It's a twelve minute... movie, I guess, so I'm not going to bother writing a full review rating everything like I usually do.
A dog is plagued by memories of people who are long dead... in fact, mysteriously, every person ever is dead. The dog is the only living thing left on the planet, and just wants someone to throw a ball.
The anime relies on visuals and flashbacks into the dogs memories (not important things like how the world got that way, but memories of a ball in a meadow). The background music is touching and the sound effects are great, but there are no voice actors to speak of. It's an anime strictly without vocals.
And for the twelve minutes it runs, the lack of vocals carries. There is no point in having them, after all.
The animation is really amazingly pretty for the short period of time, and the story is relatively poignant, when you consider that it's only twelve minutes long, and two mnutes of that is credits.
It's a pretty cute short; if you want to see it for youself, it's readily available on youtube. I'm not sure that there is any other place to watch it, truth be told.
I won't have a summary of what happened because the other reviews do, but all I can say is that this video was heart-wrenching, depressing, and jut plain awful to me. I have three basset hounds so watching this made me need to hug each one just to let them know they're loved. I don't think I would recommend it to anyone because i put me in a really melancholy mood...
Mamoru Oshii; he's known for dark and thoughtprovoking stories with heavy allegorical undertones and/or comments on humanity's progress for better or for worse. With a grand résumé like that it's no wonder people overlook one of his more recent shorts: a humble twelve-minute story named in a cheesy manner that fits its intentions almost perfectly.
In a world where humanity's been presumably annihilated, a surviving dog wanders aimlessly during the days whilst sleeping in a box during night. Along with memories of human warmth and joy from his past we get to witness a series of encounters he has with a feminine-looking robotic creature who, once again presumably, played her role in the elimination of humans. The dog approcahes her with a ball in hopes of an opportunity to play with a living being once more but she flies away; an occurrence that happens a huge number of times with differently coloured balls each time.
The above is pretty much the story and it's about as simplistic as it is heartbreaking. We're never really told what's happened in the world but nor do we really need anything more than the occasional clue. As far as animation goes this short fares pretty well with picturesque sceneries and the depicition of a world that seems to function more or less fine without humans. In terms of music, the soundtrack is comprised of both beautiful instrumental pieces and increasingly cheesy songs that nonetheless fit the material perfectly. There's no conclusion, nothing particularly thoughtprovoking and in the end you're obviously just supposed to feel sad for the dog and hopefully get a memorable experience. Which is pretty much what you get. This is no masterpiece in any sense of the word, but it won't take much of your time and with that in mind I'd gladly recommend it to anyone.