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The Cosmic Consciousness creates the human race on planet Venus, a paradise of wisdom, love, and learning. However, the absence of struggle prevents humanity from striving for perfection, so the entire species is moved to the less hospitable world of Earth, where it is encouraged to seek enlightenment through a process of reincarnation. The early human civilization is smashed up by the dinosaurs, which are luckily killed off by cruel big-game hunters from outer space. Humanity continues to struggle amid several alien assaults. Satan is variously described as leading a revolution against the gods in heaven, leading a revolution in hell, or simply as being an invading alien from the Greater Magellanic Cloud. Mu, Atlantis, Greece, and the Inca civilization all represent peaks of achievement, but are all too soon destroyed by human folly-after, in the case of the Incas, defeating reptilian space invaders with the power of love. Throughout history, however, the same souls are constantly reincarnated, including the wisest humans, such as Jesus, Moses, Confucius, Zoroaster, Buddha, Newton, Thoth, Archimedes, and Hermes. It has now been 2,500 years since Buddha, and the time is right for a new cycle of redemption, handily offered to the audience by the Institute for Research in Human Happiness, the religious cult that funded the film.
Based on a book by Ryuho Okawa (aka "El Cantare"), the leader of the IRH and supposed reincarnation of several notable historical figures. As with his earlier Hermes, the plot is risibly incoherent, mixing myths and pulp sci-fi with such impunity that no writer seems prepared to take responsibility for it. There are, however, some spots of cleverness-particularly the use of reincarnation to ensure that the same point-of-view characters can lead the dumbstruck audience through the 40 billion years covered in the feature. As well as doing respectable box-office in Japan, where the IRH faithful flocked to see their leader's latest cinematic outpouring, Laws of the Sun was also given a very limited screening in the U.S., chiefly in California, a state not unknown for its readiness to embrace new religions. Director Ishiyama filmed similarly revisionist histories in Sakura Wars and Kishin Corps, while art director Don Davis won an Emmy for his work on Carl Sagan's landmark science fact documentary, Cosmos. Readers will be pleased to hear that Okawa no longer claims, as he did in the early 1990s, that the end of the world is nigh. One hopes this means that more of his 400 books will be animated soon. The Golden Laws soon followed.