I was just watching the 2008 remake
of the 1951 classic The Day the Earth Stood Still
and it seemed to me it owed as much to some anime series as to the original film.
In the original, the alien Klaatu warns humans over their war-like behaviour, saying that if they try and spread their violent activities beyond earth they will be destroyed, whereas in the remake he says he is here to save the earth from humans so it can be used by better species. In this it follows the plot of the 2004 Gainax anime series This Ugly Yet Beautiful World
(この醜くも美しい世界 Kono Minikuku mo Utsukushii Sekai
) where two aliens (who take the form of teenage girls of course!) (and who like the re-Klaatu also arrive in spheres of light) are here to judge and if necessary wipe out the failed human race so evolution can try again. In both film and anime series, we see the judge swayed by personal affection for a human who has been helping them.
Moreover in both stories there are two aliens - Hikari and Akari are prosecutor and defender of the human race, roles mirrored by Klaatu and the chinese-looking alien Mr Wu who says he has found earthlings to be violent and abhorrent and yet paradoxically lovable, exactly the sentiment of the anime series, and expressed explicitly in the anime's theme song "Metamorphose":
The more sullied they are,
The lovelier they seem,
Those who draw breath on this earth
The more I hate them,
The more I want to embrace them
In both stories the "bad cop" character has an invincible robot protector, but this is also true of the original Earth Stoodstill film of course. In the films he is called Gort, in the anime Ioneos. Finally in the anime a swarm of strange red butterflies (representing the unborn species which humanity should give way to) starts to kill everyone, whilst in the film a swarm of tiny nanobot-like winged insects does the same thing.
The film also has a homage to Evangelion in that the robot is Eva-sized and described as a living thing, a cyborg. It is taken into a chamber pretty much identical to the ones used for the Eva units with a control room whose window looks out onto the creature at head height, a bizarre setup for holding the hostile bot of the film but logical in Evangelion. As in one of the Evangelion episodes the creature breaks free of its restraints and attacks the control room. The theme of nanobots eating away at buildings etc is also found in Evangelion where one of the "Angels" took this form. (Mind you it even crops up in Sailor Moon S
where the senshi are attacked by nanobots!)
All in all I would say the film is 3 parts remake, 3 Ugly/Beautiful World and 1 part Evangelion. In the end the film is neither ugly nor beautiful but I liked it anyway, and the same goes for the anime series which seems to have partly inspired it, it was a good idea rather ham-fistedly executed, especially the way that one of the key human characters looks like a homage to Sonic the Hedgehog with his daft hairstyle.
One last word on the anime: I love the ambiguity of the OP song, Metamorphose
, whose meaning undergoes a metamorphosis as we learn the true nature of the story. The opening lines, "I whisper goodbye to this ugly world / Adorning it with plumes of reddest red"
seem to speak of suicide, the singer is going to kill herself perhaps by slashing her wrists, but ultimately we realise that it is the world that is going to be destroyed, by a plague of blood-red amorphous butterflies.