Monday, October 24, 2016

Short Peace Review


 (This is a review regarding each short film since this is an anthology film. I review each short individually and on their own)

Short Peace is a collaboration project with Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira) & Suda51 (No More Heroes, Killer 7, Lollipop Chainsaw, Shadows of the Damned & Killer Is Dead) centering around stories set in Mount Fuji. Suda51 worked on the game for PS3 while Otomo worked on the compilation shorts with studio Sunrise (the animation company behind Cowboy Bebop, Gundam, Code Geass, The Big O & King of Thorn) was behind the animation on all the shorts. Being the fourth project regarding a series of short films Otomo worked on, It's no surprise Short Peace is another great showcase of unique talent in animation and story at times.

POSSESSIONS:


Written and directed by Shurei Morita (Tokyo Ghoul), this short tells the tale of a traveler who's confronted by spirits on a strange shrine during a crazy storm. This short is really beautiful with some pretty inventive scenarios and a great message on kindness and the need to help the unfortunate, even spirits (from what I got in my first viewing). Top it off with some great CG animation by Sunrise (who also animated all the shorts for Short Peace) that looks far superior than recent Sunrise properties (*cough* Valrave *cough*) and imaginative spirit designs with each spirit giving a unique look and charm. Possessions starts the compilation strong and steady and easily, a wonderful short truly deserving the nomination for Best Short FIlm.... Too bad it didn't win squat.

COMBUSTIBLE:


Written and directed by Katsuhiro Otomo, Combustible tells the tragic love story of a firefighter and a geisha as we see their love being impossible due to laws forbid them to be together and a wildfire causes more harm to not only their village but their love. Combustible starts off very calm while introducing the love story of the firefighter and the geisha but certain laws or traditions forbid them to be together which adds tragedy to their situation but during the final act of the film, a fire goes out of control and if you thought it ends on a happy note, the short pulls a 180 as it goes to a much darker & somber path. The art in Combustible is executed perfectly with the art style perfectly depicting the traditional paintings of ancient myths we see from Japan and it looks wonderful (the fire effects look phenomenal). With it's dark third act and beautiful visuals, Combustible is a phenomenal work from Otomo.

GAMBO:


Written and directed by Hiroaki Ando from an original story by Katsuhito Ishii (Redline), Gambo tells the story of Gambo, a white polar bear who defends a young child from a royal family against a bloodthirsty demon that wants to harvest young women to re-produce more demons by getting them pregnant. Gambo is brutal. No, I'm not kidding. By reading the synopsis, you're probably thinking it's a really dumb story but trust me, it is damn good and ends with the most bloodiest fights in anime films by far. Plus, the art in Gambo looks beautiful and the designs are top notch (the demon looks pretty fucking boss) and the music is heart-pounding. What can you say but GO GAMBO!!!

FAREWELL TO WEAPONS:


Written and directed by Hajime Takoti (mecha designer on the Gundam series) and based off a manga by Katsuhiro Otomo, it's the tale of four men hunting down robots in an apocalyptic Tokyo. Farewell To Weapons is another heart-stopping addition to Short Peace. The moment when they spot a robot, the men quickly assume their positions and start off an epic battle of life or death with every shot building up to an impactful moment that hits you right in the face and boy did I ever love the living crap out of this. I also enjoyed the comedy banter between the 4 men that had a feel of comradery and all of them were likable people. It also ends on a more comedic tone but it didn't bother me cause I had so much fun with this short. Farewell To Weapons ends this series of shorts with a "BANG".

POSSESIONS: 4/5
COMBUSTIBLE: 4/5
GAMBO: 5/5
FAREWELL TO WEAPONS: 4/5

As a whole: 4.5/5

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