Movie Review: PROMARE

Studio TRIGGER’s first independent animated film, PROMARE, ignites the fires of familiarity with references and hints to past works, including both GURREN LAGGAN and KILL LA KILL; but surprisingly most people seem to compare it with the currently simulcast streaming series Fire Force. Personally I do not see the resemblance, other than both containing fire fighters; but I haven’t watched Fire Force myself just yet. Regardless PROMARE will satisfy your hunger for STUDIO TRIGGER and even more so with its insanely addictive soundtrack.

Taking place in a futuristic, but modern-day society, PROMARE follows the activities of fire fighter Galo Thymos who finds himself protecting the city as part of a team, known as Burning Rescue, against the Burnish. The Burnish are humans capable of wielding fire and they came to exist in the world thirty years prior sporadically, but upon doing so cause destruction within the city by using their flames. To combat this threat the Burning Rescue team restore order by putting out these fires and – at times – attempting to stop the Burnish that are causing the ruckus with the unavoidable assistance of government squads.

At this point you might be thinking, well this is just Fire Force? But this is where things start to change. During a routine rescue attempt, of which sees Burning Rescue called to action, we see Galo Thymos, a rookie to the squad, encounter the leader of Mad Burnish – a group calling for support in helping Burnish have a place within this new world order. What first started as a simple fire fighting rescue soon spirals into a dramatic, and over-the-top-animated fight sequence, between Galo and the leader of Mad Burnish, later to be known as Lio Fotia. This fight sequence is insanely over-the-top, dramatic and, as with KILL LA KILL, filled with roars of passion; so much so that you can help but feel motivated in seeing how the fight will end.

Ironically at this point we do not really know either characters, their backstories or their personalities and soon enough we begin to learn what makes each character do the things they are doing. For Galo it is about repaying the debt of being saved by the Governor as a child, but for Lio it is about rescuing the burnish that have been captured and finding some way for both humans and burnish to reside beside each other. This sudden drop of plot reveals that PROMARE has a much deeper meaning than what the trailers initially demonstrated; it’s about understanding one another, respecting each other and not being afraid of someone that isn’t seen as normal. A clear and respectable message indeed.

Regardless once Galo learns of Lio’s motivation and desire for protecting the other Burnish he begins to doubt his hero, the Governor, and upon confronting the Governor he soon realises that his doubts were justified. According to the Governor earth, as a result of the Burnish’s appearance and constant use of fire, will self-destruct and to avoid this catastrophe the Governor is using captured Burnish to power a spaceship. This realisation causes more doubts within Galo’s heart and, after a series of rather comical events, finds himself working with Lio in an attempt to rescue the captured Burnish from the Governors hands.

This partnership leads Galo and Lio to uncover more secrets within the government and the ‘false policing of the nation’ and soon causes rage within both Galo and Lios hearts. The story here is that the Governor stole the technology used to power the spaceship, of which has not been finished and will actually cause the earth to explode straight away. Its also explained that the Burnish flame powers are actually as a result of an alternate parallel world. An explanation, that made little realistic sense to be honest, was given; but the result of it all was the same – team up and stop the Governor from destroying the planet that he is trying to save.

Now with the endgame insight PROMAREs true colours begin to shine; a seemingly never-ending over-the-top battle that sees Lio and Galo team-up in a mech and do battle against the Governor in his own mech. References to GURREN LAGANN at this point are clearly seen and i’m honestly a little disappointed that the phase “Your drill is the drill that will pierce the heavens!” was not used as during one final blow the mech Galo and Lio operate turns into a giant drill that pierces through the spaceship. It’s this type of over-the-top insanity, of which is further intensified with the films soundtrack, especially Galo’s theme song, helps generate a wave of emotion to those that enjoy the animation of STUDIO TRIGGER. Put simply that theme song, which is a bit overplayed, is motivational and builds-up the events on screen.

Naturally the ending is predictable, but the journey of getting there – especially through the fast-paced animated battles – is worthy of praise. PROMARE’s story line may seem at first like a fire fighting team protecting the city from arson attacks; but in reality it’s about overthrowing a government and changing the status quo. The status quo being the discrimination against the Burnish and enslaving them for their own desires; even if they have been working a respectable lifestyle within the community.

For fans of STUDIO TRIGGER then PROMARE ticks all of the right boxes, but if you are not keen on the artstyle of fighting of GURREN LAGGAN and KILL LA KILL then elements from PROMARE will surely disappoint. Sure enough the film is visually appealing, with its pretty colours and flashy animation style, but it is by no means realistically detailed like other anime films. It’s comical, colourful and vibrant with a story that offers something once you understand the deeper meaning behind it. Regardless; PROMARE is still a fun film but this is clearly a film for the fans of STUDIO TRIGGER and their past works.

Score: review-stars-4

PROMARE will be available in selected cinemas throughout the UK on the 26th November 2019 (subtitled) and 28th November 2019 (dubbed) with tickets now available to pre-book on the official PROMARE UK website.

Subtitled Trailer:

Dubbed Trailer:

About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

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