Apr 13, 2021
Phantasmagoria, the planet of dreams… a peculiar world where the fantastical and supernatural as well as a myriad of ecosystems coexist together. There's a baking county where each building is made entirely out of bread, a cactus city, a digital zone remodeling everything that enters it become a square and somewhere else, a giant lightbulb is buried while a clock is slowly ticking away.
A Piece of Phantasmagoria is Shigeru Tamura's first experiment at transcribing his picture books on screen all on his own and has managed to gather a small fandom throughout the years but its amateurish nature shows quite a bit. First are
the visuals that are mostly just reused still illustrations which isn't a problem per se but there's barely any movement: a few poorly done loops, the animation of the characters is very choppy and parts of the different shorts are constantly recycled throughout its runtime. Then there's also not much going on conceptually and considering that each part only lasts 4-5 minutes, it doesn't have time to explore any of its ideas and it doesn't feel like it wants to. It seems like they are unachieved stories waiting for someone to give life to them.
These could be non-issues to someone aiming only at reveling in a comfy watch that isn't big about storytelling and it's probably the best way to enjoy it. While I'm talking about it being relaxing, I can't not mention the minimalistic scores of Hiroshi Ogasawara that fit wonderfully into the fantastical sceneries of Phantasmagoria. Overall it's hard to be very harsh on a first project, it has some wasted potential but it at least was useful for him to later make Ursa Minor Blue and Glassy Ocean that are pretty much better in every aspect and let him express his creativity to a full extent.
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