Before watching Cencoroll it is important to keep in mind this 27 minute movie (based off a one short manga titled Amon Game) was written, directed, designed, and animated by one man- Atsuya Uki. Now, a 27 minutes anime leaves little room for plot and character development, but this does not take away from the overall enjoyment of the film.
When Yuki discovers one of her classmate, Tetsu, has been keeping a shape shifting monster, Cenco, as a pet she becomes instantly curious and begins to follow the two around. When another boy, Shu (who controls a monster like Cenco), shows up literally out of nowhere conflict ensues.
As mentioned above, there is not much time for the plot to properly unfold and that is one of the few drawbacks of Cencoroll. The viewer is introduced to an extraordinary world but is not given enough time to truly get a taste of it, which can leave some unsatisfied.
If surrealness is not your cup of tea then I cannot with a good conscious suggest Cencoroll to you. This anime is odd, but in the best possible way. Cencoroll is not one of those animes that tries too hard to be different, resulting in a total rejection of the show. You are always given a moment to take in what has occured and sort it out.
The film gave the impresstion you were watching a long preview for a new anime series.
One of the redeeming qualities in this short film is the art and animation. Some argue that the character design is too plain, but I completely disagree. The character style is very fluent, crisp, and refreshing. The facial expressions are outstanding.
The beautiful and detailed landscapes/cityscapes are presented brilliantly and a highlight of the film. As are the fighting scenes and the transformations done by Cenco. It is astounding that such amazing animation was done by one man.
There is very little background music in this anime. While many animes use music to intensify scenes Cencoroll does not, adding to it's overall surrealness. You can though hear the sounds of crickets, leaves rustling, and whatever else you would expect to hear in Japan. All is very realistic.
The ending theme, titled Love & Roll by Supercell, is a upbeat and fun song.
I can understand characters getting a lower rating. With no character development it leaves the viewer with a very one-dimensional feel for the cast.
I found the characters lovable despite this. Tetsu seemed indifferent to everything going on around him and was not surprised by much. His somewhat dull (but still lovable!) personality was evened out by Yuki. Kana Hanazawa, who is known for her moe roles, voiced Yuki. She does a wonderful job of showing Yuki's curiousness. Cenco, whose only motivation is to feed himself is funny, even though he says nothing. The three together make a comical team who are a pleasure to watch. Shu, our antagonist of the film, is very cocky and holds an air of mystery around him. He added a good flare to the show.
Even with the lack of character development I am giving characters a high rating because I enjoyed watching them so much.
Cencoroll is a diamond in the rough. Its biggest drawback is its length, and if given more run time could be exceptional. I suggest this anime to anyone who does not mind a bit of weirdness or has 30 minutes to spare.
You have a atypical shapeless blob teletubby type monster, a dispassionate human boy, and a passionate noisy girl. It is too short to really be considered a movie especially since it has essentially no ending. This is more like episode one of a series that never took off than a true standalone movie. It resembles Parasyte a bit too much but it is not as good. It shares a guy who is too aloof and dispassionate or gets that way and an shapeless alien blob that replaces a body part which it took. He is way non chalant about that happening. Even if he felt nothing, I find it too strange that he does not even get very annoyed about it. The animation and art are very good except for the formless monster teletubby blobs. Only the girl has any character. Tetsu lacks any qualities befitting of a good character. He is too detatched from the world he is in to see in character depth or development and his lack of response to anything especially a serious wound makes me feel like he is either an alien himself or a robot. His total lack of exclamation to any stimuli or input just makes him too dead. Though I have seen zombies and vampires who actually are dead with far more humanity and life than him. I suppose in some respects it is a bit like Pokemon or similar shows as the monster is similarly connected to the main character and has a similar vaguely blob shaped appearance. The description merely says Yuki befriends the monster but the odd dynamic where she pushes herself to take over is not only distracting but makes the already barely there presence of Tetsu all the more pointless to the story. After she acheives her new relationship, Yuki pretty much takes away the connection Tetsu has to the story. The enemy is no more relevant to the story at least as a character than Tetsu, though he is significant as a bad guy but he lacks much depth or character. His odd appearance out of the sky actually makes him feel even more disconnected from the story than Tetsu as there is nothing solid to tie him to his existance in the world in which he tries to steal Cenco. There are a few explosions highlighting sound effects but not much more than that beyond voice acting.
The animation is great save for a few not so great elements like the monsters. The story is weak because it effectively has no ending or if you consider it does, then it has an ending so weak that it lacks a sense of a finished story. It comes off more like the beginning of a story in the sense of the first part of a movie or first episode of a series. There are more questions at the end then the many you might see at the beginning. The story therefore lacks a certain degree of detail and cohesion. The characters save for Yuki lack depth and development as well as having a strong sense of detatchment usually only seen in artificial humanoids or certain purely logical aliens. The villain almost seems to have a sense of anger at times but it is not strong enough to really classify as anger but perhaps annoyance. Neither major male character has any sense of passion, emotion, cares, or perhaps even a sense of right and wrong. Both are dull duds and dead weight to the *cough* 'film'. Then again, even if I credit this 'short film' as a film it fails to stand alone as a story or feel like it since there are too many hanging questions and no solid conclusion to the rivalry between Yuki/Tetsu and the villain.
This is basicaly a 27 minute movie about a girl meeting a boy who has a monster/alien/whatever and them fighting another boy who has two monster/alien/whatever things. The plot isn't very deep and leaves alot of things unexplained, but it makes up for it by being an entertaining and fun action fest.
The animation is great! The backgrounds are quite detailed and the action scenes are awesome. I also liked watching Cenco transform as well.
There isn't much background music, but there is plenty of ambient noise (such as crickets chirping) that helps enhance the scenes. Also, the ending song is very good.
The main girl character is probably the most developed character in the show and manages to have some character growth (despite the show being only 27 minutes). The boy protagonist doesn't get as much character development as the girl, but the interactions between him and Cenco (as well those between him and the girl) are quite amusing. The boy antagonist doesn't really get any development at all (other than he's cocky) and most of his motivations are unexplained (he wants his large alien/monster thing to assimilate with Cenco, but there is never any reason given for it). Then there is Cenco, who manages to have quite a bit of personallity despite never saying a word the entire show.
If you come into this show expecting something deep and profound, you will be disappointed. However, if you come into this show expecting a fun "leave you brain behind and enjoy the ride" action-type show, there is plenty of enjoyment to be found.
Cencoroll is some simple fun that goes nowhere. That is all it is, and all it strives to be. That isn't a bad thing, but actually is rather nice. The monsters are kinda cool I suppose. The characters manage to be a mixed bag even in such short a time. Still, there is some charm to it. Is it worth twenty seven minutes of your time?
It doesn't merit any more talk that that.
How to describe Cencoroll's story? How much can really be described and reviewed from a short movie clocking in barely under thirty minutes? Luckily, I didn't have to struggle too much. Atsuya Yuki, the anime's sole writer, designer, animator and director does a very fine job of fitting a large, action packed story into a short, thirty minute segment. The story begins with protagonist Tetsu chatting to his shapeshifting creature named Cenco. Shortly into the film another important character is introduced. Her name is Yuki. The rest of the story revolves around Tetsu and Yuki and the soon to be introduced antagonist of the film, Shu. The story revolves around these three characters as they fight amongst themselves all while being threatened by the military. You won't be on the edge of your seat at any point during the movie, but it's still enjoyable none-the-less.
This is where the anime really shines. The animation is very well done. From the creatures shapeshifting, to the character design, to the setting in Japan. Everything is very well drawn and pleasent on the eyes. The colors are bright, but not too bright. The characters' facial expressions are very well done as well. Overall I was pleasantly surprised seeing as this was a one man job.
There's not much to go on in the sound department. The only music that actually plays is during the credits and it wasn't exactly to my tastes. The voice acting is nicely done although there's not much emotion to it. The sound effects are...well...there. Given the size and length of the anime it's hard to take too many points off, as the movie did well with what it was given sound-wise.
The characters were uninspiring to say the least. I wasn't expecting a grand array of character development but I found it hard to care about any of the characters. I didn't exactly understand Cenco's motives for making its decisions and Yuki made a consiberably fast character transformation that was never really accounted for. Tetsu was interesting but hard to care for. These characters just didn't it for me.
This movie wasn't bad at all. It just wasn't great. However it was certainly interesting and I would certainly recommend it to anyone with a half an hour to kill. There are a lot of creative concepts brought forward in the movie and I'm a sucker for animes with imaginations. Give it a try, you may just like it.