Thursday, 9 June 2005

Short anime: Studio 4°C's Comedy

i was born looking corpse-likehow to pick up a chickhowdy, missymedieval warfare ARE scarierlit-dudethe horse follows her everywhere

The only thing funny about this 10-minute long anime is its title.

Comedy (or Kigeki) is a collaboration between two well-known anime studios, Studio 4°C (Spriggan, Animatrix) and Production I.G (Patlabor, Ghost in the Shell). The story is set in middle age Ireland, in the wake of the invading English forces conquering their way through the surrounding regions. The main character and narrator of this story is a little girl who learns about the approaching invaders and tries to save her village from the impending danger.

The girls remembers a legend about a mysterious swordman who lives alone in a castle in the Black Forest. Aside from being dubbed the 'Black Swordsman', nobody knows why he choose to live in recluse and spends most of his time burying his nose in literature and rare books.

The little girls sees a saviour in the black-clad, well-read swordman. She grabs an old book from her family cupboard and makes her way to castle, hoping to make an offering to the swordman. A rare book in exchange for the service of his sword.

Short but sweet

Comedy's greatest strength is in its animation. Studio 4°C, the chief endeavourer behind this project, proves itself again to be one of the major creative force in anime. The artistic style of the animation is surreal in which generous amount of blurriness and light hues are used. It's almost like watching a painting in motion.

The story begins with a scary warning, but viewers will understand what it means in the later part of the story. The narrator's child-like voice lends to the the story a sense of hope and innocence, despite the gloomy setting of potential despair and uncertainy. And as you could probably tell, there is no clear or reasonable relation between the title and the story.

Funny title, but overall an impressive and memorable watch for art lovers and busy viewers.

(Comedy is an OAV, original animation video, or straight-to-video release anime.)


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