I'm the first to write a review about this movie, but I'll make sure it's covered well. Today when I browsed a few of my nono-sites I came across this movie, which was just freshly subbed and prepared for me. It was called "Cencoroll" and after short looking up what it is, and what it is based on I decided to watch it this morning.
Cencoroll Connect is a continuation of the first film of Cencoroll released in 2009 which is a story based on the manga Amon Game from the prolific producer and character designer Uki Atsuya. Cencoroll first hit me as a artsy and
creative type of storytelling where you are absolutely told nothing. The 2019 movie Cencoroll Connect redeemed some of this assessment since it explained a lot of things to at least get a grasp of the full movie. A third movie is announced to be in production already since this years June.
Cencoroll Connect is a full feature film spanning over 1 hour 15 minutes and begins with a prologue that is 1 by 1 the section that is told in Cencoroll (2009). This means that people who don't know this movie can immediately start with Cencoroll Connect and not miss anything. It blends elements of body-modification, mystery, grand scale fights and science-fiction together and it has moments that remind you of the great horror Manga "Parasyte" from 1988, though the anime adaption "parasyte the maxim" is more well known.
Cenco is one of several "octopuses" that suddenly appear in an unnamed city and its a shapeshifting, amoebic creature with lazy looking eyes and certain abilities. The octopus stay unexplained in their origin, but they are stated to possess certain abilities like shapeshifting, invisibility or sheer strength.
At the beginning of the movie, people who haven't seen the first film are introduced to Tetsu. Tetsu lies on top of a roof and talks to his personal octopus link called Cenco.
One day he just travels by bike and another girl, Yuki, notices that his bike has a protruding eye. She proceeds to poke it and it transforms into a giant blob, that is Cenco. First perplexed but strangely fascinated she asks Tetsu if she could take a ride in Cenco, which has transformed into a car at this point. Tetsu isn't really excited but let's her do just that. While she is out to buy some groceries suddenly another person called Shû who is capable of controlling two octopusmonsters attacks Tetsu because he wants to harness his abilities. A fight on a surprisingly grand scale begins.
Cencoroll Connect then adds more to this rather mysterious tale. We get an explanation who Shû is and why he attacks Tetsu. Also, we learn that Yuki can harness Cenco's abilities herself. I won't spoil what she does with it, but the open-ended story is expanded upon with more characters who possess their own monsters.
The art is surprisingly sterile for a show like this. I already alluded to the fact that the monsters resemble something right out of parasyte, they are aliens but they are not anthropomorphic, neither are they looking like animals. They are abstract creatures with eyes where they don't belong. The background art and the cities debris are very accurate, but the art still feels somewhat surreal. I might mention that it looks somewhat like Zankyô no Terror in the kind of contrast the colour scheme gives way to interpretation. It doesn't look like the high-quality movie production we expect from a Makoto Shinkai or Takahata Isao though.
The sound is rather hard to define topic. The beauty and at the same time uncomfortable eerieness of the first movie was complemented by the actual LACK of distinguishable music. It had more an ambient feel, almost mysterious how it only uses sound effects to great effect. This movie throws this formula out of the window and adds ultimately impactless vocal songs and dubstep into the mix, especially during scenes where the monsters fight and there should be an impactful hit incoming. I think the mood of the direction of the first movie was far superior. The ending of the first movie was a song I really loved: Love & Roll by Supercell. The second ending from Cencoroll Connect is "Nanairo Night" also a song by Doujingroup supercell. And it bangs!
The characters in the show were deliberately not well expanded upon. The first movie featured three main characters of one, the antagonist? kept unnamed. In the second movie, we learn about the names of the character and also that he has companions, so to speak. The main characters we focus on are Tetsu Amamiya, Yuki and Shû. Side characters are Kei, Kaname and Gotoda.
Amamiya, Tetsu is the first person to be shown that has control over one of these octopuses. He doesn't use them for fighting usually but when he was attacked he shows prowess in using certain transformations of Cenco to fend off his opponent. Based on the intro he has not done this the first time. He is a rather negative character, never smiles and always feels bothered by something.
Yuki is a clumsy but responsible female character in the movie. She first finds out about Cenco and shes really intrigued. Later we find out she played an important role from the start, but it's not explained further.
Shuu is a villainous character that looks like a carbon copy of Izaya from DRRR!. He uses both octopus monsters for his own personal gain and doesn't have any explained motivations.
Kaname & Gotoda are other people who possess an octopus and significantly more knowledge about what these octopuses are for.
While the story was the most confusing part of this movie It just captivated me. Usually, people treat the mystery genre like something they have to desperately unravel in every facet. Danganronpa is a great example of such failed mystery storytelling, but this movie made a difference. It fully accepted that it didn't provide enough information to get the overall plot and this as a viewer just makes you think a lot about the possibilities that the plot could've taken or if something happened offscreen which could explain what's going on further. I like about it this movie that it made me think about it instead of consuming it and moving on. The fights were not the most exciting when you already have seen a lot of space battles and other mecha exchanges, but for an abstract, artsy movie like this, it was sufficient. Also, the transformations were creative.
Overall this movie isn't really a secret tip to recommend for everyone and that's fine. It feels that this movie is for enthusiasts of people who like when a story follows the show, don't tell-approach. It's also pretty calm and you can't consume it on the side, you have to be focused on it.
The conclusion doesn't convince me though and I hope that the third movie will expand on that universe without breaking its mystery. Please don't do that.
This is fairly a amazing work. I will keep this short to be a introduction rather than a full review, To put it simple, it interesting and enjoyable. Nothing overwhelming but enough to earn my love for it. With the major factor is this is one man animation. Yep, the dude work on this alone, and this movie suppose to be release in 2009. But actually the long hiatus due to the creator worked with the Digimons Tri movies. So next sequel won't take another 10 years, or let pray it won't
All you need to know is it a sci-fi with monster battle.
Like Pokemon but set in a normal world where these creature's origin still a mystery for even the master.
A fun adventure and keep my interest to stick around whatever this drive will lead to. I am all in
Now let talk about the animation: This is what how the animation should done. It is not really anything new here, common old method. What i mean is the strong key frame and the right timing for the eye can catch and see the movement. This is something most of anime lacking. So it is not something revolution but definitely unique.
It worth a watch. And knowing the detail behind the work, as someone who also choose to this entertainment business, or more flashy: artist. I really want to suppose this work