Koi Tsubomi is an animated short that is essentially aimed at a younger audience much like the other Minna no Uta shorts. However, this one in particular utilizes the song "Koi Tsubomi" by Oku Hanako, and much like the other Minna no Uta shorts, it focuses on telling the story without too much depth. It's pretty straightforward, and it's about a young girl and a polar bear whom become separated, and their emotional attachment to one another. This short focuses on the thoughts of having to leave a loved one, and although it might be odd to see a child and a polar bear missing each other, the lyrics of the song combined with the overall art style really made this short stick out above some of the other shorts. Personally, I didn't think the story was too deep, and it didn't make me think, but considering that this short is aimed at a younger audience, I think this short did a phenomenal job at explaining the emotions or struggles of leaving another person dear to you.
The art was very cute, and definitely attractive to people of all ages, but it was by no means something that can be thought of as first-class art. That having been said, there are scenes such as the polar bear's growling while shivering due to what I would expect to be sadness, and just the tiny details like those that make this short animation more appealing to the eyes.
I'm a fan of Oku Hanako, so that might have something to due with my attachment to the song, but putting my bias aside, the lyrics are extremely deep. There aren't any sound effects since it's essentially just a music video, but the lyrics are what make this song that much more interesting. The words are extremely straightforward much like the art of the video, and Oku Hanako's voice fit extremely well with the mood as well.
Although you can't normally see that much character development within music videos or animated shorts, this one was different. People might disagree with me when I say that this had an interesting character development, but that's honestly what I personally think. Why? Because within the short amount of time, you could see the characters' attachment to one another, and how both the girl and the polar bear go from hiding their sadness from one another to outright showing their longing for the other later on in the video. Also, although the lyrics speak about "love", the animators decided to use a young girl and a bear, and that alone is already quite unique for what you'd call conventional "love". The polar bear displayed emotions that normal animals would not show, and that alone makes this an interesting watch.
As you might be able to guess by now, I absolutely loved this particular animated short. I've watched many different Minna no Uta shorts, and other animated shorts as well, but this one in particular made me almost tear up because the combination between the music and the characters, as well as the manner the art was utilized was absolutely phenomenal. If people are to get into animated shorts, this is definitely a must-watch.
The only reason I would not give this a 10/10 is because of multiple things--mainly, the story and the art could definitely be more detailed. That having been said, this is a stunning animated short, and the song is endearing as well. I can watch this over and over and still not get tired of it! I recommend this to people whom are interested in animated shorts overall. read more