Last Operations Under the Orion / Battle Under Orion aka Okinawa: The last Battle

Manatsu no Orion aka Battle under Orion aka Last Operations Under the Orion aka Okinawa: The last Battle

“Manatsu no Orion” is part of the new wave of Japanese WW2 movies (“Yamato”, “Ore wa, kimi no tame ni koso shini ni iku” being two others) and it begins very similar to Yamato: young woman meets veteran, veteran tells her of his experiences, movie is told through veterans flashbacks… not very original anymore. The movie is about submarine I-77 commanded by captain Koramoto, the last sub fighting the Americans near Okinawa. I-77 is being chased by the destroyer “Percival” commanded by captain Stewart. A deadly duel between the submarine and the destroyer erupts. Still both sides try to act with chivalry and show respect for each other.

Sounds familiar? Yes it does, “The Enemy Below” basically has the same setting only involving a German submarine instead of a Japanese one.

I expected more from “Manatsu no Orion” and was a bit disappointed. The movie sometimes feels like a cheesy “The Enemy Below” remake (or rip-off) . Some of the actors portraying the Americans are quite bad, it reminded me a bit of 1980s Hong Kong martial arts flicks involving lots of 2nd rate western B Movie actors. 😉 On the plus side it is not full of nationalistic propaganda, it tries to show that war is terrible even in the rare case of the enemies respecting each other.

Special effects are mediocre, not great, not embarrassingly bad (well, most of the time 🙂 ). Can’t comment on the Japanese navy uniforms as i am not very familiar enough with those.

“Manatsu no Orion” is not unwatchable, it is entertaining at times and does have its moments, but there are some boring and lengthy parts as well. All in all a mediocre movie.

~ by m1pencil on June 13, 2011.

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