Reviews of Memories (1995) and related work
Collection of three short films based on comics by Ōtomo Katsuhiro. Three different directors, doing all three segments in very different styles.
‣ “Magnetic Rose” (1995)
2092: A team of scavengers pick up a distress call coming from a space station left abandoned during the expansion of humankind. The station is huge, but full of crumbling forgeries of valuables. Does the woman who had it built still exist somewhere among the debris?
Philosophical SF and a solid thriller. Written by Kon Satoshi from a story by Ōtomo Katsuhiro. Flaws include me kara biimu.
References here: Anime from Akira to Princess Mononoke: Experiencing Contemporary Japanese Animation (2001/2005).
‣ Stink Bomb (1996)
Ōtomo Katsuhiro (writer).
A man full of medication takes one more pill: a pill secretly developed for the military. An unforeseen reaction of the many drugs to one another, and an unwise reaction to the news, put the man on a motorcycle heading for Tokyo, a cloud of gas swiftly accumulating behind him. All around the man, humans and other animals drop dead, while trees and flowers bloom in winter.
Dark comedy with loads of light action in the vein of Roujin Z (1991). Not credible, but there are genuinely funny moments.
‣ Cannon Fodder (1996)
Ōtomo Katsuhiro (writer-director).
A day in the life of a family living in a city full of cannon. The star of the show is the enormous “17”, used to fire out into the mist-shrouded surrounding desert, allegedly at the enemy’s moving city. The father helps load the beast. The mother feigns enthusiasm as it goes off. The young son dreams of one day becoming the man who actually presses the button to fire.
A blunt, thematically unoriginal dystopia, drawn in an unrealistic and unrefined style, but a very enjoyable piece of grotesquerie. Much helped by its music. The film may be read, rather liberally, as a Warhammer 40,000-style fantasy version of life in WW2 Kure; cf. In This Corner of the World (2016). It also reminds me of Resan till Melonia (1989).
References here: “Power Plant No. 33” (2015).