In animation, I don't remember seeing a face of a female character as beautifully shot as the lead character here. We also get to have multiple such moments (she really is gorgeous!), which makes me suspect the director must have oogled over her. The one problem though is that she doesn't exactly look the part of a supremely skilled warrior. Her great strength is also left unexplained.
There are 2 more characters that could have been better:
- Hitomi, the leader of the rescue mission that helped the lead; she sucks because she was chosen merely for some Japanese idea of sex appeal, the sort so common in erotic Japanese soft porn stuff; that's no problem, except her character doesn't fit the role, and in a more severe manner than the lead herself.
- Dr. Gilliam Knute, the genius creator of a species similar to humans, is also designed purely for sex appeal (she is pretty too). She really isn't my idea of the character she's forced into. Also, the moments involving her aren't done very well, a lame attempt to give the movie emotional punch.
Much of the visual design is quite nice, but is inconsistently so. The fusion of 2D and 3D is a bit poor, but some of the movements of the characters (e.g. some movements like walking, or fighting) are quite impressive. As for the designs of the exo-skeleton, did they have to look so bulky? Anyways, the catwoman-like robots are wonderful to look at, complete with their metal-cutting whips. This is one case where sex appeal worked well.