"Clank, clank, clank, clank..." Today, the railroad crossing bar goes down again, stopping someone on their way somewhere. The various stories of youth, eros, art, first love, etc that occur during the time spent waiting at a railroad crossing... All railroad crossings, all the time. Bringing you a variety of short stories about railroad crossings!
It was a warm Monday morning, and I had just arrived at the train crossing. The crossing gate was down, the sound of warning bells were heard, and the blinking red lights from the crossing signal meant the train was coming.
Standing lean and tall with short dirty blond hair and his distinctive backpack facing me was my friend. He usually arrives earlier than me, and today was no exception.
I stood two or three feet behind him and greeted him.
I figured he had earbuds or something, and didn’t hear me. I checked both ears
and noticed nothing in them. I greeted him again.
Still, no response.
At this point, silence from him meant I either pissed him off or I should initiate the conversation. I can’t recall pissing him off yesterday or the day before, in fact we a had grand time playing Fortnite during those two days. In which case, he wants me to start the conversation. I shrugged my shoulders, and muttered, “okay.”
I began the conversation:
“Well, I had just finished an interesting anime. It’s only three minutes long, but worth your time. The show is called Fumikiri Jikan. Or how I call it the ’meeting and talking for three minutes by the train crossing’ short. Ironic, isn’t it? Anyway, it’s not bad, but it’s not good either. But, interesting. Very interesting.
“The anime consists of short stories about various characters talking at a train crossing. Now, that may sound boring, but don’t be fooled by its premise. Each episode contains a different skit that’s either really good and funny, or really fucking weird and not funny. Some episodes that I found to be good were: episode 1, where two high school girls talked about who they love, episode 4 and 8 involves a brother and sister communicating with each other only by text, episode 5 involves a little blonde girl in a lolita goth outfit with back problems, and episode 7 involves a self-described female poet. Every other episode was weird and not funny.
“Even though the train crossing was the only location seen in the anime, the design and art for it was well done. The buildings, the multitudes of crossing signals, railroad trails, the train crossing gate, trees, et cetera are aesthetic looking and full of details. The overall character designs are okay, although a certain thigh in episode 2 and 11 was thicc, which was ‘fine’ and amazing to look at. But, I digress. The animations are solid and well produced. Then, again, the characters don’t really move that much, and the only fast moving objects are the train and other small items. Anyway, that’s it for the art and animation.
“The 30 second opening song is J-Pop in origin, and consists of painting-like images that show the train crossing, many railroad trails, and flashing train crossing signals accompanied with some buildings and trees in the background. It’s a pretty good opening song, and too bad there is no ending song. The voice acting is decent and expect the background music to set the tone for each episode.
“Every character, despite having no background story or character development, has an interesting and unique personality. Some interesting characters includes: the two high school girls in episode 1 and 12, the teacher and female student in episode 3, the brother and sister in episode 4 and 8, the little blonde girl in a lolita goth outfit in episode 5, and the self-described poet in episode 7. There are a few others, but these characters made quite an impression on me. The remaining character are either not as interesting or creepy in nature.
“Overall, for a three minute anime, it’s decent. Some skits are good and funny, and some aren’t as funny, and this is all dependent on the characters and the situations they are in. In other words, comedy is subjective, and the skits depend on whether you enjoy the jokes or not.
“So, those were my impressions. What do you think? You want to watch it or not?”
Suddenly, a chime was heard. It was my SMS ringtone.
I checked my phone, and noticed the message addressed from my friend.
“Not feeling well. Unable to meet at the usual place. Go to school without me,” it read.
I looked up from my phone to glance at the person in front of me, only to find his eyes meeting with mine. At that moment, the speeding train rushed passed us. We stared at each other like two cowboys in a showdown at high noon. Then, the stranger spoke.
“I was going to say you had the wrong person after you greeted me the second time, but then you kept on talking and talking like there was no tomorrow,” he said, while rubbing the back of his neck.
I blushed. “Sorry, mistaken you for my friend,” I said with an embarrassed look.
“Yeah, no problem. Mistakes happen,” he said, while maintaining eye contact.
When the last car of the train had passed, the crossing gate went up, the sound of warning bells went silence, and the blinking red lights had stopped.
I sighed, broke eye contact, and walked by the stranger.
Upon reaching the other side of the railway pedestrian crossing, I looked back and saw him still standing there.
“He must be waiting for someone,” I thought, then I made my way to school, trying to forget what had happened this morning.
Fumikiri Jikan feels and looks like something that's made out of a passion project with said unknown studio and all the things that you could ever have with a decent production.
With that said, this is the best 3 mins short in the season, the others are all trash, Tachibanakan Triangle is pure yuri but mediocre, and the "I don't know whose freaking idea to turn this into an anime" Alice or Alice, a tragic disaster of a lolicon.
With that said, there's no story here, since all of the stories are presented in an omnibus format, it means that every episode is its very own story,
but with the same setting around the railroad crossing. It's good, but there are others better out there.
The art and animation is surprisingly good, considering that the people behind this have the will to present something out of motivation, and it's not the half-ass deal-breaker.
The music is minimal with just the OP, and I can see why: the stories are given much context and screentime, that the focus reigns on the different characters that come into play, and probably some sprinkles onto certain scenes and such.
In the end, this is a good short to invest your time with, and it takes only a half hour to complete everything in a sitting.
I think a lot of people are missing the point of this anime. Bruh it's like 3 minutes long each episode, and a lot of people are expecting it to be "fleshed out" and with detailed characters, what the fuck?
This anime is just a light hearted, cheeky fun short. Trust it's gonna be a damn good 3 minutes. The animation is great, the characters are cute and not too moe like, the colour pallet is great and overall it's just a 10/10 for what it's trying to do, comedy, with only 3 fucking minute episodes.
Fumikiri Jikan is a great way to spend three minutes. There
isn't much to say besides the fact that the anime knows how to use up it's time. The problem with shorts often is not the length itself, but what happens within that timeframe. Some shorts have the gall to not only include an opening, but an ending as well, cutting into the content (mainly because there really is no content). Fumikihi Jikan allows itself to use almost all of it's runtime, with an opening that lasts no more than 24 seconds (at least for the one episode where I actually checked). This means that the three minute short is actually a three minute short.
Now, even if the anime only gave us a minute for content, nobody is going to want to waste time if it's shit. But, every episode is gold in its own way. The meat of the anime ends up being interactions between different characters as they wait for a train to pass at a railroad crossing. Each episode is a vignette, all taking place at the same spot. The difference being not the setting, or the factor that sets them up to interact, but the characters themselves. And it's entertaining interaction between various characters that serves as the selling point for this anime. Little 'slice-of-life' scenes are done masterfully. It may be the brevity or the casual everyday randomness that prevades the conversations, but it's hard for me to find any fauly with the writing. It all feels very natural, pulling you along with the rhythm of the scenes until they end. There is no ending theme (credits play during the 'opening) so when the scene is over, the anime is over. And it usually ends once you just started feeling like you got to know the characters. I think it takes some smarts to be able to put in so much genuine feeling into characters whom we really can only see in one spot, at one time. There's certainly more feeling in these conversations than we sometimes see in full-length series, which often meanders around, and away from, anything interesting. But, perhaps it's so short that there isn't a ton of room for them to screw up. The focus, for this anime, is the conversations themselves. They unfold and become the narrative, where other anime only use interactions to set up for a certain result. Of course being written this way also allows for a quick and immediate emotional attachment, so when the writing becomes sentimental and wistful, it doesn't feel tacked on or contrived. In any case, Fumikiri Jikan is probably the best short this season, it's funny and a great way to spend the time it takes to complete.
Also, I think the voice acting deserves special mention. All of the voice work is done very well, which it needs to for a dialogue-driven short. There's plenty of newbie actors in here, so it may be interesting for people who are into that, as well.
Fumkiri Jikan is at best similar to Tsuredure Children in many respects...
As in Fumkiri Jikan centers on a certain train crossing and all the characters waiting for the train to pass go about their daily lives, be it romantic or a chance encounter Fumikiri Jikan takes advantage of a seemingly mundane place to something of a place of great to crazy character interactions.
Fuikiri Jikan DOES have some fanservicey episodes, especially when it involved Mashima Eriko, Tanishi for some butt shots with some yuri baiting with Ai and Tomo, but it's by the by tame in comparison for the most part.
Now certain characters do actually get
more episodes and it's not just one-shot characters every episodes, from the aforementioned Ai and Tomo getting bookends of the anime about their "friendship" to the texting siblings Misaki and Takashi getting a couple of episodes to themselves. LA kinda gets the point that the majority of the characters are one off characters with their own quirkiness about them but Fumikiri Jikan ALSO brings up the entire notion of the "chance encounter" and that you cannot meet the same person twice in the same place in place as well, it IS a train crossing so it makes much more sense that more students and working men and women would cross it more than the more eccentric one-shot characters shown in Fumikiri Jikan.
The animation done by EKACHI EPILKA and this is EKACHI EPILKA's first venture into animation and they did pretty well even for a short, from the typical character designs to background work The voice acting on the other hand was quite good, from Sayaka Senbongi and Yui Ogura as Ai and Tomo to Yukari Tamura and *ahem* NORIO WAKAMOTO in one episode. The voice cast is a good mix of veterans and new voice actors but LA quite enjoyed the voice cast with Sayaka Senbongi being LA's favourite voice actor for this anime short with Suzuna Kinoshita as Misaki as the second best in LA's opinion.
Fumikiri Jikan was the quite pleasant anime short revolving around the daily commute of the people surrounding a train crossing and LA says this about almost every good anime short but it won't take much of your time to watch them all. With the daily commute, lots of different be it romantic or wacky interactions abound and Fumikiri Jikan capitalizes and for the most part executes it well enough.