Wander's avatar By Wander on Oct 6, 2012


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.

6/10 story
9/10 animation
6/10 sound
5/10 characters
6.5/10 overall
Doommuks's avatar By Doommuks on Dec 13, 2009

Not bad actualy. I realy enjoyed this strange, a bit melancholick story and the whole... well, whole. So the story is a about a boy and a girl (not a love one though) So the boy have a strange creature that came from god knows where, and that creature can transform into anything. Oh, and the boy can alsow control it, in a way... if the creaure wants it ^^ One day The Girl finds The Boy and his creature, and comes into strange fighting (as a viewer/contestan) over these creatures.

And thats prety much all of the story.

So i recomend this somehow beautiful story to everyone, from ecchi lovers to Narutards to watch. And alsow especialy for those who liked "5 centimeters per second" cus i dont know why but think that they are somehow similar (dont ask why)

8/10 story
6/10 animation
8/10 sound
8/10 characters
8/10 overall
AnarchicQ's avatar By AnarchicQ on Nov 7, 2009

I spend a lot of time with webcomics, I used to blog about them, and submit them to various collective sites. A lot of webcomics were fond of using, what I've coined "Lie-cons", when their icon or banner has the most polished work and it makes the comic look amazing, and then you find out the image was just a character peice and the actual comic is drawn like crap.

Cencoroll's trailer was like that.

Cencoroll is the story of ...a kid...who has a pet monster for some reason, named Cenco. He can control Cenco with his mind. Another boy with another monster comes along and they fight because the other monster wants to eat Cenco to become stronger.

So they do.

The end.

I didn't feel anything for any of the characters, and the monsters, in their true form weren't even cute. They looked like something shat out for an Invader Zim stock character.
Motivation was lame, Cenco only did things if his boy told him to, and he barely even did anything. I can't remember any of the music and the voice actors were passable.

Wow, what a disappointment that was.

6/10 story
7/10 animation
5/10 sound
4/10 characters
6/10 overall
vulpecularing's avatar By vulpecularing on Feb 20, 2011


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.

Story (7/10):

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.

Animation (10/10):

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.

Sound (8/10):

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.

Characters (8/10):

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.

Overall (8/10):

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.

7/10 story
10/10 animation
8/10 sound
8/10 characters
8/10 overall
gleipnir's avatar By gleipnir on Mar 23, 2012

Story: 5/10
A giant walking steamed bun with the ability to transform into other things fights another giant steamed bun in an unknown Japanese city while three high school students wrest control over these creatures out of each others' hands (or, more accurately, minds).

Giant steamed bun number one, whose actual name is Cenco, is handled by a young teen named Tetsu.  Cenco has a mind of its own and while he's generally content to listen to Tetsu, there are instances where their relationship takes a turn for the dark and grim.  When they're discovered by a young girl named Yuki, it begins to look like Tetsu might not be as in control as was originally assumed.

This is the plot of Cencoroll, an ambitious one-man project by writer, director, animator, and mangaka Atsuya Uki. Ambitious as it may be, however, the story is riddled with plot holes and unanswered questions; it ends up feeling more like a promo or a recap episode of a longer series. All things considered, however, it's well-planned, taking on the "kids and monster pals" trope, playing some things straight and flipping others on their heads.

Animation: 7/10
Cencoroll's animation is crisp, clear, and nicely detailed, especially when considering the fact that it was almost entirely animated by one person.  All of Cenco's transformations are smooth and it's obvious that Uki has put a tremendous amount of work into every frame.  Characters retain their proportions and there are hardly any instances where things look clunky or unwieldly.

The three human characters are designed to be easily recognizable, even considering that their color palettes are composed of no more than three colors each.  In another show, their designs would relegate them to stock characters, but because of Cencoroll's small cast and its shortage of manpower behind the scenes, not much variation is needed.  In fact, in Cencoroll's case, the character designs work well, allowing things to be animated well without having to expend energy on vividly colored outfits or odd hairstyles.

Backgrounds are nicely detailed and colored, but never try to function as anything besides backdrops. And there's no reason for them to, since Cencoroll's focus is on its characters and not its setting.

Sound: 6/10
Comprising a nice group of professional voice actors, Cencoroll's cast never really tries to be spectacular, but instead simply serviceable.  None of the VAs will win any awards for their work in Cencoroll, but character's emotions and personality are expressed well by each VA.

There's not much in the way of music in Cencoroll, but the ending theme "Love and Roll" is an energetic, sweet piece, done by Supercell, the same folks who performed the Bakemonogatari ending theme.  It fits Cencoroll's character-driven sci-fi setting well, interspersing its tender, romantic verses with a higher-energy, electropop-influenced chorus and background track.

Character: 6/10
With a small cast and only two main human characters, Cencoroll still only seems to have time to develop one of them fully.  Tetsu is a loner focused on keeping Cenco and other similar creatures a secret from society at large.  He never really receives much development beyond that, and it could be argued that he's more of a plot device to help Yuki, the female protagonist, grow as a person.

Yuki is a girl who discovers the duo and, intrigued by Cenco, tags along with them for a day.  While Tetsu initially brushes her off as an annoyance, she eventually proves herself to him with her determination and bravery.

The antagonist, Shu, has very going for him besides being an antagonist.  His own steamed bun pet is apparently going to devour Cenco to gain more power and continue to survive, but neither Shu nor Tetsu seem to have a reason for keeping these creatures around or for caring about their continued survival.

Overall: 6/10
Cencoroll is an entertaining, lighter take on the kinds of monster stories that Alien Nine and Shadow Star Narutaru have previously toyed with.  What it lacks in substance and plot it patches over with an obvious appreciation for its forebears in the genre and its refusal to take itself too seriously.

5/10 story
7/10 animation
6/10 sound
6/10 characters
6/10 overall