One dark and blustery night, a lone doctor is called to a village ten miles away in order to help with a sick patient. Quickly losing his servant to ill-intentioned hands and whisked away upon frightening horses, the doctor meets his young and ailing patient under the scrutinizing eyes of his family. It is here that the doctor will try to discover the root of the boy’s illness and also try to make some sense out of his own psyche.
After a miserly man consumes a batch of freshly-fallen cherries (seeds included), he finds himself in a hairy and unfortunate situation - a small cherry tree has sprouted from his balding forehead! With his mountain-like head becoming a tourist attraction, what's a miser to do?
Strange and disturbing things are happening to people whose minds are already a little disordered. A dark colour palette and a bleak tone - these two decidedly arthouse shorts by Koji Yamamura will appeal to the same audience.
Both depicting an abstract style and both animated by Koji Yamamura, Country Doctor and Atama Yama share a very similar style. The shady and shadowy art gives a feeling of depth to the animations, and the stories are inspiringly clever in their imaginative ways.
Once upon a time, there was an old crocodile who had lived long enough to see the building of the pyramids. Plagued with rheumatism, the old crocodile could no longer catch his food; and so he did the next best thing: he ate one of his relatives. After failing to kill him, the rest of the crocodile family called a meeting to discuss what to do next - but the old crocodile, in the midst of things, slipped away unnoticed. He then met a kind octopus who fetched him food and stayed as his companion; but unfortunately, the old crocodile could not fight his instincts, and slowly began to devour her legs - one each evening...
Old Crocodile is about anthromorphised animals and is presented in a straightforward narrative while A Country Doctor is about humans and is dense, elliptical and paranoid. However, each have a grim, pessimistic outlook and were directed by Koji Yamamura. If you liked one the other is certainly worth a look.
Both of these anime shorts have a different style of animation. While their plotlines are dissimilar, both have a similar negativity about them. If you like watching something a little different, then check both of these out.
In a dark and largely abandoned city a little girl wanders in search of something – beneath the folds of her dress she carries a mysterious giant egg. While living on the streets, she encounters a lonesome warrior who has forgotten his past and his purpose and, like the girl, travels aimlessly. Now they journey together, mistrustful of each other whilst sharing in the silence of the city. But who is the little girl? Who is the warrior? And what form of creature lies sleeping inside the egg?
Both these shows will frustrate any attempts at discerning coherence and structure. Rather, they’re dark, strange, and sinister works that appeal to our subjective interpretations. If you liked either Angel’s Egg or A Country Doctor, you’ll find the other highly appealing. Both deliver gorgeously stylised animation, moody atmospheres, and plenty of symbolism to fuel our contemplative silences.
Two young boys were running late to get to a bus stop one day; and upon their arrival, they discovered a black book that had been left behind. Instead of the usual words inside, opening the book uncovers a world of wonder. A lone tower filled with books stands alone; a giant man-eating fish roams the stormy seas; and a ship sails amidst the waves. This isn’t just another ordinary book!
Cat Soup is an extremely abstract, abnormal, and at times, disturbing adventure, from the director of Nadesico. This 30 minute OVA follows two kittens through what seems to be the underworld, as they search for one of their lost souls. Along the way, they encounter new (edible) friends, scary situations, and even the end of the world! Will these felines manage to return unscathed? Or more importantly, avoid becoming the main course for dinner? Confusion abounds in this quirky OVA.
A man's psyche is an interesting and a complex thing, hiding inside all kinds of weird stuff. That's what is apparent in A Country Doctor and Cat Soup. Both of them are psychological, psychedelic and abstract OVAs that leaves you wonder what the hell did all of this just mean. If that's your favourite state of mind, try these titles.