Plot Synopsis : Trilogy about clouds, that is, an omnibus movie consisting of three different stories of clouds. It is based on a charcoal drawing. The clouds without the fixed form are the worlds which surround us.
1 "Breathing Cloud" 3min 10sec
People’s body and soul transform into big a cloud, and are mixed with erotic shapes.
2 "Looking At A Cloud." 5min 45sec
Something happens at the junior high school. When a boy starts to draw a cloud, that drawing begin to move and eat the students...
3 "From The Cloud" 3min 50sec
A funny little story about people living on the soft cloud. A look at their daily life, in the morning, they listen to the bell and begin to go down the sky.
I've never heard of Naoyuki Tsuji, but I can say one thing with near certainty: He was high as a kite when he drew this anime. I don't know what his drug of choice might have been, but judging by all the "cloud" imagery and the events of episode 2, I'm guessing it was something you smoke.
ANYWAY, 3tsu no Kumo is basically the most bizarre thing I've seen since The Apple Incident (which, by the way, I'd recommend to anyone who likes this kind of surreal, trippy-as-balls animation). The page here says it's 3 episodes at 12 minutes each, but it's actually 3 episodes that add up to a TOTAL of 12 minutes.
The story is...uh...bizarre. I don't want to even talk about it, because not only does it make absolutely zero sense anyway, but anything I could really say would spoil the fun of sitting, watching, and saying to yourself, "what the damn hell is going on?" ...I gave it a 2, because even though it was probably ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT to Tsuji when he thought it up, I refuse to believe that anybody else can make any real sense of it.
The art rocks holes. Like, I've never seen anything like it. Every scene is drawn on the same piece of paper with what looks like a charcoal pencil, erasing each previous frame and drawing the next on the same page. The eraser marks leave an obvious and really cool ghost trail thing behind. I really like unique and interesting art in my anime, especially in shorts like this. I give it a 9.
The sound is...odd. Not quite as odd as in The Apple Incident (yeah, making that comparison again), but odd. But then, so is the animation, and so is the whole package, so it works well. And the third episode actually has what I can consider *music*, and it's pretty nice. No real memorable tunes or anything, but it definitely fits the anime. 8 points.
The characters are...clouds, and nameless school students, mostly. Nobody ever talks, there's no development, and none of them have any kind of personality to speak of. 2 points, one for each eye on that freaky cloud from episode 2.
As for my own enjoyment, I was skeptical at first, but things got weird soon enough, and I like weird. I was making the O.o face basically the entire time, starting at about 2:20 when the first giant cloud boner showed up, but it was a good O.o face. 7 for enjoyment.
2 + 9 + 8 + 2 + 7 = 28, 28/5 = 5.6 =~ 6. 6/10 overall. Better than average. I'd recommend checking it out to anyone who appreciates the unique and...weird.read more
My friend (she's an art major) told me about this movie a few months ago. She really liked it a lot, but she tends to lean towards weird, surreal, and experimental movies like this. I'm not normally interested; I typically like movies to have a plot and character development. For that reason, I held off on watching it for those few months.
I finally decided to watch this movie before bed. Since it was so short, I figured it would be perfect. And, to be honest, it was. This movie has no real plot or anything, it's just three 3-4 minute shorts. Each short is a different, unrelated work of art with the central theme of clouds (obviously). Wordless and abstract, these movies require very little thinking about characters, stories, plots, or anything really. There is a concept to each little episode so it's not completely abstract to the point where it's absolutely nonsensical (but it gets close). The first episode is like looking up at the clouds and imagining shapes in them (only in this movie these shapes get a little sexually explicit). The second and third episodes have actual human-characters and a little more of a plot to them, but still very abstract and surreal. Basically, as I stated earlier, it's a nice thoughtless movie perfect to watch before bed.
What made this movie most interesting and very unique was the art. Each scene is drawn on one piece of paper using charcoal. Watching the eraser marks in each frame makes for a very interesting visual effect as it leaves a ghost-like trail of the previous frame. It's by no means a high-quality production, and the lighting could be a little better, but overall the sheer unique-ness of this style made me decide on an "8" in this category. I can see why my artsy friend enjoyed this a lot.
The music is rather minimalistic and bizarre for the most part. Weird and simple synthesizer sounds put through delay and echo filters add to the surreal quality of the first episode. In the last half of episode 2 and most of 3, simple piano music (reminiscent of maybe Bach or Mozart) gives it an uplifting feel that I enjoyed quite a bit. As with the art, it's not the best quality stuff out there. Yet, it still did the job.
Did I enjoy it? Yes, for the most part. It's not a movie I'd recommend watching if you're looking for something psychological, emotional, or story-driven. It's not a movie I'd watch with family or kids (well, at least the sexual images in the first episode). It's not a movie I'd invite a bunch of friends over to watch with (unless your friends like psychedelics- then it may be pretty entertaining). It's a move that's perfect to watch before bed- relaxing and thoughtless. The surreal, dreamlike quality of the art and music helped me forget about my stressful day and allowed me to fall asleep easily.
I give this movie a 6. The 4 points were deducted mostly due to the poor-quality production and the fact that it's not a very easily-accessible movie. The duration was perfect, as I would not really want to watch anymore than 12 minutes of this anyway. It's a great before-bedtime movie and it's great if you're into experimental, weird, surreal, simple, abstract, and trippy movies. If you're not, then I'd stay away from this movie (you'll never get those 12 minutes back). Otherwise, give it a shot- just don't expect anything mind-blowing or life changing. read more