The other day, I finally broke out my subtitled, un-cut copy of My Youth In Arcadia. I’ve owned the cut, dubbed release for a long time, to the point that I know the script pretty well, and I looked forward to seeing what had been removed from the original.
I only made it to the end of the World War II sequence, but I was still pretty surprised. While this version is clearly a slightly better translation, so far the only new material I’ve seen is the World War I-era prologue. Plot points that I’d assumed would be better explained in an uncut version remain murky.
Of course, this is a common condition with anime films, which have a habit of stringing together cool sequences with a minimum of narrative linkage, and letting the viewers fill in the gaps from their own imaginations. I’m not saying that it’s an invalid technique – there are some American SF / Fantasy movies that would have been better had they explained less – but I was hoping for more.