good and there's a lot of genuinely good horror that even the somewhat unprofessional English dub somehow doesn't fuck up.

The film follows the crew of a spaceship, the Saldes, sent on an exploratory mission to a planet twenty years away by space travel. However, when they are woken from their stasis, they discover that not everything is as clearcut as their mission was meant to be; with the threat of the unknown looming above, they descend into paranoia. The film is as much about them fighting against each other's suspicions as it is fighting against an alien menace.

Where the feature really excels is in its animation, and as a matter of fact, me and Helen initially discovered it through gifs of some of the most interesting body horror being passed around as aesthetic posts on twitter. Horror is always a difficult sentiment to convey in animation, and I think the significant chunks of body horror animation are the film's strongest point; they really just feel nasty to look at in that fun way 80s anime body horror does when it's pulled off successfully. My only real gaff with that is that there were two scenes featuring explicit violence against a cat, during which I had to like cover my eyes because I am a weak bitch and I get really really fucked up by seeing cats hurt in media. Even if they're fake fictional not real animated cats. My brain is fuckin' broke.

Aside from that, I love this movie. It's just exactly an 80s B-movie style knockoff of Alien with an excellent aesthetic sense, that happens to be animated. The plot is one of those things that keeps you guessing, and the ending is like, god, we were hollering about it. It was great and I had a good time watching it, and I definitely recommend it if you feel up to watching some good classic anime horror.

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