The short film series "Japan Anima(tor)'s Exhibition" presented by Studio Khara and Dwango. Original projects, spin-off projects, promotional films, Music PV, and VJ Films, etc... Various omnibus animations produced with love and energy, regardless of any genres. The digital distribution anime series bring opportunities for project development, R&D, human resources development, and free production under limited period and budget, to explore the possibilities of future film production.
The main challenge in reviewing Nihon Animator Mihonichi is that it is not a unified body of work. Rather, it is a collection of animated shorts from a variety of different studios and creators. For the most part, the individual shorts have nothing to do with each other and they vary widely in genre and tone, from one short being a raunchy comedy to another being a dark action piece.
The variety present between the shorts works in the collection’s favor as it results in each short feeling unique. It also means that there’s something appealing here for pretty much anybody because, even if one short
doesn’t particularly float your boat, there’s always a chance that the next one might better satisfy your needs.
The only shorts that really feel out of place are Shorts #5, #20A, and #20B. #5 is a “making of” video for Mobile Suit Gundam, #20A is a companion music video for Short #3, and #20B is a “making of” video for Short #12. They’re not necessarily bad, but they feel like companion pieces to other works instead of their own thing.
That being said, this is still an impressive collection of shorts, especially given the amount of work and passion that clearly went into making these. Many of the shorts have genuinely creativity and originality behind them and many of them feature beautiful animation. While you may not enjoy every short in the collection, there’s still plenty on offer here for you to enjoy which, when combined with the aforementioned creativity and animation, makes this collection easy to recommend.
Now before we get into this I just want to take the time to say this is my first review so have mercy.
Now if your wondering "Yo what's up with this Nihon Animator Mihonichi?" Well look no further as I'm hear to give you a general idea of what this collection of short films has to offer.
Let us begin with the stories of Nihon Animator, I feel that there is a special short film waiting for everyone in this collection. There is a huge variety of types of stories that are told here, some are just little fun shorts to watch while others have a
deeper meaning. Some are happy and others are sad, some are simple and others make you think. I believe this is the best feature in this collection because you can connect to a bigger audience. There might be some short films that are not for you in this collection, there will be some shorts that just end without an explanation but this also makes you think harder about the film which is what I think they want you to do. I don't want to talk about any of the films, because first of spoilers and second off its interesting going into this with no clue what you are going to get. (Nihon Animator is like a box of chocolates, you never know what your gonna get.) So I will just let you experience the shorts for yourself.
The art of this collection is exactly how I explained the stories. Each short film has its own unique art style put into it. It really comes down to the watcher's opinion on art whether they think it is good or bad. I think this also adds to the feeling the short film gives off, so it makes the experience all the much more unique.
I think the music will have a strong impact on the viewer because most of it captures the feeling of the short film its in. Also the voice acting was good so thats always a plus.
There were some shorts that I didn't care for but I understand that they were not meant for me so I didn't judge them too hard. Some of the music in this collection is AMAZING! *cough* ME!ME!ME! *cough* Girl *cough* There are alot of beautiful visuals in this collection. After finishing all of these short films it feels as if I've been on a journey. I had so many feelings felt when watching all these short films: happy, sad, confused, relaxed, and weirded out at some points but I'm glad that I watched all of Nihon Animator Mihonichi and I hope you feel the same way by the time you finish it.
(This review is based on the assumption you have not watched these already. I will explain the four current shorts briefly without spoilers, so you can get an idea if you want to watch these or not.)
Edit: As this review was posted at the time where only four shorts under this franchise were released, I will update and review the other titles after I have watched them and caught up. Thanks, feel free to read the current four posted here.
This is a very interesting set of shorts, and it's the first time I've every approached something in this genre. I've never written a review before,
but I figured I'd make one because there aren't any on this site at the moment, so if this can help someone that'd be great. Let's get started.
At the moment, there are four shorts: The Dragon Dentist ,Hill Climb Girl ,Me!Me!Me! ,and Carnage. I'm going to give my brief thoughts on all of these separately below.
Dragon Dentist is a very interesting short. It has a concept on... well... a dragon, and some people who appear to be training to become the dragon's dentists. The short has an interesting concept dabbling in different realms of some sort, interesting and good, but not my favorite of the shorts. Moving on. 7/10
Hill climb is about climbing hills, if you couldn't guess that. It follows the journey spanning about two days of a school girl who loves bicycles, and she seems to be racing her friend every morning to school. This short has a CGI style that is similar to that of RWBY, the characters don't look like your traditional or modern anime, but they don't look bad. If you like racing anime, this might interest you. 7/10
Next is Me!Me!Me!, my favorite of the current four. It follows a story of the main characters inner struggles with a hallucination. This short has the most superior animation out of the group, and is actually quite impressive. The themes are very odd at first, but there really are some deep concepts here if you're looking for something to really interpret and think about after watching. I think almost everything is symbolic for something if you really look at it. It shoulders some themes of purity/diluted views and loss and regret. 9/10
Finally, is Carnage. This is a very interesting short indeed. It follows the story of a girl in an old western setting who has lost her arm, and concerns the path she takes for revenge. I won't say much more, because anything else would pretty much spoil most of the plot. 8/10.
Overall I give this an 8, being very good. I tend to rank things rather highly though; if I liked something, it usually scores high. Maybe I'm being a little generous with an 8, but the shorts are worth a watch although Me!Me!Me! and Carnage are both very graphic and contain nudity, so if you don't like that, just watch the first two. Those are pretty much clean, although do not have as heavy of an effect as the later.
Why do we watch anime? Some people for the characters, some for the stories, others for the culture. But hopefully all of us can get an appreciation for some gorgeous, if brief animation, right? Of course, that fails to do NAM justice.
Nihon Animator Mihonichi plays host to a number of unrelated shorts with storytelling as varied as the artstyles of each piece. The one common factor is that the stories themselves are rarely direct and you'd be forgiven for wanting to watch it again until you have an understanding for what it is. This isn't a bad thing, as it's sign of the rare occasion
where quality has been condensed into a brief seven minutes. Quite like the budget. The first short is about a girl who's hoping to become a Dragon's dentist (quite literally) and the requirements and training to be one involve her dying on the battlefield. Are you lost? It makes contextual sense by the end, but you'll want to watch it and a lot of the others (The infamous ME!ME!ME!) at least a second time or recall upon them in your memory banks a few hours later at work, school, or just while having a drink.
The animation alone is why I personally keep watching. Even when a story doesn't invoke my attention enough or fails to impress me from a story level, the animation is always expressive in one way or another. Hill Climb Girl, for instance, utilizes pure CGI, but it's nigh flawless on its own, while Carnage is not done justice by words. Others utilize still images, these ones being those directly related to actual full-length anime, i.e. the Gundam and Evangelion franchises. They're interesting in their own right and, especially if you're a fan, should take a look at.
This is where I should mention the naked breasts.
Following the third and currently infamous "ME!ME!ME!", which uses so much sexual symbolism to the point of numbing the viewer to it within its short run time or bringing a more sensitive person to smash their computer, two of the next, and presumably some in the future, contain nudity. Quite a bit, in some cases. While I'd personally call "ME!ME!ME!"'s breast turrets as enough a sign of satire as any, Carnage and 20 Min Walk should convince you with their artstyles that it is not so much along the lines of fanservice as an artistic appreciation for the human body, such as art used to contain before the idea of sexualization confused people on what "offensively sexualized" even meant. I digress. If you think you should skip the third, do it. You won't lose much except the chance to send a link to terrorize coworkers, parents, and normal people with.
And after those two, the rest is pretty simple. The sound that is available is synched to the visuals in a way that works, though is rarely memorable. When it is, it usually has to do with the fact that it was designed around being a music video. See #10. YAMADELOID for an example. For character, well, with little dialogue I can't say you'll meet with complicated psyches too often, but the characterization certainly doesn't make these guys unlikable as the 6-7 minute video takes them through the one task they want or need to accomplish.
And do I enjoy it? Christ, yes. The videos flow beautifully and I can't find a single time they're boring. If you were skeptical at first about watching these, here's a somewhat spoilerific synopsis of a few.
1. A tale reminiscent of a military training video, with more than a few direct parallels, joined with fantasy elements for that much more intrigue.
2. Training leads to success, as one schoolgirl and the daily challenge she holds with her friend encourages her to push herself to her limits.
3. An otaku lies in bed as memories of his past and present torment him.
4. A one-armed girl who seeks vengeance takes it to the church.
5. A number of still frames taken from the animation studios of the original Mobile Suit Gundam team are put up next to each other slowly for the audience to observe the process of animation itself.
If any of these interest you, I cannot give you a higher recommendation than to continue with the rest. Keep in mind, Studio Trigger was responsible for the animation of the 11th. It, at the least, is worth a gander.
Shared universes are a long-standing tradition in American comics and now all the rage in movies, but relatively rare in anime and manga. This has made Space Patrol Luluco - a series that's combining Studio Trigger's various other series into a single story - all the more unusual and exciting.