When I finally went ahead and watched Rakuen Tsuihou in early 2015, I was more than just a little prejudiced against it. I’d heard murmurs and snide remarks about nearly everything, from the fact that it was CGI to the fanservice, and even the writing (let’s just say that not everyone has the same opinions when it comes to the works of Gen Urobuchi). For this reason, I initially did not pay much attention while watching the movie, choosing instead to make low-effort jokes about the main character and what I thought was a silly setting.
In retrospect, that is an unfortunate thing, because by the end of the movie I had come to like it quite a bit. The CG didn’t bother me, in fact I thought it looked quite good most of the time, and I had also been gripped by the story. I liked the discussion about “reality” versus virtual reality, and not just because it was very… I don’t want to say Matrix-esque, but yeah, Matrix-esque, at least in terms of its setting. The final action scene was also really good visually, so the movie ended up impressing me on more than just one level.
And after the fact, I’ve started noticing more and more positive impressions of the movie. It might just be because I’m now more open to hearing other opinions beside people constantly dunking on Urobuchi, but in the end it seems that the movie was reasonably well-liked. I personally wouldn’t put it on par with most other anime movies I’ve seen, but it wasn’t a bad experience. Not at all.