Nov 3, 2016
Chiryokumaru is a 2016 web short by Studio 4°C, and just like most of their shows it's a pretty original work that offers a little more than it first meets the eye.
STORY & CHARACTERS
The whole plot may be summarized in just two sentences: inside a museum, a young warrior fights against shadow beasts using the energy charger on his waist. Soon, the energy runs out, but the warrior finds a new source of power to continue fighting. The plot is extremely short and simple, and even feels somewhat torn out of context, as we never learn why those events take place.
However, as I have already
said, the anime offers a little more than it first meets the eye. When the warrior runs out of energy, he draws new energy from kanji written on the museum walls. And since the description on the official Youtube channel mentions that those shadow beasts symbolize people's fear and uncertainty over what they don't know, the whole thing becomes a pretty cool allegory of how knowledge defeats ignorance, fear and other obstacles. Of course, that does not prevent the plot from being extremely simple, but it does make it more than just a dumb action sequence, as the idea behind it is good and not quite common for anime.
As for the characterization, it's even more basic than the plot, since the whole cast consists of shadow beasts that don't have names and personalities, and one warrior of whom we learn virtually nothing. However, it would be rather strange to expect outstanding character building from a two-minute short, so I am not really too critical about the cast.
ANIMATION & SOUND
- the animation is very good, with eye-appealing colours and nice action scenes featuring some cool energy blasts;
- the BGM employs taiko drums. It's not memorable but fits the show well and gives it a certain samurai feeling;
- the main character says only one line during the whole show, and those beasts don't talk, so the voice-acting is nothing much to write about.
In general, the production values are good, as expected from Studio 4°C.
To sum everything up, I would say that Chiryokumaru is a fine short. While its plot is very simple and somewhat torn out of context, and the characterization is virtually nonexistent, the idea behind the whole thing is very good and not something you often see in anime, and the production values are quite good too. So, if you want some quick watch or you just like Studio 4°C's works, this short might very well be worth giving a try.
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