Review of “Pica Don” (1978)

Moving picture, 8 minutes

Seen in 2022.

The atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

The term pikadon is onomatopoiea, describing the flash (pika) and boom (don or dōn) of the bomb’s detonation.

This is arthouse animation, centred on the surprising nature of the event, with very little context and no real characters. Japanese soldiers are shown, but no blame is laid on anyone. There is a lot of body horror, with more of Guernica and Goya’s heightened organic messes than expressionism or caricature. Americans are not shown; instead, the realistic closing shot is of modern Hiroshima, rebuilt with shining commercial displays.

References here: Barefoot Gen 2 (1986).

moving picture non-fiction animation Japanese production fiction