Sins of the Sisters
Presented By: US Manga Corps
Distributed By: Central Park Media
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
What would the world be like without war? Without religion? John Lennon asked us to “Imagine” such a world, but I for one never could. It seems such an every day part of our existence that it is utterly impossible to imagine a world where peace reined because people no longer had differences to wage wars over. Sins of the Sisters, an anime from U.S. Manga Corps and Central Park Media, gives us a vision of just such a world. But that peace is bought at a very high price.
Centuries ago, in the year 1212, a youth named Hans led a group of young Christian Crusaders on what he thought was a journey to the promised land of Jerusalem. He soon discovers that he has been deceived and that he and his fellow Crusaders have been sold into slavery. Horrified by the prospect, the young men jump from their slave boat to drown in the choppy sea below. Upon his death, Hans vows that he will become a fallen angel, avenging the betrayal and denouncing the very religion that supported him throughout his life.
Hundreds of years later, Hans is reincarnated in the body of a young girl named Aiko and finally fulfills the vow that he made on the night he died. In the body of Aiko, Hans rises to power and leads a group of college students on a revolt against religion and all it stands for. Thus begins the World Restoration in which all religious leaders and groups are purged from the Earth. The Post-Restoration world remembers little about the wars and pestilence that once plagued them…all except for one woman who is haunted by the memory of her lover whom she believes was indirectly killed by Aiko’s Restoration Movement.
Haunted by her lover’s image and mysterious memories about a past that no one believes existed, Yuki vows revenge on Aiko and the Female Crusaders of St. Michaela’s College. What follows is a story of heartache and treachery that spans centuries as the women wage a battle across time.
The artwork in Sins of the Sisters is excellent. The human body is drawn true to form and the color schemes in the movie are striking. The music is haunting and almost detracts from the subject matter of the film. However, when one considers that a portion of the film is in fact about lost love and the betrayal of destiny, the music makes perfect sense.
The storyline behind Sins of the Sisters is very politically and religiously charged. The creators of this movie are making a statement about the world today. They do so in the very beginning of the movie by stating that without religious factions, the world no longer had anything to wage wars over. This is a very bold statement and one not to be taken lightly in these present times of war and lack of harmony in the world.
However deep and intriguing the message, Sins of the Sisters is marred by the excessive sexual acts that take place throughout the movie. Yes, some of the sexual acts are very symbolic – one school of thought dominating that of another. However, there are some scenes which seem to be contrived just so there can be more nudity in the film. The scenes may be well-drawn, but that doesn’t mean they belong in the movie.
The DVD version of Sins of the Sisters allows the viewer the option of viewing the movie in Japanese with English subtitles, or completely dubbed in English. Special features include scripts, an art gallery, cast and production credits, and previews of upcoming anime movies.
Individuals with strong religious values will probably loathe everything Sins of the Sisters stands for. However, many viewers who search for meaning in the films they watch will be intrigued by this film and would likely recommend it to others, if for no other reason, than to spark a debate about the subject matter. Even viewers who would rather watch a movie for its visual content and not for the underlying meaning will definitely enjoy Sins of the Sisters. I would highly recommend this film to any lover of anime, but be strongly warned – the film contains nudity and sexual situations not suitable for kids.