After buying the first game on the series for the PS3, I was quite intrigued to learn more about the Bayonetta series.
Turns it out it also had an anime adaptation and after finishing the game, I bought the blu ray DVD combo. The movie is an anime adaptation of the video game series Bayonetta by Platinum Games.
Much of the storyline of this film is adapted from the first game. Like in the first game, it focuses on Bayonetta, a member of the umbra witches who hunts down angels in order to find out more about her past.
It is faithful to the original video game despite the differences in the film’s adaptation. The film has a lot of entertaining moments and sarcastic quips from Bayonetta herself. It is also easy to follow and can stand alone as well. So those who haven’t played the game as yet can be able to enjoy the movie.
The characters in the movie look almost exactly like the characters in the game with some minor differences in appearance. Bayonetta is instantly recognizable and looks almost like her video game counterpart even with a few small changes to her wardrobe. The character designs are very distinct to each other which is pretty cool. The angels also look exactly like their video game counterparts. The characters in the movie also inherits the personalities from their video game selves.
All of the voice actors from the original game returns as well to reprise their respective characters. For me, the voice acting was one of the highlights of the movie. Some of the dialogue from the game also appears in the film as well with the ususal sprinkling of sexual innuendo. This provides some extra fun stuff in the film to keep fans of Bayonetta like myself entertained.
Action scenes in this film is fast paced and stylish. It has Bayonetta’s trademark sexual appeal which she uses to humiliate her enemies sadistically. Even in danger, Bayonetta still remains calm and she enjoys making funny quips even in the face of great danger. The animation, done by Gonzo studio, is stylish and very slick. The art style in this film looks detailed and well-drawn. It uses a mixture of digital cell shading drawings, and some CGI mainly for angels and action scenes.
Visually, the movie is dark and sleek. Each set piece in Bayonetta’s universe has its own visual flair, and successfully recreates some of the notable levels in the game. The final showdown between Jeanne and Bayonetta was especially exciting and gratifying. The movie added new set pieces such as the introduction taking place in a church instead of a graveyard. Bayonetta met Cereza in an entirely new and different place after being transported there by Balder. So overall the art, visuals and aesthetics are some of main highlights of the movie.
The musical score in this animated version is like the score in the original game. Some of the songs from the game appear in the movie as well. “Mysterious destiny” the battle theme often used in the game, is used at the beginning of the movie and in the first action scene. “Afterburner”, the song used in one of my favorite sections in the game where Bayonetta rides a motorcycle while fighting angels on a highway, is also in this film.
The film has a lot of fanservice in it. Many of the film’s shots, especially during the action scenes focuses on Bayonetta’s private parts. This is part of the sexual nature of being a witch in the universe of Bayonetta. I found it to be entertaining and I was not bothered by it at all.
There's a few downsides to this movie. I remember this one small odd dialogue slip up in the film where Luka states “its not Luka its Chesire!” instead of the reverse he normally says whenever Bayonetta teases him. While the animation of the film is really good, the CGI can be noticeable in some parts like the angels or whenever there is a chase scene. Also, the animation in some parts can be somewhat sluggish. In the game the storyline is over the top and focuses more on style then on substance. It is entertaining for the most part, but it leaves out some parts of the story and somethings are either unexplained or confusing at times.
However, despite these drawbacks, I found the movie engaging and entertaining and iss my personal favorite anime adaptation of a video game. I’ll give it 4 stars.
If you like the Bayonetta series you should give this film a try. I really do think anime is a much more suitable form for adaptation for video games, especially Japanese ones.