Running Time: 91 Minutes
Source: DVD, Madman Release (Region 2 and 4). English Dubbed.
"At the top of the world, the ancient artifact known as NOAH'S ARK has been uncovered. Buried and forgotten since the birth of history, it holds the potential to elevate the holder to the status of God... Now a desperate battle erupts across the planet as 2 secret organisations race to uncover the artifact; one seeking to destroy it, the other to enslave the human race!" -Story outline from from DVD blurb.
Storyline: (7/10) By using a concept that most people are familiar with, Spriggan delivers a story involving a problem on a world-wide scale, as the fate of the planet rests in the outcome of the events. Unfortunately the film may fall under its own weight in this respect as there isnt a great deal of emphasis on the world and religon, as the storytelling constantly gets lost in action sequences. The 2 groups after the artifact are the USA and ARCAM; ARCAM is set to prevent mankind from invoking the power of the Ark, while the USA intends to excavate the Ark for themselves in their motive to stay on top in global power. There wasnt a great deal of effort put into the storytelling, as it is mostly drowned out by the action.
Characters: (6/10) The viewer follows Yu Ominae, a japanese agent known as a "spriggan" working for ACRAM. As a spriggan, he has the physical abilities and mental focus beyond those of any humans, setting him up to be a versatile fighter. Thats pretty much all that is known about him for most of the feature, so one can tell that the emphasis on action also overrides the character development needed to involve the viewer. The reader will exhibit some character development from Yu, but he is pretty much the only character that develops under the story... hence the characters are barely involving.
Animation: (8.5/10) This is where Spriggan shines. The action scenes are brilliant, and scenic work in camera positioning (if you could call it that) is also a good area in Spriggan. The quality of the art is a at good level even in today's standards, and there are notable 3D effects used as well. Since there is a lot of action in this film, the viewer will be more than satisfied with this aspect of it.
Plot: (6.5/10) As mentioned, too much action means that Spriggan suffers plot-wise. There is little breathing space for the viewer between action scenes, and this may annoy the viewer. Personally, i was annoyed and lost my concentration during the middle of the film as there was little explanation behind the events.
Audio: (7.5/10) Ive only heard from the english dub. But apparently in the japanese dub, the gunshots and action scenes are far too loud compared to the voice acting, this further distorts the focus of the film. The english dub is great, and extra efforts have been made to ensure that they actually lip-synced words from the bible. Music-wise, you have your standard action cinema scores, nothing that stands out.
Overall: (7/10) For an anime film, its average. But for a good action flick, you cant go wrong with Spriggan, just dont expect a great deal of meaning to come from the events and dialogue. Strictly for action fans.