@andrea_chii and @xjazzy13) I was left with two great suggestions. @andrea_chii suggested picking a movie from a new book I received for my birthday, 500 Essential Anime Movies, so I picked a random page and decided that this would be the movie to watch. @xjazzy13 suggested Mushi-Shi, which I will be watching this week so stay tuned for a post on that soon.
Three travelers come across a town that has been attacked and decimated by bandits. A young girl, who is the lone survivor of the town attacks the travelers, thinking that they are with the bandits. Being badly wounded during the fight with the bandits, the young girl tells the three travelers that the bandits attacked in order to acquire the towns treasure map to a lost city. It turns out that the three travelers end up accidentally finding the lost city while searching for water. They encounter the bandits while in the city only to learn that there is more to the city than meets the eye. The city was built for the dead and nobody has ever escaped to tell the tale of what the city holds. The three travelers must try to escape both the bandits and the spirits that guard the city.
For a 55 minute movie, there was a lot packed in. I actually enjoyed the movie quite a bit, although I did have some trouble figuring out what was happening through it. I tended to find the pace of the story wavy, it would speed up then slow down. This caused me to find myself a little confused at times. I will certainly have to watch this film again in order to get as much as I can out of it. There were some very deep concepts about the ideas of building for life after death, as well as whether physical life is more important than afterlife.
Visually, the movie was nothing more than average. The animation style, character design, and color palette were mediocre across the board. There were no elements in the art that really stood out or remained memorable. The musical score was very well used. I have to admit that I found myself paying a lot of attention to the orchestra in the background more than the dialog at times. I will most likely end up looking for a copy of this soundtrack because it was very well done. Having watched so many newer anime shows, it was nice to pick one up where they weren't using the same 5 or 6 voice actors over and over for every show. I didn't find myself being reminded of characters from other series while watching this (as you may have seen my comments in previous posts about the voice over actors).
At the end of the day, I would recommend this film to watch. Although it wasn't the most memorable film I have seen, I still feel that I received my entertainment value for the time that I spent watching it. I'd like to thank @andrea_chii again for the suggestion on this one, and stay tuned for my review on Mushi-Shi coming soon as per @xjazzy13's recommendation.