Coming from the studio that brought us Tekkonkinkreet I was hoping for something with a similar style. It's not. It's got a traditional anime feel with a distinctly Russian flavour. But couple that with the original Russian voices and English subtitles and the film amounts to a very interesting proposition.
I was expecting something fairly predictable but there were a few twists thrown at me. One scene had me thinking, 'Here we go, a bit of backstory time'. Yawn. (I'm never that keen on origin stories, the Star Wars prequels spring to mind, as does the Scorpius episode in Farscape. Yawn. Again.) But to my surprise, everything suddenly changed and I was engrossed in a chase scene between Nadya and some blond-bobbed female German twins. Good stuff.
Even so, I can see myself buying this at some point because I really enjoyed the atmosphere. The animation is premium quality and the music by DJ Krush is not too shabby. The ending paves the way for a sequel, one that I wouldn't mind watching for once. Plus, if a film contains an apple scrumping scene, it's got to be half decent.
If you like this you could also try:
Redline, Tekkonkinkreet, Jin-Roh, The Sky Crawlers.