Steamboy is an interesting twist of technology and science in the time of the Great Exhibition in 1851 in which the great Crystal Palace was open to the public to view thousands of the latest technology throughout the world. It was a great time for the world to unite in one location and show one another plainly how awesome their inventions were.
What's the twist? Nearly everything was powered by coal or steam. How does one fly? Wings of course! But instead of just propellers, add a bit of steam power to propel the single person craft through the air at, well, not completely neck breaking speeds, but still fast for its time! It is a strange combination of how things where powered. I like to think of it as a time in which electricity was still in its infancy... as well as fossil fuels.
It's hard to say whether or not this movie was amazing or not. The animation and designs were far more than I had expected for this film, but not being a fan of the Akira big fore-headed art style in general, it's hard to relate the characters with their environments. However, I was able to over look this difference with its engaging characters and plot.
The basic idea behind this film was a question, "what is science for?" As the main character Ray, a young inventor (I mean maybe even early teens young) finds out, science is an uncorrupted idea in which humankind can embrace a number of different ways. It's mostly a fight between two different idea of what science is and why it exists.
Ah~ It's refreshing to see an anime film that breaks a few stereotypical movie ideas and make the mind think a little. It doesn't go quite as far as Princess Mononoke with its nature vs. humankind's growth, but the point still comes across. There's a lot of action, and some silly parts, but the development of the main characters is what really got me into this film.
A must see for those who like to think a little deeper.