I suggest you grab the popcorn before starting the movie for it is quite short. Plus if you get an urge to go visit the toilet in the middle of the movie, don't worry: it won't last much longer.
Even though the film is merely some 80 years old, the plot has everything that a well written movie needs: a beginning, a couple of turning points and an ending. The story takes off at some random beach and I must say that the beginning got me really confused. Who is this weirdo? What has he come here to do? So unless you are familiar with
the folk tale, prepare to be dazzled, for the film doesn't give you much of an explanation. The plot advances at an alarming rate, so unless you are some sort of a rocket scientist it might be a little difficult to follow. Nevertheless, after the first few scenes you start get the hang of it and actually enjoy it a little. You can always rewatch it a couple of times if you really want to suck it dry.
The artwork is one of the strengths of the film: back then TV had just been invented and Urashima Tarou was one of the first anime ever created. The japanese chaps of that time called it fucking awesome. Just like all other fossils it is in black and white, which wasn't considered a flaw back then, but nowadays it sure sucks ass. The animation is glitchy, blurry, itchy, twitchy and everything between them, but it's surprisingly fluent. The drawing itself looks nice and detailed assuming it doesn't glitch for a second.
It is a silent film, so you can stop searching for an OST right now. But not having sounds is actually a two-edged sword, for you can listen to what kind of music you ever like while watching this. I made a few test runs: I watched the film while listening to j-techno pop, rap and folk metal. The first two didn't suit the film at all, even though the it looked pretty rad when the film twitched to the beat of the techno pop. Rap doesn't suit anything, but hey, I had to try... Folk metal suited the film surprisingly well, made it look pretty badass. Just imagine all the possibilities!
The story has only one main and a few side characters. The protagonist is pretty clever guy who makes the best of every situation he gets in. Always has this retarded smile on his face. It is quite easy to get attached to him, he's quite the personality. The few side characters that appear are pretty stiff and not that amazing, but some of them have their own charm.
I didn't really enjoy this movie. Most of the time I was wondering what the heck is going on, but after rewatching it a couple of times, I think I got a pretty clear understanding of what happened. I am not familiar with the folk tale, so I had no expectations of what's going to happen. But the film is so short, it only hurts for a moment. The film also has zero ecchi, so if you are in hunt of pantyshots, boobs and cameltoes, you really are looking from the wrong place.
It's a historical piece of crap, that people should watch if they want to feel nostalgic and stuff, or if they want to add something to their list. But it really is crappy, so don't expect too much. If you are a badass like me, you can even watch it a couple of times.
Well, it's time for another short that comes from the beginning of animation in Japan. The animation really isn't that great; I'd say it's about middling compared to the other works of the era. I'm also not a fan of the art style. All of the art just doesn't feel quite as polished as other films of the era.
The story is just barely understandable. Also, despite this only being 2 minutes long, there's about 3 or 4 different scene transitions, which doesn't help in conveying the story at all.
The sound is really basic, featuring a dopey music track like many other Japanese films of the
era did. There's no voice acting, and actually no dialogue whatsoever.
I don't know, it's not the worst thing I've ever seen, but it doesn't have much going for it, and I didn't really enjoy it. I didn't hate it, but perhaps that's just because it was so short, so it didn't have long enough to really get under my skin?