Experimental fiction which shunned conventional storytelling at the time it was created. These stories often invoke unsettled feelings because they reject traditional ways in which we prefer to view (or escape from) the world. Narrative is avant garde works is often of higher importance than the content.
Deconstructions often fall into this genre. Note that simply being darker, edgier, or cynical doesn't mean the work is avant garde.
Fifteen years after a cataclysmic event known as the Second Impact, the world faces a new threat: monstrous celestial beings called "Angels" invade Tokyo-3 one by one. Mankind is unable to defend themselves against the Angels despite utilizing their most advanced munitions and military tactics. The only hope for human salvation rests in the hands of NERV, a mysterious organization led by the cold Gendou Ikari. NERV operates giant humanoid robots dubbed "Evangelions" to combat the Angels with state-of-the-art advanced weaponry and protective barriers known as Absolute Terror Fields. Years after being abandoned by his father, Shinji Ikari, Gendou's 14-year-old son, returns to Tokyo-3. Shinji undergoes a perpetual internal battle against the deeply buried trauma caused by the loss of his mother and the emotional neglect he suffered at the hands of his father. Terrified to open himself up to another, Shinji's life is forever changed upon meeting 29-year-old Misato Katsuragi, a high-ranking NERV officer who shows him a free-spirited maternal kindness he has never experienced. A devastating Angel attack forces Shinji into action as Gendou reveals his true motive for inviting his son back to Tokyo-3: Shinji is the only child capable of efficiently piloting Evangelion Unit-01, a new robot that synchronizes with his biometrics. Despite the brutal psychological trauma brought about by piloting an Evangelion, Shinji defends Tokyo-3 against the angelic threat, oblivious to his father's dark machinations. [Written by MAL Rewrite]
Devils cannot take form without a living host. However, if the will of an individual is strong enough, they can overcome the demon and make its power their own, becoming a Devilman. Weak and unassuming, Akira Fudou has always had a bleeding heart. So when his childhood friend Ryou Asuka asks for his help in uncovering devils, Akira accepts without hesitation. However, to Akira's surprise, the place they go to is Sabbath: an immoral party of debauchery and degeneracy. Amidst bloodshed and death, demons possess the partiers, turning their bodies into grotesque monsters, and begin wreaking havoc. In a reckless attempt to save his best friend, Akira unwittingly merges with the devil Amon and becomes a Devilman, gaining the power to defeat the remaining demons. Though it grants him great power, this new partnership awakens an insatiable and primeval part of Akira. Having the body of a devil but the same crybaby heart, Akira works alongside Ryou, destroying those that harm humanity and his loved ones. [Written by MAL Rewrite]
Shinji Ikari is left emotionally comatose after the death of a dear friend. With his son mentally unable to pilot the humanoid robot Evangelion Unit-01, Gendou Ikari's NERV races against the shadow organization SEELE to see who can enact their ultimate plan first. SEELE desires to create a godlike being by fusing their own souls into an Evangelion unit, while Gendou wishes to revert all of humanity into one primordial being so that he can be reunited with Yui, his deceased wife. SEELE unleashes its military forces in a lethal invasion of NERV headquarters. As SEELE's forces cut down NERV's scientists and security personnel, Asuka Langley Souryuu pilots Evangelion Unit-02 in a desperate last stand against SEELE's heaviest weaponry. The battle rages on, and a depressed Shinji hides deep within NERV's headquarters. With the fate of the world resting in Shinji's hands, Captain Misato Katsuragi hunts for the teenage boy as society crumbles around them. [Written by MAL Rewrite]
Naota Nandaba is an ordinary sixth grader living in a city where nothing amazing ever seems to happen. After his brother Tasuku leaves town to play baseball in America, Naota takes it upon himself to look after everything Tasuku left behind—from his top bunk bed to his ex-girlfriend Mamimi Samejima, who hasn't stopped clinging to Naota since Tasuku left. Little does Naota know, however, that his mundane existence is on the verge of being changed forever: enter Haruko Haruhara, a Vespa-riding, bass guitar-wielding, pink-haired psychopath whose first encounter with Naota leaves him with tire tracks on his back and a giant horn on his head. Though all he wants is some peace and quiet, when Haruko takes up residence at his parents' home, Naota finds himself dragged into the heart of the greatest battle for supremacy that Earth—and quite possibly the entire universe—has ever seen. [Written by MAL Rewrite]
Lain Iwakura, an awkward and introverted fourteen-year-old, is one of the many girls from her school to receive a disturbing email from her classmate Chisa Yomoda—the very same Chisa who recently committed suicide. Lain has neither the desire nor the experience to handle even basic technology; yet, when the technophobe opens the email, it leads her straight into the Wired, a virtual world of communication networks similar to what we know as the internet. Lain's life is turned upside down as she begins to encounter cryptic mysteries one after another. Strange men called the Men in Black begin to appear wherever she goes, asking her questions and somehow knowing more about her than even she herself knows. With the boundaries between reality and cyberspace rapidly blurring, Lain is plunged into more surreal and bizarre events where identity, consciousness, and perception are concepts that take on new meanings. Written by Chiaki J. Konaka, whose other works include Texhnolyze, Serial Experiments Lain is a psychological avant-garde mystery series that follows Lain as she makes crucial choices that will affect both the real world and the Wired. In closing one world and opening another, only Lain will realize the significance of their presence. [Written by MAL Rewrite]
J-pop idol group CHAM! has spent the last two years entertaining its fans. Sadly, all good things must come to an end, and CHAM! must see one of its members, Mima Kirigoe, leave the group to pursue her acting career. While Mima's choice is met with a mixed response, she hopes her fans will continue to support her. However, Mima's life begins to change drastically after her departure from the group. Wanting to shed her pop-idol image, she takes on a role in a crime drama series, and her career as an actress gradually becomes more demanding and taxing for both Mima and her manager, Rumi Hidaka. To add to Mima's growing unease, an obsessed fan who is incapable of accepting that Mima has quit being an innocent idol, begins stalking her; a new anonymous website begins to impersonate her life with intricate detail; and CHAM! also appears to be doing better without her. One by one, each disturbing development drives Mima to become increasingly unhinged and unable to distinguish reality from fantasy. [Written by MAL Rewrite]
The world of dreams can be an incredible window into the psyche, showing one's deepest desires, aspirations, and repressed memories. One hopeful tech lab has been developing the "DC Mini," a device with the power to delve into the dreams of others. Atsuko Chiba and Kosaku Tokita have been tirelessly working to develop this technology with the hopes of using it to deeply explore patients' minds and help cure them of their psychological disorders. However, having access to the deepest corners of a person's mind comes with a tremendous responsibility. In the wrong hands, the DC Mini could be used as a form of psychological terrorism and cause mental breakdowns in the minds of targets. When this technology is stolen and people around them start acting strangely, Atsuko and Kosaku know they have a serious problem on their hands. Enlisting the help of Officer Konakawa, who has been receiving this experimental therapy, they search both the real and dream worlds for their mental terrorist. [Written by MAL Rewrite]
The infamous Shounen Bat (Lil' Slugger) is terrorizing the residents of Musashino City. Flying around on his rollerblades and beating people down with a golden baseball bat, the assailant seems impossible to catch—much less understand. His first victim, the well-known yet timid character designer Tsukiko Sagi, is suspected of orchestrating the attacks. Believed only by her anthropomorphic pink stuffed animal, Maromi, Tsukiko is just one of Shounen Bat's many victims. As Shounen Bat continues his relentless assault on the town, detectives Keiichi Ikari and Mitsuhiro Maniwa begin to investigate the identity of the attacker. However, more and more people fall victim to the notorious golden bat, and news of the assailant begins circulating around the town. Paranoia starts to set in as chilling rumors spread amongst adults and children alike. Will the two detectives be able to unravel the truth behind Shounen Bat, or will the paranoia get to them first? [Written by MAL Rewrite]
For the Takakura family, destiny is an ever-spinning wheel, pointing passionately in their direction with equal tides of joy and sorrow before ticking on to the next wishmaker. With their parents gone, twin brothers Kanba and Shouma live alone with their beloved little sister Himari, whose poor health cannot decline any further. On the day Himari is given permission to temporarily leave the hospital, her brothers take her out to the aquarium to celebrate, where the family's supposed fate is brought forth with her sudden collapse. However, when Himari is inexplicably revived by a penguin hat from the aquarium's souvenir shop, the hand of fate continues to tick faithfully forward. With her miraculous recovery, though, comes a cost: there is a new entity within her body, whose condition for keeping her fate at bay sends the boys on a wild goose chase for the mysterious "Penguin Drum." In their search, the boys will have to follow the threads of fate leading from their own shocking past and into the lives of other wishmakers vying for the Penguin Drum, all hoping to land upon their chosen destiny. [Written by MAL Rewrite]
Boogiepop and Others
Hushed exchanges among the female student populace of Shinyo Academy center around an enigmatic supernatural entity. This entity is Boogiepop, a Shinigami who is rumored to murder people at the height of their beauty before their allure wanes. Few know of his true nature: a guardian who, between periods of dormancy, manifests as the alter ego of a high school girl named Touka Miyashita to fend off "the enemies of the world." Now, a string of mysterious disappearances—presumed by the school to be merely runaways—has caused Boogiepop to awaken. But somewhere in the academy, a menacing creature hides, waiting for its opportune moment to strike. Boogiepop wa Warawanai subtly explores the intrinsic associations between human beings and their perception of time, while delving into its characters' complex relationships, emotions, memories, and pasts. [Written by MAL Rewrite]
The surrealist world of Tenshi no Tamago is desolate and devoid of the bustle of traditional everyday life. Instead, the world is filled with ominous phenomena, including floating orbs populated with statues of goddesses, gargantuan army tanks that seem to move unmanned, armies of fishermen who chase after the shadows of nonexistent fish, and caverns solely decorated with glass vessels of water. In this run-down world, a young girl takes care of a large egg and scavenges for food and drink. She encounters a mysterious man with a cross over his shoulder, who soon becomes curious about who she is and what her egg contains. They decide to explore the lost and broken landscape together, questioning each other about the nature of faith, the purpose of the world, and the origins of their lives. [Written by MAL Rewrite]
Hidomi Hibajiri is a dissilusioned young girl who never takes off her headphones. Her whole life consists of going to school, helping out at her mother's cafe, and listening to music. And with nothing else to break the crippling monotony, she keeps her headphones on at all times. That is, until she is run over by a mysterious guitar-wielding woman. That same night, a robot barges into Hidomi’s room along with a boy from her class, Ko Ide, and the kids are chased around town together. They're saved by the guitar-wielding woman from before, but now Hidomi's got a horn growing from her forehead? Who knows where these robots are coming from, what kind of vespa woman this weird guitar woman is warning her about, or what this thing on her forehead is, but it doesn't look like Hidomi is going to be able to ignore all this with headphones! [Written by MAL Rewrite]
Five years ago, a string of grisly murders shook the city to its core and now the rumors have begun once more. Boogiepop... Everyone knows about Boogiepop: meet her one dark night and you are taken. People tell each other the stories and laugh: no one believes that she can possibly exist in this day and age. Still, strange things appear to be going on and the darkness is taking on many forms. Something is out there. Are you safe? (Source: RightStuf)
Theatre of Darkness: Yamishibai
The mysterious, yellow-masked Storyteller is a man whose true name and origin are both unknown. He appears at dusk where children gather and recites sinister tales based on Japanese urban legends, to which his young audience eerily intakes. However, the Storyteller is no ordinary teller of tales. He incorporates a kamishibai, a traditional paper-scrolling device, to add visuals to his already demented narration. A series of short horror stories, Yami Shibai begins with a bachelor who, after moving into a new apartment, immediately starts sensing a malevolent glare being pressed into him. A single talisman rests on his ceiling, but he has no way of knowing it is one of the few safeguards that separate him from a bottomless pit of suffering. Each story is more terrifying, more appalling, and more sickening than the last as the Storyteller's audience find themselves being sucked into the vicious world of his words. [Written by MAL Rewrite]
Higurashi: When They Cry – SOTSU
Rika Furude and Satoko Houjou are best friends who have lived in the small village of Hinamizawa for their entire lives. Alongside their other friends, they spend every day together, and every moment is filled with fun and laughter. However, as Rika and Satoko begin to grow older, a life-changing opportunity presents itself to both of them. Rika is determined to follow her dreams and wants Satoko by her side. Although Satoko is hesitant, she decides to walk this path with Rika. However, the realization of her dream forms a rift between them. This leaves the girls living in completely different worlds, with Rika enjoying her new life and making new friends while Satoko grows more and more isolated. Longing to return to the nostalgic days in Hinamizawa, Satoko despairs and wishes things could be changed. Just when she is at wits' end, an encounter with a supernatural entity changes Satoko's perception and imparts new revelations about her best friend Rika. This begins her journey to get the future she desires—by any means necessary. [Written by MAL Rewrite]
Life seems to drift by for Kana Koumoto and her friends in their small Japanese town. Every day is just like the last, and it feels like every new day will be the same. Kana goes to school, hangs out with her friends, and likes to paint her nails and listen to music, but it feels like nothing special is ever going to happen. As a change of pace, Kana and her friends decide to design a bottle rocket and launch it into space, even though it might not get there at all. However, just when the rocket is completed, a robot suddenly crashes into and destroys it, shortly followed by a pink-haired woman claiming to be a "Galactic Investigator." Kana's life quickly becomes more exciting than she ever imagined, dealing with new feelings, changing friends, and even boy troubles. It turns out life can go by in the blink of an eye, fast enough to even miss it, so what's with these weird robots that seem to show up at the worst times?! [Written by MAL Rewrite]
Uzumaki: Spiral into Horror
In the town of Kurouzu-cho, Kirie Goshima lives a fairly normal life with her family. As she walks to the train station one day to meet her boyfriend, Shuuichi Saito, she sees his father staring at a snail shell in an alley. Thinking nothing of it, she mentions the incident to Shuuichi, who says that his father has been acting weird lately. Shuuichi reveals his rising desire to leave the town with Kirie, saying that the town is infected with spirals. But his father's obsession with the shape soon proves deadly, beginning a chain of horrific and unexplainable events that causes the residents of Kurouzu-cho to spiral into madness. [Written by MAL Rewrite]
After seeing her jump onto a subway at the last second and getting her ankle crushed between the doors, Nishi reconnects with his high school sweetheart, Myon. Nishi is still very much in love with Myon, but is shocked to learn that she is engaged to another man. Nishi agrees to meet Myon's fiancé at her family's Yakitori restaurant, but members of the Yakuza storm the joint and murder Nishi when he tries to stop them from raping Myon. Nishi, now dead, wakes up and meets a constantly shapeshifting god, who mocks him for dying. The god tells Nishi to walk into a portal and disappear from existence, which Nishi rejects, choosing instead to sprint past the god and reanimate. With a new outlook on life and knowledge of how the Yakuza are going to attack him, Nishi kills one of the Yakuza with his own gun, fleeing in a stolen car with Myon and her sister. Acclaimed director Masaaki Yuasa's debut film, Mind Game's constantly shifting visuals tell a story about living one's life without regrets that is unlike any other. [Written by MAL Rewrite]
The main character, a cat named Nyatto, embarks upon a journey to save his sister's soul, which was ripped in two when Nyatto tried to save her from Death. She trails after him, brain-dead. They encounter many brilliant, mind-bending situations, beginning with a disturbing magic show. (Source: ANN)
Revolutionary Girl Utena: The Adolescence of Utena
All eyes are on Utena Tenjou, a mysterious transfer student to Ohtori Academy. But Utena's eyes seem to be fixed on one familiar face that stands out among the rest—Touga Kiryuu, Utena's childhood friend. Touga knows of Utena's past and possesses knowledge of the Mark of the Rose, a set of unique rings worn by those who compete for the hand of the Rose Bride. The Rose Bride, Himemiya Anthy, belongs to whomever wins her in a duel, and the one that wins all the duels is said to be given the power to bring revolution to the world. Utena is drawn into the duels, but Touga and their complicated history together may end up unraveling everything. Nothing is as it seems in this retelling of the original anime series. [Written by MAL Rewrite]
Theatre of Darkness: Yamishibai 2
For the second time, the masked storyteller returns to tell children tales and legends of horror and woe, such as the tale of a ventriloquist's dummy, a locker that grants wishes, a capsule toy machine that returns lost possessions, and a strange food called Ominie-san. Building on the foundation that was laid by the first, Yami Shibai 2 is a collection of Japanese scary stories of the unknown and the occult that are truly terrifying, narrated in a style of art that mimics kamishibai storytelling. [Written by MAL Rewrite]
Belladonna of Sadness
The beautiful Jeanne marries a man named Jean, and the happy newlyweds make their way to the Lord's castle with a cow's worth of money for his blessings. However, the demonic Lord is unmoved by their offering, ignoring their desperate, impoverished pleas. The Lord's wife offers an alternative: Jeanne must become the Lord's conquest for the night in a ritual deflowering. Scarred by the experience, the shaken Jeanne receives no sympathy from her husband. Instead, she is neglected. But as Jeanne drifts off to sleep, she is met by a strange spirit that encourages her to deliver retribution to those who wronged her. And with a mysterious surge of pleasure and an unquenching libido, Jeanne agrees. Kanashimi no Belladonna is a captivating, psychosexual adventure that tells a story of cunning witchcraft and deceitful superstition in a poor, rural village of medieval France. [Written by MAL Rewrite]
Independent short animation by Shingo Tamagawa.
Japan Anima(tor)'s Exhibition
Nihon Animator Mihonichi is a collaborative series of standalone anime shorts with the support of various directors and studios. Aiming to expose new animators to a worldwide audience, these small works offer a glimpse into the future of the industry, featuring rising talents, cutting-edge techniques, and experimental aesthetic designs. [Written by MAL Rewrite]
A collection of seven individual and unique shorts which range from touching to downright bizarre. With each story different from the last, we encounter monsters going to school, a man who has a hard time dealing with himself, and a child who learns the hard way about the circle of life, as well as many other unique characters and experiences. A journey through the minds of the most prolific artists in Japan, this compilation truly is the setting of a Genius Party. [Written by MAL Rewrite]
Theatre of Darkness: Yamishibai 3
A young boy silently sketches out the forms of the horrors that dwell in his mind. During this adventure into the occult and mysterious, he tells tales that involve dreams of a person with a muscular arm that you must not look at, a hospital with a room that holds a grim secret, and a visit to an eerily silent taxidermy museum. These tales and more are compiled in Yami Shibai 3. Presented in an art style similar to kamishibai storytelling, this horror series stays true to the gruesome and creepy trend that is prominent in Yami Shibai and Yami Shibai 2nd Season. [Written by MAL Rewrite]
Theatre of Darkness: Yamishibai 4
Excited children gather around the enigmatic masked Storyteller once more. His unique kamishibai storytelling draws them into tales of fear and dread. These are dark and foreboding stories, which could happen to anyone... This season has tales of a salaryman who buries a dead cat, only to be haunted soon after; a college student and her cheap new apartment that hides a ghastly secret; boys exploring an abandoned haunted house before coming across a strange fish tank; a man who finds himself on the wrong bus, and in more danger than he thought possible; and a young couple's visit to an amusement park, which suddenly takes a dark turn. All these stories and more await in Yami Shibai 4. [Written by MAL Rewrite]
Theatre of Darkness: Yamishibai 5
The mysterious masked Storyteller returns to tell more twisted tales of horror. Continuing his particular style of kamishibai inspired storytelling, he now finds that his audience is an eerie crowd of young girls, who eagerly await his devilish stories. He recounts ghostly legends involving girls of all ages: a housewife who receives a barrage of chilling phone calls; a strange girl whose flower readings are always right; a mother and daughter's ominous meeting with the "crow lady"; and a young girl whose demands from others grow more and more outrageous with each request. Witness once again the Storyteller's haunting and gripping tales, which are sure to leave one with more than just chills... [Written by MAL Rewrite]
Episode 13 and 14 of Poputepipikku. The special has four versions shown on four different broadcasters: Tokyo MX (Blue Dragon ver.), Nico Nico Douga (Vermilion Bird ver.), Abema TV Anilive (White Tiger ver.) and Abema TV Pop Team Epic Channel (Black Tortoise ver.). Each version has a unique combination of seiyuus. (Source: AniDB)
Franz Kafka's A Country Doctor
A hapless country doctor describes with breathless urgency a night-time summons to attend a young patient. Events soon take on a surreal aspect as "unearthly horses" transport him instantaneously to the bedside. The doctor, preoccupied with personal distractions and grievances against those he is employed to care for, fails to find what is revealed to be a vile, fatal wound. He is humiliated by the villagers, who are "always expecting the impossible from the doctor," and doomed to an endless return trip, losing everything. (Source: ANN)
Sayuri is a curious creature who lives on her husband with her equally surreal mother and father. With an antenna-like whip protruding from her head, she is a striking daughter, and her long-awaited time to strike has come. Her family and friends watch eagerly as Sayuri carries out this bizarre ceremony. [Written by MAL Rewrite]
Theatre of Darkness: Yamishibai 6
Late at night, in a clearing within a dark fog-filled forest, there sits a kamishibai storyboard. A visitor approaches, and suddenly, the fog recedes. A shape begins to take form beside the board—this figure is the masked Storyteller, who once again starts to spin tales of horror and despair. The events described in these macabre tales might happen to anyone, even your neighbors or friends: a group of girls bully one of their members in a cave, only to find themselves the victims of a dark presence; a boy with scopophobia moves to the countryside, but he still cannot escape the eyes of others; a man has a window that won't stay closed, and is the recipient of strange phone calls; and a salaryman steals an umbrella on a rainy day, but this seemingly insignificant act leads to consequences he never expected. Visitors may enjoy the Storyteller's offerings, but they should also be vigilant so that they don't wind up as the subjects of his next story. [Written by MAL Rewrite]
Containing shorts that couldn't be included in the original, Genius Party Beyond weaves stories that are both deep and insightful: the idea all life is relative in size, the consequences of an oppressive government, and how to deal with your darker desires, among others. From the directors and artists of works such as Samurai Champloo, Neon Genesis Evangelion, and Akira, come a multitude of thought-provoking tales, to create a collection equalling the original in storytelling genius. [Written by MAL Rewrite]
Theatre of Darkness: Yamishibai 7
A rusted door opens to a decrepit apartment filled with darkness. Inside, the masked Storyteller waits to spin more twisted tales of horror, inviting all to listen. In one story, a woman is tormented by her past sins; in another, a man visits a chilling art exhibit, where things quickly go awry when he ignores the warnings regarding taking photographs. That is not all, though—an unsuspecting woman hears strange noises from her veranda, but when her boyfriend investigates, he receives the shock of his life; a lady receives a frantic call from her sister, who begs her to come to a phone booth, but when she arrives, she realizes that things are not as they appear; and a man looks for one of his belongings in his little sister's room, only to soon discover that a malevolent presence lives there. The Storyteller is all too eager to share these tales, which will no doubt shock and terrify his audience. [Written by MAL Rewrite]
A Wind Named Amnesia
Two years ago, a mysterious wind swept over the Earth without warning, taking everyone's memories with it. Not knowing their names or even how to speak, cars crashed, planes dropped from the sky, and society crumbled in an instant. One young man happens to wander into a military testing facility, where he meets Johnny, a young boy who underwent experimental memory enhancement treatment and could, therefore, still remember who he was. Johnny names the young man Wataru and teaches him everything that he can before his frail body fails him. Wataru sets out on a journey to see if he can find other people like him, and in San Francisco, he meets a mysterious silver-haired woman named Sophia, who refuses to speak about her past. Sophia says that she is heading to New York, and decides to travel together with Wataru. As the pair make their way across America, they learn about what has happened to the rest of society, and what the essence of humanity really is. [Written by MAL Rewrite]
Theatre of Darkness: Yamishibai 8
Once again, the mysterious storyteller draws in the ears of any willing to listen to his macabre tales of madness—ones that could happen to anyone, no matter who they might be. The ghastly stories delve into the cases of teenagers testing their courage at an abandoned home; children navigating nefarious family traditions; malicious apparitions haunting the lives of innocent people; individuals helplessly watching their loved ones slowly go insane; a woman growing increasingly concerned when her husband's behavior changes after eating something odd; and an evil snowman or two. These chilling tales promise to leave no soul unstirred in the most disturbing way yet. [Written by MAL Rewrite]
Presented in the form of a feverish love dream, 1001 Nights (based on Amano`s book of artwork) is the first performance of the groundbreaking "Filmharmonic" series, which presents new orchestral works by film composers in tandem with short films made by A-list directors. Nights is the series's only animated work, and plans originally called for the film to be completely computer animated. (Source: AniDB)
Omake Special from the final DVD volume. The Special storyline has very little to do with the original series outside of having some of the same characters, and has a completely different storyline which does not fit into anything which came before it. (Source: AniDB)
Compilation of Mawaru Penguindrum, including new scenes.
Theatre of Darkness: Yamishibai 9
Ichi The Killer: Episode 0
A masochistic mobster meets his match in the dark streets of Tokyo. His nemesis, Ichi, is a psychopathic killer with an unrelenting thirst for bloodshed. A horrifying secret burns in his mind, and his hands deal death without mercy. At last, the shrouds of mystery are parted to reveal the origin of the monster. The city will know its greatest fear at the unveiling of Ichi the Killer. (Source: ANN)
In the year 2010, practically one hundred percent of Cat Earth's GDP comes from the megacorporation Catty & Co., which is rapidly spreading across the rest of the galaxy. Here lives Tamala, a beautiful yet foul-mouthed cat, who decides to travel to the planet of her birth, Orion. After an unfortunate crash landing on the planet Q, Tamala meets Michaelangelo, a fellow cat, whom Tamala refers to as "MoiMoi." As Tamala and Michaelangelo explore the planet's capital, Hate City—which is under martial law to separate the feuding cat and dog populations—they pass by graffiti and museum exhibits about the ancient cult of Minerva that speak of something dark and sinister. After Tamala catches the eye of the extremely violent motorcycle-riding Kentauros, she and Michaelangelo flee, but mysteries about Tamala's identity continue to surface. Why did Tamala originally leave Orion, and what exactly is her connection to Catty & Co.? [Written by MAL Rewrite]
A man enjoys a drink over and over and over again, for eight seconds each time. It's the same every time... or at least that's what it seems like at first. With every sip, something changes, making things a little more intriguing each time. [Written by MAL Rewrite]
Popee the Clown
Somewhere in the desert lies the Wolf Zirkus: a strange circus where Popee, a clown in a pink rabbit jumpsuit, shares the stage with Kedamono, a purple creature who wears a mask. Together, they juggle the whims of performing, practicing their acts, and poking fun at each other. In a world where anything seems possible, there is no telling what will happen next during this eccentric spectacle. [Written by MAL Rewrite]
This work "Kikumana" is an animation of a girl called Kikumana who acts like in a stage performance, the role defeated by such an ill circumstance though she tries to find herself. The primal aim is to get the audience feeling a strange atmosphere spread from this work. The image has a pictorial atmosphere and a documentary touch at the same time. Unrealistic phenomena take place there. (Source: AniDB)
Long Life To The Ancestors
The Yomota family is small and typical: father Kinekuni (42), mother Tamiko (38), and son Inumaru (17). One day, a beautiful girl appears at their front door, calling herself "Maroko Yomota," granddaughter of Inumaru who travels back in time with a time machine to visit her ancestors. Even with Tamiko's strong objection, Kinekuni and Inumaru welcome her to stay with them, and the structure of a happy family has begun to collapse. (Source: ANN)
There is Here
The film fuses live action and animation and was screened at Three-Person Animation 2. Musique concrète and electronic sounds made by modulating everyday noises such as flush toilets are interspersed throughout the work. Contrasts between opposites, as encapsulated by the title—between live-action space and animated space, between mundane sounds of daily life and bizarre noises—and the war between the sexes, a signature theme in Youji Kuri's work, are also palpable in the juxtaposition of musique concrète and scat singing. (Source: Collaborative Cataloging Japan, edited)
After a stingy man eats some cherry seeds, a cherry tree grows on his head and he gets into a lot of trouble.
Theatre of Darkness: Yamishibai 10
Tenth season of Yami Shibai
"Agitated Screams of Maggots" was directed by Keita Kurosaka and released in 2006 with the single, "Agitated Screams of Maggots", made by Japanese rock band, DIR EN GREY. ASOM has a traditional drawing design with erotic and grotesque aspects. The video had also received some attention from it's art style and was shown at the International Film Festival Rotterdam in 2007.
In these jokey short films, many of them crudely animated, Kago's sick sense of humor reaches its full heights of absurdity. There's a playful surrealist sensibility to Kago's work, as well as a tendency to revel in the ridiculous, the crude and the disturbing. His work straddles a weird boundary between avant-garde experimentation and low-brow fart jokes—the punchline of one of these films is literally an oozing torrent of shit—although, admittedly, his videos seem to lean a bit more heavily towards the fart jokes than his comics. But hey, who doesn't appreciate a good fart joke once in a while? (Source: Only the Cinema blog)
A music video from Yoshiura Yasuhiro, done in year 2000. Music is done by Shibata Yuki.
"Kill yourself." All it takes are those words to become the next victim. Ignore, slandered, and outcast, she has nowhere to turn. As their cruelty infects her, she begins to lose sight of herself. Her pain just won't go away, and as it consumes her whole being, she feels the only way to cleanse herself is to contaminate another. [Written by MAL Rewrite]
A test subject is administered daily medication by a nurse in a ward where mysterious medical experiments take place. One day, when the nurse presses the switch of the test subject, it successfully transforms into a chimera. When the test subject continues to hold human desires to take on non-human forms, what spectacle will arise as a result? And what effect will this have on the subject's relationship with the nurse? (Source: Japan Media Arts Festival)
Animation veteran and Studio 4°C collaborator Koji Morimoto teamed up with techo artist Ken Ishii for this AMV. "EXTRA" is a random cross talk about computer, music, images, and Internet by two authors working on their first collaboration in techno music and animation. This short animation which is stored on CD-ROM and immediately shakes the viewer with question as to what the word of the title, "EXTRA," means. (Source: AniDB)
Hiroki and Kanata have been together since they were children. One day Hiroki is caught up in an accident while trying to save a little girl. The next thing he knows, he is looking down on his own body. Seperated from his body, Kanata, and everything else, he tries to figure out just what is going on. Why is he outside his body which is living on as if nothing has changed, how can he convince Kanata that he is there, and who is the strange girl, Fhalei, who keeps appearing for him? (Source: AniDB)
The short film tells the story of a young boy, who as a result of seeing a dog's corpse, becomes interested in the bodies of living things and starts to develop phobias. Before long all manner of things begin to appear grotesque to him. (Source: Wochi Kochi)
Short film by Kurosaka Keita.
A story about a human zoo.
It's bedtime, and Nonoko is about to go to sleep. But the play of light and shadow on those objects on the wall look almost like... a person. (Source: ANN)
A short experimental anime about a woman desperately in love. Made by Yoji Kuri, a well-known Japanese indie animator.
One of the must-see gems making its premiere at our festival, Midori-Ko is adored Japanese animator Kurosaka Keita's whimsically nightmarish vision of 21st-century Tokyo on the brink of apocalypse. Ten years in the making and entirely, single-handedly rendered in colored pencil, Kurosaka's fantastical labor of love is a marvel to behold. Emerging from the staggering detail and craft flooding every frame is the story of a young woman who sets out to engineer a dream-food that can put an end to the world's famine. Synthesizing Frederic Back's subtle, haptic textures with Bill Plympton's frenetic mutations and David Lynch's haunting wormholes, Kurosaka’s work still retains its own singular, luminous potency. (Source: Los Angeles Animation Festival summary)
A horrible murder has been committed on the grounds of Nankai Academy. Professor Yuko, one of the school's most popular teachers, died when she was pushed off of the roof of one of the school's buildings. Her death has left her students with feelings of confusion, pain, and above all else... anger. Four of her male students, Masayoshi, Daisuke, Mitsuru and Shinya, are determined to uncover the truth. They soon discover an important clue: Professor Yuko's planner had been marked on the very night she was killed... marked with the names of seven girls. With this evidence, the boys begin their investigations... and they'll use any method required in order to find the murderer. Through rape, manipulation and torture, they uncover important details, but piecing the puzzle together won't be easy. And the longer their search draws on, the more they feel themselves being overtaken by their own dark desires... Will they ever find out the truth behind Yuko's death? (Source: ANN)
Music video for the song Sayonara Gokko by amazarashi.
Ishihara Toru is an everyday guy with an on-and-off girlfriend and a position working for a train buff. Things become complicated when a ghostly vehicle dubbed the X Train begins to ride the rails, destroying everything in its path. Somehow, it seems that Toru is connected with the X Train by a strange power, which draws the attention of some very dangerous and power hungry people who would wield it for their own... (Source: ANN)
The Chocolate Picture Panic Show
The Chocolate Panic Picture Show is a wacky musical OVA based on a manga by Fujiwara Kamui, serialised in Monthly Super Action and partly inspired by Jamie Uys's The Gods Must Be Crazy (1980). Follow Manbo, Chinbo and Chonbo as they are flung into a strange, psychedelic world of madness they don't understand. See them cause chaos through their zany, unpredictable antics in this comical take on cultural imperialism.
The Death Lullaby
An animated film describing the bullying of a Japanese child.
These are a series of 13 omake episodes of Gun x Sword, tied in very loosely to the plot, with the characters as chibi puppets. The main characters are Wendy and her turtle, Kameo, who is the size of a human in this series and is able to talk. All the episodes seem to center around analyzing various events in Gun x Sword and mocking the themes displayed. They are included on the DVDs. (Source: Wikipedia)
A four-dimensional short anime will start at the very beginning of Shibuya Crossing, that is, 10,000 years in the past. The anime is part of a collaborative project helmed by Yoshitoshi Shinomiya. It features a hybrid of animation and live-action. The short was screened on Shibuya's Crossing screens and a YouTube-friendly version was posted as well. (Source: ANN)
A short film by Takuya Okada set in a conformist society. (Source: IMDB)
Abstract horror short film about a girl's face.
The official website for the Pop Team Epic anime announced on Monday that the series' Bobunemimimmi (Bob Epic Team) segments will be compiled into a standalone Blu-ray Disc release. The release will include all 22 previously released segments by the production team AC-bu, plus two new segments, a "high speed kamishibai (paper theater) collection" of the "Hellshake Yano" segment, and original stickers. (Source: ANN)
A dark surreal film of several creatures metamorphorphing inside a room. A stop motion animation film from the minds of Kobayashi Masahide and Keita Funamoto of The Village of Marchen
Short experimental animation from 1972 by Yoji Kuri.
Standing alone in a room with symbols scrawled on the wall, a man dressed as an aviator is left to his own devices. [Written by MAL Rewrite]
One of Keiichi Tanaami's most recent short movies.
Surrealist explanation of reality. People enclosed in a room.
Experimental short film by Michio Mihara.
The 365 days animation consists of sequence of 8760 pictures, all different shape and color, hand-drawn by the director every day in 365 days. This is the ultimate analog approach by the abstract animated film creator in digital era. (Source: IMDb)
Reign: The Conqueror Movie
In 356 BC, Alexander the Great arrives in Greece with the ominous destiny that he will become the "destroyer of the world." Inheriting the crown, he becomes king of the Macedonians and starts down a road of conquest with terrific speed. Alexander ultimately confronts his fated nemesis, Darius the Third, in a war with Persia which changes Alexander into the devil he was fated to become, assuring the destruction of all in his path, and possibly himself. (Source: TBS Global Business)
Sawako Kabuki hand-drawn animation.
Yutaro Kubo's graduation film.
Puzzle of Autumn
A short 6-minute movie, containing flashing lights with images and drawings presented to the viewer.
Alice is summoned by the White Rabbit to save Wonderland from spreading Darkness. However, she knows Alice in Wonderland is a story and that this must be a dream. And so it proves, but at the end, the now grown-up Alice sees the events of her dream begin to unfold for real. (Source: thestreamable)
(No synopsis yet.)
A series of 16 "short stories" created by the creator's group Images Forum. The stories are: Tokyo Strut (Sato Masahiko, Ueta Mio) Tokyo Trip (Tanaami Keiichi) Fishing Vine (Seike Mika) Yuki-chan (Oyama Kei) Dog & Bone (Shiriagari Kotobuki) Public Convenience (Tabaimo) TOKYO (Uda Atsuko) Black Fish (Aihara Nobuhiro) Unbalance (Ito Takashi) Tokyo Girl (Shimao Maho) Manipulated Man (Wada Atsushi) Nuance (Murata Tomoyasu) Hashimoto (Furukawa Taku) Funkorogashi (Kuri Yoji) Fig (Yamamura Koji) 12 O’Clock (Iwai Toshio)
Woman Who Stole Fingers
A short film by Saori Shiroki.
Trilogy about Cloud
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.
Music video directed and animated by Ryoji Yamada for the song Prayer X by King Gnu In the music video Prayer X, King Gnu takes an abstract and animated approach to mental health topics such as paranoia, anxiety, depression, and suicide. The setting is in a grey monotonous world where the main character is trapped inside a repetitive schedule which slowly drives him insane. (Source: JROCK NEWS)
An absurd film by Kuri Youji.
Tetsuji Kurashige's nightmarish U-SA-GUI (2002) begins by citing a section from Brillat-Savarin's 1825 treatise, The Physiology of Taste, in which the renowned French epicure suggests that stimulating foods, meats in particular, can have an influence on one's dreams. The film depicts a macabre game played by two rabbits and a blindfolded woman. The rabbits face each other over an old-fashioned illustrated board game. When they land on a square, the woman must eat the food indicated in the illustration. If she has chosen correctly, a die pops out of her mouth and lands on the floor giving the rabbits their next move. (Source: Midnight Eye)
A Rule Of Dreams
"Yoru no Okite" takes us to the sky (or to hell) to accompany the delirium of a man who is assassinated. A different take on a spirit who is adrift after being murdered. This restless spirit takes us on a surreal journey through death, the after life, and back to the land of the living again.
Short experimental film from 1967 from animator Yoji Kuri.
In Kei Oyama's grim Consultation Room, a medical diagnosis triggers a wave of traumatic fantasies, portrayed in greyish pencil drawings that waver as if left out for too long in the rain. (Source: Sydney Morning Herald)