English: Sweat Punch
Synonyms: Deep Imagination, Dan Petory Kyoushu no Yuutsu, Professor Dan Petry's Blues, End of the World, Kigeki, Comedy, Higan, Beyond, Garakuta no Machi, Junk Town
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Mar 2, 2002 to Jul 1, 2006
11 min. per episode
PG-13 - Teens 13 or older
L represents licensing company
Score: 7.871 (scored by 10502 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
fantasy historical short vampire
SynopsisSweat Punch is a series of five Studio 4°C shorts collected as a direct-to-DVD package film entitled Deep Imagination.
1. Professor Dan Petory's Blues
Puppet Professor Dan Petory comedically discusses a series of serious or strange occurrences.
2. End of the World
"End of the World" is a science fiction story about a young alien girl named Yuko as she escapes from the world of humans. After meeting Kazumi, a human girl Yuko met at a rock concert, the girls head to Kazumi's apartment. Before Yuko even takes off her shoes, however, she leaves through Kazumi's TV with her trusty cybernetic steed FACE to wage a retaliatory campaign against hordes of S&M monsters from another dimension, and the evil queen of Yuko's world.
3. Kigeki (Comedy)
Set during the Irish War of Independence, a five-year old girl goes out in search of the mysterious Demon’s Castle - home of the Black Knight whose services she hopes to recruit. The Black Knight is a dark, young, skilled swordsman who will only accept a particular genre of books as advance payment.
4. Higan (Enlightenment)
An injured man lies completely still in a hospital room with doctors hovering at his bedside, appearing serene and peaceful as he slowly succumbs to death. However, in his own mind, memories of a recent battle vividly flash by. Thoughts of death and chaos haunt him, even in his final moments.
5. Garakuta no Machi (Junk Town)
One summer day, a young boy encounters a little robot at a shopping arcade-a hungry little robot, it turns out, as he devours one machine after the other, growing in size with each "meal". This story of a boy, a machine, and their little adventure is the tale of an unusual friendship, enriched by the details of daily life and seen through the director's unique visual style.
(Source: Studio 4°C website)
Characters & Voice Actors
This review is for Kigeki (Comedy).
Wow. I don't really know what to say. It's good, that much is certain. It's basically a dark fairy tale about a swordsman and his hobby, and the little girl who finds out about it. I really can't say much more than that without spoiling anything, since it's so short. Just go watch it, there really isn't any excuse since it's just 10 minutes. The animation is very breath taking, in fact it is hauntingly beautiful, and appears as though it was shot through an old film camera, you can see all the artifacts and the fleeting frame inconsistencies-- very atmospheric. The artists who did this did a superb job, the effect is not cheesy, surprisingly. Like the other reviewer said, the art is so dark and yet so bright at the same time. The animation is just indescribable. The only thing I didn't like was the rather exaggerated portrayal of the "evil English," which made me laugh. But it's a minor quibble and does not ruin the overall effect. As for the story, it is not very innovative, but it's simple and well executed, as a 10-minute fairy tale should be. Thumbs up. read more
Another collection of short films from Studio 4°C. The first four clips were originally released with the "Grasshopper!" collection, and later they were all added together with a fifth and final short in the "Deep Imagination" anthology. As a whole, the anthology is so-so. The first two shorts are very, very lacking while the other three vary from surprisingly good (the "Comedy" short, which is really good) to just a step above average ("Beyond" and "Junk Town"). More than anything, I think this anthology is worth seeing for the "Comedy" short film. A few words about each -
"Professor Dan Petory's Blues", a nine minute short directed by Ohara Hidekazu
What we have here is a show within a show. At the beginning of the short we see the view of a room from the position of the television set in that room - minimally animated, the only thing actually animated in this frame is the fireplace in the background - , which is turned on to some soap-opera or TV drama. A middle-aged woman dressed only in black lingerie is bored with the whole thing and changes the channel, our view changing at the same time. What's on the new channel is "Professor Dan Petory's Blues", a puppet show where some "professor" is ranting about relativity. Like the relativity of motion, or the relativity of views and opinions. The many different ways in which someone and something can perceive something, or something can be perceived. Of course, this discourse is framed in a twisted and not entirely serious context. How successful is the short at making these points come across... well, I think it's relatively successful at it. It's all relative to the viewer. But from my point of view, it didn't seem that successful at it at all.
The visual presentation isn't that impressive. For most of the clip, the animation is an emulation of puppetry. i hope you don't mind the antinomy but as interesting as that may be, it's not that interesting at all. Why not film a puppet show directly? Why digitally animate an imitation of it? Leaving the issues of copies of copies and the whole matter of simulacrum aside, it doesn't look good at all. The sound-work is good and the professor's seiyuu wasn't half bad... but, you can't really save a clip with sound and voice acting alone. Relative to the other aspects of an animated short, these parts aren't that important or predominant. 
"End of the World", a nine minute short directed by Kobayashi Osamu
The thing with short films that try to hide some social commentary behind their thin narrative and sketchy characters is that they always seem more like an excuse at doing something that one can brag about later, then actually doing something even the makers care about. If you want to point at certain aspects of society, if you want to highlight certain aspects of the world that seem wrong... a few minutes is not enough. It's difficult to make something that carries some weight behind it with so little time. it's hard to shove all that weight inside a little over five hundred and fifty seconds. And then there's also the issue with audience interest, whether this message resonates with the public. Unless you care about whatever it is the clip is trying to criticize... it's all just piss in the river. Unless you are concerned by whatever it is the makers of the work are concerned about or whatever it is that they pretend to be concerned about, you'll just sigh a 'whatever' and move on. I... did something like that. I just wrote some five hundred words that stand for "whatever".
Allow me to side-track for a little bit. "End of the World" is an example of why you shouldn't mix the two: politics with art. Or social matters with entertainment. Or pity... with fun. This is why I hate going to charity concerts and things like that. When I go to a concert, I go because I want to be entertained. Not because I want to pretend I am a compassionate human being who cares about the victims of X or Y natural disaster. I go because I want to have fun. Not because I pity some poor child dying from whatever disease a few thousand kilometres away from me. I hope you didn't find my honesty too repulsive. But that's why I don't like this short. It's about how the world is going to hell, how everything is rotting away. And how someone needs to stand up to this degradation. How you should punch the air above your head and try to make a difference. I'm sorry but I'm not sorry at all. I just don't care and I am sick of this kind of bullshit.
Well, part of what I said is not entirely true. Actually, if something is done well I couldn't fault it for something that annoys me about its content. But the thing is, "End of the World" is not a well done short. How everything is packaged in the short isn't that nice either. It's not only that I didn't like the animation style, but the animation itself isn't good technically either. The motion is very choppy. They didn't even bother to properly animate the mouths of characters when they talk (by that I mean, even less so than in your average anime of course). There's a mix of not that well blended CG in a lot of the scenes. It isn't always in sync with the sound.... et cetera. Speaking of the sound... it was decent. And that's saying a lot. If this was better done at least on a technical level, watching it wouldn't have been such a tedium. And even though I can say that maybe other individuals more sympathetic than I am to these things might like it, because the clip's message would resonate with them, I don't think too many people would enjoy its bad animation and half-assed execution... 
"Comedy", a ten minute short directed by Nakazawa Kazuto
You can smudge the lines, you can crook a curve, you can ignore edges... making something good and following a certain pattern are not one and the same thing. Still, it is often that good stories contain common strokes. An exposition, an intrigue, a climax, a conclusion... and the main body of the story which contains all these and then some. If you get all these right you might not necessarily stumble upon a masterpiece. But you will find that what's in front of you may well be a good piece of storytelling. You can find all these elements in "Comedy". Above all else it is a short film that tells a story, and tells it well. There is no character development, there is no elaborate de-concealment of their individuality, because if you think about it, a story can go on even without it. The characters are peons on a board, actors on a stage. And I don't mean to say that the short's characters are bad of course. Their characterization is quite good, surprisingly good maybe, considering the clip is only one sixth of an hour long. They have enough flesh on their bones and carry a well revealed "why" on their backs to fit their place in the story. And the story moves on with them at a great pace; the short is very well directed. To pull off something like this is pretty rare and it shows.
The film offers just enough information so that the viewer won't be lost walking through the story from scene to scene. The exposition isn't overbearing. It all takes place somewhere in a fictional Ireland, during a fictional early twentieth century - it's a frame, a container for the story. Anything more than that isn't really necessary, things won't happen in a different way if we know the exact dates, the name of the village, or the location of the castle. It offers a compelling intrigue - a motive for its characters to interact, a reason for them to act their roles. And it all steadily grows to the story's climax. The confrontation. You know it is coming; you can call it predictable... or you can call it inevitable - same thing, different nuance.
But that doesn't make these happenings any less interesting. Not all stories need a surprising change to be interesting. Stories without plot twists are still stories, and stories with plot twists aren't necessarily good stories. And it all ends with a satisfying conclusion, tidbits of which have been sprinkled throughout the short. Even during the very first scene.
This being an animated short, there are other aspects to take into consideration besides its plot and its characters. Like the sound. The first thing I should mention is the very appropriate choice for the background music. For most of the short you will hear the refrain of Schubert's "Ellen's Third Song", the "Ave Maria" prayer. Considering "Comedy" is among other things, a fictionalized account of some event during the Irish War of Independence, this choice was quite fitting because it is a prayer for the Virgin Mary to intervene and mediate a conflict. It's not only something nice to hear, it is meaningful in the context of the story. And then the song that plays during the film's climax is another piece by Schubert, which adapts Goethe's version of the "Erlking" - the Black Swordsman and the Erlking fit each other like a glove to a hand.
The voice acting was pretty good too. Most of it is Maeda Ai's narration as a girl who recounts the events we see, the only other seiyuu for the clip being Midorikawa Hikaru who acted the Knight's few lines. Most of the short is done in limited animation with very little movement, although there are scenes which are completely animated. My biggest gripe with the animation is the poor sync with the sound when the Knight says he accepts to help the girl. Probably because it was done before the sound recording. Still, I liked the animation style and most of the it was pleasing to look at. A small mishap is not something that could ruin the experience.
"Comedy" is great. Even more so considering it's bundled next to some pretty mediocre or outright horrible pieces in "Sweat Punch"... it made watching the collection something worthwhile. 
"Beyond", a six minute short directed by Muraki Yasushi
Assuming this is a drink, "Beyond" is a short you have to drink bottom's up. It's one of those works that are focused on a single moment, and everything in them works towards it. Everything that happens is tied to and makes most sense in light of the final scene:
A man is giving his final breath. The doctors remark what a "peaceful" face he has. They comment on how even though he died on their operation table, he didn't suffer in his final moments. Of course, you as a viewer saw everything that happened in the clip... and realize that was just remembrance. The whole thing sets in, and finally hits you.
The clip doesn't have much of a story. It's more like a sequence of scenes that only hint to what is actually happening. It's something like what you'd see while running in the dark - the sight between each blink, a glimpse on your surroundings. It's all about the atmosphere, not the narrative. Its visual style works from that. A lot of dark scenes, filled with shadows that only reveal what they're covering when a missile explodes somewhere, or someone is firing their mech gun. As does the sound - silence, punctuated by sudden noise. From a technical perspective, both the animation and the sound are very good. As for protagonists and things of that nature... the clip doesn't really have any characters. Only a few lines uttered now and then, and traces of faceless faces. The nobodies you won't care about. The nobodies the people in their world won't care about either. Cannon fodder.
I think what made the short special is also what drags it down though. It gathers all its energy and struggles to deliver it in one punch. It's building a lot of pressure and blows off at the end. But all the tension that's released is more like a fizz than a bang. It's nice, it's somewhat interesting... but in the end it's underwhelming. Something like an afterthought. Maybe that was intentional... maybe not. 
"Junk Town", a twelve minute short directed by Ito Nobutaka
A pretty straightforward short. Take a normal ten year old boy, take a robot with some special ability... and put them together. The idea isn't new at all, it's been done many times over. But the result isn't that bad, and "Junk Town" was a fairly nice watch. It's something like a "boy and his pet" story: a kid finds some weird robot that starts eating all sorts of electronic equipement and extends its body with what seems to be a useless tail at first. Of course the robot is like an annoying happy dog and starts following the boy around... or the boy is curious child and follows the robot around... a little bit of both is true. What follows isn't that hard to guess.
The short's animation is great. It mixes traditional cells with 2D and 3D graphics very well and the end result was aesthetically pleasing. The directing isn't always great though. Some scenes felt out of place. The pacing of the clip isn't that good either, its development is pretty inconsistent... moving faster or slower for no reason at all. But "Junk Town's" colourful world is pretty convincingly portrayed and the short's protagonists while entirely unoriginal, are decent guides for the experience. The sound is very good as well, and the voice acting was good... ignoring one or two scenes with unnatural whining from one child or another. You can tell the director has worked on "Kare Kano" though, not every line in the short is uttered out loud. He used speech bubbles to portray some of the boy's thoughts.
Nothing too interesting, but nothing too bad either. That's what "Junk Town" is. But the very good animation and sound make it a decently entertaining if unoriginal short film.  read more
Opening Theme"Ave Maria" by Franz Peter Schubert
Ending ThemeNo ending themes found, add themes.
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