Memories - Magnetic Rose
“Magnetic Rose” is a short 45-minute movie from 1995, directed by Koji Morimoto (Director, “Robot Carnival- Franken’s Gear” and Opening Director “Dirty Pair: Project Eden” ), based on a short comic/manga by Katsuhiro Otomo (“Akira”, “Robot Carnival- The Robot Carnival”, “Roujin Z”, “Steamboy” ), and with script and art direction by Satoshi Kon (storyboards and layouts “Run, Melos” ; art design, key animation, “Roujin Z”; Director, “Perfect Blue”, “Paranoia Agent”, “Paprika”). It, along with Katsuhiro Otomo’s “Cannon Fodder” and Tensai Okamura’s “Stink Bomb”, make up the Anime omnibus film, “Memories”.
In the late 21st century, the space salvage ship, Corona, receives an SOS signal. Led by the sound of Puccini’s “Un bel dì, vedremo” (Butterfly’s aria describing the day her lover will return) to an Outer Space Sargasso Sea, the crew happen upon a wrecked satellite belonging to a beautiful, late 20th Century opera singer, Eva Friedel. After quickly rocketing to acclaim and stardom, the performer lost her voice, her career, and her lover, and slipped away into Space to live surrounded by the remembrances and mementoes of her ephemeral moments of joy, fame, and love.
However, long after her death, the satellite’s computer continues to function; enticing and trapping travelers in a holographic world of hopes and dreams long past. Corona crewmen Heinz and Miguel board the vessel. Will they be able to escape the siren call of a picturesque world of perfect memories?
“Memories are not an escape!”
Nostalgic and melancholic in its execution, it’s especially interesting that it is our own era “Magnetic Rose” depicts fondly in the past tense, being looked back on from a not so bright, shiny future.