It’s Japanese. You know those gifs of crazy Japanese stunts floating around the internet? This film has some of that spirit in it. It’s different and it’s good.
do not watch this if you wish to retain your sanity.
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.