Synonyms: The Diary of Tortov Roddle, A Traveller's Diary
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Mar 19, 2003 to Jun 4, 2003
Duration: 3 min. per episode
Rating: G - All AgesL represents licensing company
Score: 7.551 (scored by 4440 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
Popular Tagsfantasy surreal
Jan 16, 2008
Diary of Tortov Roddle is really something unique, I enjoyed it very much.
It's like watching a moving panting, like running through a museum while beautiful music is being played all over the place.
It really doesn't has a plot, It's just Tortov Roddle traveling and showing us places. But oh, what kind of places.
They are so magical, with a great amount of surrealism, artistic, unique.
It leaves you wanting more. Always wanting to know what other kind of places he will visit. Places just beyond our imagination.
The art is really simple, original,different. That's what makes it so beautiful. For me is perfect.
You feel like you're watching a painter working. And you're transported into the painting.
The music is so relaxing, perfect for this piece of art. And is a well a piece of art. A great job of Kenji Kondo.
I can almost imagine the instruments coming into scene while watching this.
And I wouldn't be surprised if that happened ^^.
The characters well let's see... have you ever seen a pig with legs thinner than a horse's?. Here you can see it. And you will love it.
Tortov reminded me a little of Don Quijote. Thin and tall, using a hat too.
(Maybe the pig is Rocinante.)
And the things that Tortov writes on his diary gives us a more magical and pretty perspective. I love how he sees everything.
I almost forgot about the bunny men! They are awesome.
There's the lady of the flower hat too.
And a big bear who proyects cartoons on his back ^^.
I highly recommend this. I know it's not popular, but only people who are imaginative and can open their minds to appreciate different and beautiful things and don't call everything new ''weird'' can really enjoy this.
And if you're not one of those persons, try to see it anyways, it's worth it.
The best way of watching this?. Relaxing drinking a cup of tea :] read more
Feb 18, 2012
It's pretty much a series of two or three minute long shorts which you can watch in any particular order, specials included. The story and the characters are as bare bones as they can be while still remaining remotely interesting, and they're there more as an excuse to put some images and music together and create an animation. We follow Tortov Roddle on his journey through a dream-like world and observe how he experiences or recollects various surreal events... But surprisingly, this world and these events aren't that imaginative.
All the clips from the main series and one of the specials (the "Red Berries" episode) follow the same pattern. Using written exposition (there is no spoken dialogue here) we are informed about Tortov, his journey, and thoughts he has about various things or happenings he will stumble upon. Most of these things are the domain of the mundane with a touch of the fantastical, like for example, an evening at a cafe where Tortov finds out that there are fish in his cup of tea, or a night spent out in the open where Tortov will meet anthropomorphic rabbits that travel to the moon in a train cart. As I said - surreal but not that imaginative.
All this isn't aided by the animation that much. Like with "La Maison en Petits Cubes" the animation style is not much different from what you'd find in a children's illustrated story book. Tortov's world is a little too simple however, and just like it isn't that interesting or unique in an ideate sense, it isn't that interesting visually either. The musical score is a lot better than the animation however, and it is the music that usually kept me watching every clip till the end. There are a couple of very beautiful melodies in the series that work really well at creating the appropriate atmosphere for watching this.
I mentioned the "specials" included with this series' release. Only one of them is actually related to "The Diary Of Tortov Roddle", the other two - "The Apple Incident" and "Fantasy" - are Katou's earlier works and they're not that impressive either, even less so than Tortov. "Fantasy" in particular is a rather bland collection of 5 half-minute long musical clips involving a young woman; these really are sketches - treats from the auteur's notebook. I'd say all three works are worth watching only if you like "La Maison en Petits Cubes" a lot and you're interested to see more from the same creator. read more
Jul 14, 2012
Now, visually speaking this little eccentricity plays out exactly like one would expect the incestuous offspring of Tim Burton and Cat Soup to do; character designs tend to be tall and slim; the color palette is muted to the extreme and there are enough semi-artsy oddities to give Yoji Kuji a heart attack. Story-wise though, the atmosphere seems a lot more inspired by Kino's Journey as the protagonist of the film, Tortov Riddle, travels on a pig with extraordinarily long legs, facing various encounters with other creatures as well as experiencing various strange things. His travels are documented in his diary which is shown at certain points, usually at the end of each story. Unlike Kino’s Journey though there are no fables or general lessons in moral to be found. Tortov is merely a lonely traveler whose motivations are never revealed and who seems to treasure his bizarre encounters more than anything else.
All in all there are six stories that together create a running time of approximately 18 minutes. These minutes are well spent on beautifully surreal artwork that depicts everything from Tortov's encounter with a mysterious woman to a town hosting a cinema party by projecting an animated movie on the back of a peculiar bear-hybrid thingy. Keep in mind that few of the stories have actual conclusions and there is no continuity to find whatsoever. The best way to enjoy it is to take in the beautiful but simplistic visuals as well as the equally harmonic soundtrack that relies on everything from pianos to more unusual instruments to establish a dreamlike feeling few other movies manage to invoke.
The world of animated shorts suffers from an over-representation from the admittedly masterful Makoto Shinkai whose Voices of a Distant Star continues to rightfully mesmerize. However, in recent years it's become quite apparent that there are other creators out there producing shorts that reach an almost similar kind of quality. The Diary of Tortov Riddle was directed by Kunio Katou who later went on to create the Oscar-winning La Maison en Petits Cubet which I also recommend. However, inside the realm of anime shorts, that I have explored somewhat thoroughly, Tortov Riddle stands out as one of the better creations I've seen. It's able to invoke a strange feeling of an almost childlike wonder that makes you absolutely content just witnessing the peculiarities the film exhibits rather than questioning them. Sleep is never an easy thing for me, but after I finished watching this for the second time I fell asleep almost immediately and although I can't remember any of my dreams I'm sure they were quite pleasant acid trips from the fascinating and beautiful world of Tortaria.
Aug 24, 2009
During his journey, he encounters a lot of fantasized things, such as frogs, a fish, a bear, a pig, rabbits, etc. (I will not say specifically how they are related to fantasy since that would spoil the whole thing). He always guides us in his point of view and in a journal way. So, it is not hard for us to understand this story.
In my perspective, I really love the storyline, but I think they could have made more episodes or such. The character, with Tortov Roddle, is enough already and is perfectly fine. I really love the artwork. They also produced La Maison en Petits Cubes, which makes this ONA popular.
I guarantee that this anime will really grab your attention and you will enjoy the way the story is shown. read more
Dec 27, 2009
I just wanted to use that word. ^^;
When I first started watching Tortov Roddle, I wasn't sure I was even watching a product of Japan. Tortov Roddle shares the name anime only in the sense that it wass animated in Japan, and the concept is from Japan. And though you could draw similarities from the latter, the former is difficult to see. Watching, I felt as though I was looking at a French arts short film. And that is what Tortov Roddle is, a series of artistic shorts, pushing surreal boundaries and supplanting reality for fantasy.
The series immediately left me intrigued. The character of Tortov is charming, and the whimsy and wonder reminded me of Miyazaki. The animation was simplistic, and yet incredibly detailed. By far it stood out from any other Japanese animation I've seen, or, to be fair, any animation I've seen. It is in a class of it's own. The soundtrack was delicate. Each noise, each shuffle, was carefully placed such that they carried utmost importance, and yet you could recognize them as anything more than simply noise associated with action. There are no spoken words in Tortov Roddle, only music, and perhaps laughter. The entire feel and flow of this series was determined by the music, powerful, pristine and overwhelming. Tortov himself was uncanny, and his companion bizarre.
So what can I really say about Tortov Roddle. It's a series of shorts. I watched 7 episodes, though this site would have you believe that it ends at 6 (which is a shame because the 7th was by far my favourite). If you're looking for a short series you can watch by yourself to pass time, I would strongly recommend Tortov Roddle. However there is most certainly a mood requirement to truly appreciate this series. Save it for a rainy day, curled up in a warm blanket with a hot cup of cocoa . You won't regret it. read more
Jun 25, 2010
This could also be due to the wonderful implementation of frames to tell a story, like in the black and white motion pictures of the early 1900's. The music and sounds all fit the images and art directions perfectly. They are whimsical and imaginative, as though every day (every story) were a new discovery! In watching, we become children again - excited to visit the moon, or build a a shining fortress made a sand from some distant star!
Some of my favourite things about the art style:
I love the subtlety of movement. It is sometimes so slight that it is barely noticeable at all.
I also love that the backgrounds remind me of surrealism in their abstract qualities. Trees, for example (or at least what appear to possibly be trees, having a somewhat tree-like shape), resemble something more from a Dr. Seuss book rather than in anime. And in a way, this makes it even more like an anime, because the animation is both so futuristic, while remaining traditional and using techniques from the past.
The creatures, which are unique in and of themselves, as well as Tortov's imagination are what really make the shorts an interesting experience. You never quite know where you will end up or with who/what.
The storylines are very short (each is less than five minutes) and very simple. The way the language changes really makes an impact on the feel of the impact. I say this because sometimes the language Tortov uses is the same as a child would use to phrase a sentence (ex. "My name is Tortov Roddle. When I have a bad dream, I want to forget it as soon as possible.") and other times it is very detached, like that of a true explorer or scientist - one who observes more than they feel. And the art has a wonderful and specific way of explaining or illustrating (no pun intended) this to make a real story from the sentences we are introduced to (the sentences being characters themselves). This can be both simple and funny, while other times it is more transient and abstract.
I will agree with the consensus that there are times I wish the storylines had given us even more depth and let us get to know these worlds a bit more, because while I love a good short, I love a rich world of possibility and flavour that I get to know slowly even more. I have this same idealistic complaint with travel journals - even my own. I want a puppet show as much as I want an exploration. This anime, however, is like sitting in a European bookshop or cafe and just contemplating one's most random thoughts and the places you've been without a worry of what it all means or where it goes. It is a meandering river, but without a real finale.
While not a great deal happens in terms of plot or character development in itself, there is a rich world to explore and more is happening before us than the stories narrate. For those who have enjoyed Mushishi, I think this anime and all other by Kunio Kato are perfect for you. It is, quite literally, as though one were taking you on a journey through their own private travel journal where the art says more than what is said in the writing. read more
Mar 1, 2013