It’s Ja­pan­ese. You know those memes of crazy Ja­pan­ese video game show stunts float­ing around the in­ter­net? This film has some of that spirit in it. It’s dif­fer­ent and good.

do not watch this if you wish to re­tain your san­ity.
– trip­pay

For many it would come across as a clas­sic ex­ample of mind­fuck style story, ex­actly what I was look­ing for when I ac­quired a copy of this film. I was led to be­lieve it is a hor­ror film, a genre I hap­pen to ad­ore. Sadly, that’s not true – Call­ing this film a hor­ror is a long stretch, but there’s gore (not guro1 as many claim) though, so one might not even no­tice.

Char­ac­ters are the strangest part of the film. What you’ll see here con­sists of a care­ful se­lec­tion of ex­treme so­ci­ety out­casts. Designs con­trib­ute to per­son­al­it­ies and per­son­al­it­ies con­trib­ute to their design. The net res­ult is char­ac­ters that con­trib­ute to the story without giv­ing the viewer a chance to even think about get­ting dis­trac­ted.

A lot of story in­tric­a­cies are left for free in­ter­pret­a­tion of en­ter­tainee and not ex­plained in de­tail. There­fore, I strongly dis­cour­age read­ing any kind of sum­mar­ies be­fore watch­ing this film as those might in­tro­duce in­ter­pret­a­tion bias killing any sat­is­fac­tion one might get from the film. As for sum­mary… the life and love story of un­lucky girl after she loses her sick mother is ex­plored. Don’t get misled by sim­pli­city of this one sen­tence long sum­mary though.

An­im­a­tion is not bad. Even good given it was pro­duced by one-­man team between 1987 and 1992. Without any help of com­puters or ma­chines. Of course, it is hard to ig­nore how dif­fer­ent it is com­pared to mod­ern anime but I got over it quite quickly. Col­our space chosen by the an­im­ator works in fa­vour of en­han­cing the at­mo­sphere the story builds too, so you could say it looks fine. Not great, but fine.

The soundtrack, or rather, the au­dio it­self suf­fers from en­cod­ing arte­facts which were more than com­mon back then and it hurts the film more than it should. However, even then the soundtrack is me­diocre and neither en­hances, nor ru­ins the ex­per­i­ence, story or at­mo­sphere the story cre­ates.

All in all, after a struggle get­ting through first sev­eral minutes of the film I got drawn into it and en­joyed it throughout.

  1. Defin­i­tion of guro tends to vary, but usu­ally it is defined as gore with ele­ments of por­no­graphy.↩︎