How to thoroughly review a title whose total length is only half an hour, that is the question.
Imagine you arrive at a bar. There are only 3 other people there: the greeter, the barman, and one man just sat at the bar drinking. You share a drink and bum a cigarette. Then you are convinced to play a game of pool. However, you cannot remember how you arrived at this bar in the first place.
This is the spoiler free synopsis of the story. But it is a story with so much depth it's hard to believe it took such a small amount of time to watch.
The animation is smooth and well executed throughout. Smoking is something that always bothers me in anime, as cigarettes in the real world never seem to behave the way they do in the media, however even these were well done enough to not bother me (petty I know, but hey ho). The bar itself looks incredible, as does the table and balls the men are using for their game. Smooth action sequences throughout.
The sound is well executed with competent voice actors playing roles well, really letting their emotions show well. Couple with ambient music playing through important setpieces and the sound really helps immerse the watcher in the show.
Characters. Wow. I never thought I'd be able to enjoy a small cast of 4 characters where we never even learn any of their names. But I really, really did. I may not know their names, but I feel I know an awful lot about at least the two playing the game. Anything about the barstaff is pure speculation, but fun to do anyway.
Overall, it's half an hour. And half an hour you seriously wont regret! By the end it will feel like nowhere near enough time as the anime leaves you with far more questions than it ever begins to answer! Between watching this anime and writing this review I must have spent at least two hours reading as much extra information as I could find about this short that would not give me spoilers for the full series that follows it. The mere fact I found 10 different interpretations of the ending in that time, all of which had their own merits and weaknesses shows how impactful this short is!