The Girl From the Other Side: Siuil, a Run (2022)

Alt title: Totsukuni no Shoujo (2022)

OVA (1 ep x 70 min)
3.86 out of 5 from 691 votes
Rank #1,769
The Girl From the Other Side: Siuil, a Run (2022)

In a world split between the Inside and the Outside, those living in both realms are told never to cross over to the other side, lest they be cursed. A young girl named Shiva lives on the other side, in a vacant village with a demonic guardian known only as “Teacher.” Although the two are forbidden to touch, they seem to share a bond that transcends their disparate appearances...

Source: Seven Seas

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WIT Studios 2022 feature-length animation adapted from the Nagabe manga is bleak, frigid and enigmatic. Crunchyroll seem to have split the movie into three shorter episodes each with an extremely lengthy end credits section that betrays its feature-length origins. This is not anime in the Japanese sense as it has a lot more in common stylistically with western animations such as the British classics “Watership Down” (1978) or “The Snowman” (1982). The mood of the film is reminiscent of M Night Shyamalan’s “The Village” (2004 Touchstone Pictures) and it opens with scenes of violence as soldiers purge a village of people they believe to be “cursed”. The “Cursed” are dark supernatural creatures of the forest in various forms. When they touch a human that person is also transformed to join the Cursed – even if that means they get transformed into a tree. To escape the self-destructive human-paranoia of the soldiers, one woman hides her young niece Shiva in the woods. There she is rescued by one of the Cursed – a creature in mostly human form who Shiva calls “Teacher” (Sensei). Together they seek refuge in abandoned human homes where they proceed to make a life together. This production is the result of a Kickstarter campaign that was extremely successful. Watch to the end of the final credits to see a lengthy list of the people who sponsored the animation. The fact that this was not deemed worthy of commercial financing may indicate what a cult following it has and the fact that it is highly unusual in look’n’feel for a Japanese animation. Certainly, the fans probably will be happy as this represents a highly eccentric gothic work that retains a sense of deep mystery. It is tempting to watch it through more than once in order to understand the plot. It is fair to say that the story is not tempted to spell itself out to the audience. The events in episode three are baffling. Sensei is attempting to return Shiva to the human world but fails. He then takes the sleeping girl through the woods at night with other members of the Cursed to meet with “Mother” in order to help the child. It isn’t clear what help the girl needs and the other Cursed just speak mumbo-jumbo. The implication is that Shiva too is cursed yet this is not clear at all from this re-telling. The fact the story doesn’t quite make any sense is not a major distraction even if it is a little frustrating for the audience. The show looks marvellous with a sense of darkness and foreboding that make it highly addictive. “The Girl From the Other Side” is blessed with a little touch of genius. Those who watch this show will be debating its meaning for weeks afterwards. Definitely a must-see if you like something a little different – even if you are not familiar with the manga.

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