Sunday, November 30, 2014

Japan Animator Expo: Not your Stereotypical Anime

You've heard of the suddenly-famous (and controversial) animated EDM video, "ME!ME!ME!" by TeddyLoid, right? You know, that psychedelic dream sequence with busty anime girls and a doomed guy who's a porn enthusiast? That and other animation shorts are all part of the Nihon Animator Mihonichi (Japan Animator Expo) series. 

Here's my review for each of the 4 episodes so far:

1. The Dragon Dentist

I would have to say this short left me wondering still. It gives you the feeling of "uncertainty" overall, since you don't know why the girl met this person who will eventually kill her, or as to why their "mission" was never really revealed until it came. It also comes to term with the fact that dragons are a symbol of mystery. 

It leaves the reflection that a lot of us don't know what we're working for or living for, and we're just told by elders (hence the "senpai" of the group) that we should do this and that because that's what we're supposed to do. The animation and the feel reminds me of Studio Ghibli works a little bit. Would appreciate it if the mysteries would be explained. Though it also appears that the "future" that the girl saw is her future as the Dragon Dentist. Knowing this and that she will die anyway, she still pursues this career.

2. Hill Climb Girl

Probably your usual "battle of the sexes" story. It's more of a feminist thing than just sheer determination. But I'd say the impressive CG makes up for it. The animation reminds me of the work of Horang, the guy who animated Bongcheon-Dong Ghost.

3. ME!ME!ME!

Definitely the best representation of excessive otaku/hentai culture so far. It doesn't just apply to Japanese fetishism, but also to general porn and other addictions like drugs, gambling, etc. It reminds me too much of Chaos;HEad's characters and storyline, Panty & Stocking's ecchi visuals and Space Dandy's trippy and colorful art as well as the deeper meaning. Take note, Space Dandy's final episode also indicates the series being a loop, like this unique short. 

It also gives you the disadvantages of being in a fandom and getting sucked into it, with no means of escape and ruining your everyday life, affecting people you love (in the short's case, he probably lost his girlfriend). The excessive fan service, coupled with the EDM and dubstep music, forms a really strong social satire, though sadly, people won't easily recognize it as one. Nonetheless, I'm a big fan of satires.

4. Carnage

The visual is definitely full of effort. It's a bit creepy but also unique, and fitting for the story. It's a simple story of revenge told in a cinematic way. While it's also touching woman empowerment, it's more of a "human rights" thing (PWD empowerment) and how we shouldn't always wait for our justice systems to work, especially if the system is corrupt.


Overall, I enjoyed every piece. I know that ME!ME!ME! is the "lead single" from this series but we must not forget that all films were put much effort by their directors so at least appreciate them and watch. Good thing is that, I've heard, the Japan Animator Expo project releases weekly, so expect a new review sooner or later.

[AMV] Eiga Fest from Kristel Cuadra on Vimeo.

[AMV] she!music from Kristel Cuadra on Vimeo.

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