Tortov Roddle is a man of few words on a journey through a calm and obscure new land, interacting with its inhabitants along the way. As he rides on his long-legged pig through the desert from town to town, he observes the interesting and quirky customs of the locals and reminisces about his past.
Oh my, what and incredible work of art we have here.
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 :]
Legitimately one of my favorite anime, although really not for everyone.
The Diary of Tortov Roddle is a series of wonderful, beautiful, surreal, wordless (aside from text from Tortov's diary) shorts, starring the traveler Tortov Roddle and his strange long-legged pig mount and companion. There's not really a story to speak of; the series is essentially a series of short vignettes. Tortov goes somewhere, experiences something odd, and then moves on.
What somethings they are, though. The series is surreal, but unlike most uses of surrealism, it's not really symbolic. The surrealism doesn't represent the mind of a character, or the author's opinion
of the Vietnam War, it's simply a weird, wondrous world that Tortov is exploring. The series has a very Japanese focus on fleeting moments. The events Tortov encounters aren't big, they're things like a fish jumping out of his coffee cup in a cafe, or watching a cartoon projected on the back of a bear, and once Tortov moves on, they're not mentioned again. This sense of transience, along with the quiet, contemplative nature of the series gives everything a slight feel of melancholy that adds a bit of weight to the wonder.
The art is gorgeous, and perfectly suits the series. It really doesn't look like your average anime, instead going for a painterly story book look that's really nice to look at, and suits the dream-like nature of the show. The use of color is also very well done, there's a lot of unified color palettes in the episodes to give things certain atmospheres. It really does feel like a moving story book at times.
The music is very nice. It has a kind of French feel, with liberal use of accordion. It's suitably whimsical, and again slightly sad. It doesn't feel particularly prominent, but it's not really meant to.
If you don't appreciate an effectively storyless series, or this sort of simplistic wonder, you probably won't like Tortov Roddle. If you do though, you'll probably find it wonderful.
Aru Tabibito no Nikki translates into "A Traveler's Diary." That is exactly what it is, and that is exactly what you should expect. Aru Tabibito no Nikki is the diary of a man named Tortov Roddle. His diary is beautifully simplistic; he writes about what he sees and what he's doing. He writes about what is on his mind.
There is no exaggeration. There are no women with massive breasts, there are no chibi scenes or outrageous expressions. This sentence explains exactly what this short is: "Accompanied by his long-legged pig friend, Tortov takes us on an on-going adventure of peaceful contemplation."
And what a beautiful
process that is. It doesn't take hours; it only takes a quarter of an hour to accomplish what many, many anime cannot.
This anime is storyless, and yet it isn't. What person's life can really be called an action-packed story? Life is not always interesting. The best parts of life include silence, contemplation, and mental exploration. But, then again, Tortov's story isn't uninteresting in the slightest. It's surreal. It's the picture of an unusual, creative world with flashes into the mind of a fairly normal, thoughtful, and almost melancholic man. In these moments, he is perfectly real - sometimes expressionless, sometimes excited, sometimes surprised, sometimes vulnerable, sometimes not.
This atmospheric experience is, in a way, mellowed by an eccentric, beautiful art style and a slightly depressing array of gentle music. Nothing is pushed in your face. Everything is softened and warmed for you, but the story does not become dull. It's as though you are a child being spoon-fed these wonderful, calm musings. None of it dribbles down your lips and chin. All of it is just calmly swallowed, but never really completely digested. And I mean that in the best possible sense.
Aru Tabibito no Nikki can only be described as an artistic masterpiece, with pressure on "artistic." Art is subjective; this is the king of subjectivity. How much you enjoy it depends on your current walk in life. How much you enjoy it depends on your mindset, on what you're looking for. Just like a friend who helps you along one day; another day, maybe you're walking down different paths, and that's okay. For me, Aru Tabibito no Nikki came at a time where I needed to be soothed, inspired, and impacted. All of this, it can achieve.
So do not just pick this anime up just for the heck of it. Pick it up because you're looking for something more. Pick it up because you're at a stand-still in your life. Pick it up because you just need to relax and feel your sanity again. Pick it up with the right mindset.
"What mindset is that?" is a question that only you can answer, perhaps even subconsciously.
A common misconception about animated shorts states that they, bathing in creativity or not, never reach the same heights of storytelling as full-length features. While it's true that there's little room left for plot devices and character development if you happen to have a running time that doesn't even surpass half an hour, I still find this notion absolutely ridiculous. Rather than observing a short film and condemn it based on the lack of things you'd find in a movie, I've always been under the belief that the approach itself needs to be changed in accordance to the running time. Hopefully, viewers who happen to
come across the subject of these pointless scribbles will have their perception of animated shorts changed forever in the beautiful, mesmerizing and absolutely pointless creation that goes under the name: The Diary of Tortov Riddle.
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.