Ubatseyama- The Mountain Where Old Women Are Abandoned
An old silent film about a village where old people are exiled since the Lord does not like them.
The story is very good. The main character disobeys the Lord's command to give up old people for exile by hiding his mother. The role this mother plays is integral to the story, which I will explain a little later; this is something the Lord and his subjects all seem to lack. The main character loves his mother dearly, which is another symbol for the respect younger people should have for the elderly. The story challenged the mythical/folklore-ish Ubasute, where the elderly were left out on mountains or in forests to die.
For an anime from 1925, it certainly does have outstanding art. In certain frames, you can even see the paint strokes individually, showing the intimate detail that went into producing this anime. Sure certain frames are reused, but that is to be expected from the early decades of animation. The art does not come in the way of figuring out the story at all. It is easily discernible that this anime had a higher budget than many other anime from this era.
Sound~ 5 (0)
This is a silent film so the score should be 0. However, if I rated it a 1, it would look like I am saying the sound was Pathetic, by mal's rating. The anime simply has no sound. It can't be either good nor bad.
Every character is symbolic. They all represent something that the original story was trying to portray for it's audience. The wise mother is a symbol for the wisdom that people gain over the years; anybody could have done what she did, but the only problem was that she was the only one that escaped persecution. The son represents veneration to the wise, for he would not be here, were it not for her (including physically, which is a nice way the original story tied this in). The Lord is a symbol for the popular public; whatever they decide becomes the status quo. There are many variations of this story with other characters.
I enjoyed this anime a lot. It is one of my favorite anime from this time period, since I did not expect such advanced story-telling and plot development from such an old anime. In just 10 minutes, I was left with an amazing story about the importance of wisdom. I even tried to solve the puzzles myself, and was astounded at their answers. There is something special about finding a really old anime like this with an actual story that flows well, and not just some random scenes put together because they have to adapt so much content in a couple minute long video. It is long enough to get it's point across, while still being really high quality for its time.
I probably spent more time on this review than on the actual anime, but it is worth checking out for fans of really old anime, or for people who want to try something from this age of black and white silent cartoons. Some of these anime can be harder to decipher what is going on, and many are adaptations of Japanese folklore that only someone with intimate knowledge of this aspect of their culture would understand. This particular anime is very easy to follow and understand, while also being very symbolic. Ubasuteyama is a great watch overall.