Title:  Steamboy

Year:  2004

Manga Available in the UK?  N/A

Anime Available in the UK?  Yes (Sony Pictures)

Games Available in the UK?  No

What's Steamboy then?

Steamboy is the latest film from Akira creator Katsuhiro Otomo, who has swapped a dystopian vision of a future Tokyo for the more elegant setting of Victorian England!  The story revolves around Ray Steam, the third generation of a family of inventors who receives a package from his grandfather which contains the greatest invention of the Victorian Age, the Steam Ball.  The Steam Ball was

 created by Ray's father and grandfather at the behest of the powerful O'Hara Foundation, who want the power for their own nefarious ends and will stop at nothing to get it back.  Ray will need all his wits about him as he flees to London to avoid the Foundation's ruthless agents.

Sounds like a rip-roaring adventure, and did you say it's set in England?

We did indeed, Ray hails from the exotic location of Manchester and travels to London at around the time of the Great Exhibition.  The locations are meticulously re-created, including London's spectacular but short-lived Crystal Palace and well known landmarks such as Tower Bridge and the Houses of Parliament.  The feel of the Victorian Era is captured perfectly, Robert Stephenson even appears in the film!

Who's Robert Stephenson?!

Robert Stephenson was a famous Victorian engineer, he and his father George built Stephenson's Rocket - the granddaddy of steam trains!  As you can probably guess with people like him around steam is the order of the day and the steam-powered technology created for the film is breathtaking.


Steam Powered technology?  Any examples?

Pretty much everything you can imagine from massive armoured trains to flying machines and the monowheel Ray is riding in the screenshot to the left.  Otomo has really let his imagination run riot!

Cool, so what else has Otomo been up to?

Making this film!  Steamboy has been Katsuhiro Otomo's project for about a decade, it has taken a long time for animation technology to get to a point where it could do his vision justice.  However, as the boundaries

expanded so did Otomo's ideas, each technological advancement meant that he could do more and he took full advantage.

Sounds good, so what can I expect?

Stunning visuals and tonnes of action, plus an excellent English dub featuring Patrick Stewart, Anna Paquin and Alfred Molina.  You'll also end up with an overwhelming urge to build a monowheel, which is surely one of the coolest vehicles ever to grace an anime film!

Do you have any other articles on Steamboy?

Yep, check out the press release here, and also have a look at the Official Website!