A wandering samurai, in his travels through the forest, runs across a straw man with a majestic sword stuck into it. He takes the sword and feels within him a surge of great power – a power that soon begins to distort his mind and soul. The samurai continues to wander, striking down straw men in his wake; but what is really going on, and what will happen to the samurai?
Legend tells of a lone swordsman who lives in the Demon's Castle, the ruins near the Black Forest. This mysterious stranger only accepts rare books for his services, books from the ancient past. Comedy tells the story of a young girl who desperately wishes for her family and village to be saved from the coming English soldiers' wrath, and is willing to trade a precious book in exchange for the deed. With only her legs beneath her, she runs towards the Black Forest, hoping to get there in time...
These are 2 of the better short films ever made. Beautiful and artistic animation round out compelling and poignant stories. These are must watch and if you liked one, I'm sure you'll like the other.
Ji Chang has dreamed of becoming the world’s greatest archer since childhood, and in order to do so he hopes to become the disciple of the legendary bowman, Fei Wei. However, each time he approaches the skilled man, Fei Wei denies him saying that the young archer is not ready. After five years of private training Ji Chang tries once more to gain his mentor’s favour, and this time succeeds. Soon the master willingly teaches him the ways to become a great archer, but will brilliance prove enough for a man wishing to be the best in the world?
- both of these are short 80's movies by famous directors: Osamu Tezuka and Kihachiro Kawamoto respectively;
- both of them look very different from usual anime;
- most importantly, both tell a very interesting parable-like story about a medieval warrior and his weapon. The tone of the stories is different (Muramasa is dark & dramatic and Fusha no Sha is calm & contemplative) but the pacifist message is very similar.
So, if you're interested in the topic and don't mind uncommon animation techniques, give them both a try.
An old man resides in a city mostly submerged by water, living in a home he had to build on top of his old one. His daily routine now consists of smoking his pipe, drinking wine, watching television and eating the fish he catches. Living alone in the silent desolation of the elderly he is surrounded by photographs but no people. One day he drops his pipe into the water and it disappears into his old, submerged home. To retrieve it he rents a scuba suit, but once he descends into the place he used to live he is overwhelmed by the memories of the life he used to have - the family he used to know.
In feudal Japan, evil spirits known as mononoke plague both households and the countryside, leaving a trail of fear in their wake. One mysterious person has the power to slay the mononoke where they stand; he is known only as the Medicine Seller, and he vanquishes the mononoke using the power of his Exorcism Sword. However, in order to draw his sword he must first understand the Form, Truth and Reason of the mononoke. Armed with a sharp wit and keen intellect, the Medicine Seller wanders from place to place, striking down the mononoke in his wake.