May 28, 2019
*This anime was watched due to the Wheel of Obligation Anime Watching Challenge*
Cynical Hysterie Hour: Yoru wa Tanoshii, or Through the Night, is the third in a series of four shorts written by Kiriko Kubo, adapted from her mangas. The show happens in Japan and focuses on a single day of main character Tsuneko, featuring light-hearted, subtle comedy.
Since this is a short movie, it is quite hard to not spoil some of its content, even though it happens early on the show.
Being limited to less than eight minutes, the plot is straightforward: Tsuneko, a young girl, explains to the audience that she is tired of going to bed early every single day, and that she wishes a night without her parents around. She hears about people cooking marvellous ramen late at night, and so she wants to do so as well, for example. One of these days, upon arriving at home, her brother Suneo tells her that their parents actually wouldn't be comming home that night - which is exactly what Tsuneko desired. Thus, the anime's secondary title "Through the Night" explains what happens next.
The story, or rather the "concept" itself is not anything to be fondly remembered, as you may imagine. Nonetheless, the interaction between the siblings and Tsuneko's somewhat mischievous acts did put a smile on my face. There was a particular moment, one third still remaining, which made me literally laugh out loud. That short piece of humor is exotic, I'd say, and I don't expect everyone to laugh at it as I did. That's what I'll be remembering from this show years on from now.
Regarding the art style, it looks pretty "80ish", as it is when it de facto aired. What surprised me is that it all feels fluid, and that the characters' expressions are pretty well defined. You could see emotions such as joy, anger and fear stamped on Tsuneko's face and her brother's. The studio also makes good use of exaggeration techniques, growing the size of limbs whenever it is fit, for example. You won't find beautiful background, vibrant colors of particle effects, though, as expected from a late 80s real-life comedic short movie.
What shines the most is the sound design, however. The soundtrack is phenomenal and it manages to set the tone of the scenes in which it appears perfectly. Being a comedy, silly sound effects occurred from interactions are also well-placed, right on spot. While I'm not a fan of those, it definitely fits the movie. Besides that, it may as well be said that there are both stereo audio and depth perception, as the sound's volume and location changes as the characters move around - this is a fine detail which must be taken into consideration.
All in all, Cynical Hysterie Hour: Yoru wa Tanoshii was a delight to watch. Unfortunately, I could not find neither english subtitles nor english voice acting for the short movie, so I had to resort to a certain person to explain it to me. Fortunately, the plot isn't complex, and with the general idea of what I described here you can already watch it, even if you don't speak japanese, and you'll be just fine. After watching this, I'm curious to know what the other three shorts are about, as the quality for this one was surprisingly high. I was definitely not expecting what I received for a less-than-eight-minutes movie.
What did you think of this review?