Porco Rosso

by Sarah on May 28, 2008

in Anime Reviews 

  • Title: Porco Rosso
  • IMDB: link

Who said pigs can’t fly?  Porco Rosso is about a guy who was once a WWI ace fighter pilot that is now cursed to have the face of a pig for the rest of his life.  Porco, also known as Marco, began his life as a handsome fighter pilot for the Italian Air Force.

When he and his comrades were flying through enemy territory, they found themselves in the midst of a battle.  Fighter planes flying everywhere, shooting left and right and everyone except Porco was gunned down.  Porco was struck down but when he awoke, he found his plane flying by itself.  The plane rose up through the clouds to reveal a white band of planes overhead.  The planes were fallen seaplane pilots on their way to heaven.  When Porco looked to the side of him, he noticed his good friend Bellini and he called out to him but was unheard.  Bellini had just married a girl named Gina before they left for the war, and when he was flying up towards the band of pilots Porco told him that he can’t leave her alone.  After that point, he began flying for himself.  He took his seaplane and left.

Now on the run from Italy’s government he has to make money by being a bounty hunter, taking odd jobs like guarding ships from pirates and rescuing those in danger.  The first encounter with his excellent piloting is when the pirates kidnap a flock of schoolgirls.  Though the schoolgirls can handle their own with their adorable nature, Porco comes to help in his brilliant red sea plane.  Once they are rescued, Porco heads back to the Hotel Adirana.  Gina, the owner of a sea pilots’ club and hotel on the Adriatic Sea, has been friends with Marco before he was transformed into the pig-faced individual he is now.  When Porco comes in town he stops by for a good meal, good company and a place to stay.

Porco’s trusted aircraft engineers are in Milan, so he sets off to have his plane repaired, but instead of getting his usual aircraft engineer he gets a young girl named Fio.  Porco at first is a little reluctant towards Fio, but after he sees how good of a job she does, he comes to respect her.  Porco was in debt to the Piccolo family after they fixed his plane so they forced him to take Fio along to ensure payment.  Porco and Fio head back to the Adriana, and straight back into the pirates’ area.  While on their adventure, together Fio asks for a bedtime story and Porco tells about the last fight he fought in for the Italian Air Force, which lightly touched on why he has a pig face.

Curtis, an American pilot, takes Porco as an opponent and challenges him to a air fight.  They made the deal that if Curtis wins, he gets Fio as a bride, and if Porco wins, Curtis must pay all his debts to the Piccolo company.  After a few minutes of shooting aimlessly at Porco, Curtis realizes he was just wasting bullets just as Porco had planned.  Porco will not shoot a pilot, only their plane.  So when he is flying around tiring out Curtis it is so he can get a clear shot of his engine.  Once Porco has his shot made, he realizes that his guns are jammed.  Curtis, thinking he has the upper hand, goes to shoot at Porco but his guns are jammed as well.  With a stalemate on their hands, they both land their planes and begin to fight it out with their fists.  The two of them go through several rounds, turning each other black and blue.

Gina, back at her house, receives a telegraph from a friend that the Italian Air Force is heading to the island where the big fight between Porco and Curtis is taking place.  Immediately after receiving the message, Gina races off in her plane to warn the others.  Once she reaches the island, she tells Porco to get up, giving him the strength to stand up one more time against Curtis, thus winning the fight.  She then tells the pirates and the pilots that the Italian Air Force is headed their way and that they are all welcome to come back to her place for drinks on the house.  As the boats and planes flee the island, Porco and Curtis agree to team up against the IAF and direct them away from the others.  When Curtis looks at him he is taken aback by the sight of his face, it’s heavily hinted that Porco is now Marco once again.  The film ends with Fio’s voice narrating what happened to the characters after the fight, and leaves you with a few questions.

Oddly enough, there is no blood shed, even with all the bullets flying about.  This film is decent for all ages even with the little bits of violence.  Yeah, in the beginning you see a few pilots gunned down and on their way to heaven, but it really isn’t gruesome.  This was a rather entertaining little PG anime, especially the plane fight, because after their guns were jammed they began throwing parts of their plane at one another before they landed for the fistfight.  One big issue I had with it is that they hardly explained the pig face.  I mean honestly, you have to look at his fat pink piggy face for 94 minutes; the least they could do is add two minutes and tell you all about his little curse, or at least what he knows of his curse.  Other than that though, it is worth the watch for anyone, like I said it’s really mild on the bloodshed.  Miyazaki films are always a treat for the eyes, ears and mind.

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