The word can be a noun, a verb, an experience or an after-effect. Shuhei Morita’s animated short film is all of it, and more. The film’s introduction is with a Japanese belief that “in 100 years, objects will acquire souls and trick people”. One can quite easily guess what the film is all about. But wait, your guess is as good as mine. The colorful, spooky, cheeky and cute skit is full of surprises and it intrigues you in a way that you would be left craving for more.
It’s really too short for a creative masterpiece.
Artwork on the characters is larger than life yet very life-like. Every stroke of an illustration seems to hold value. The graphic design also renders a culturally centric yet globally appealing personality to everything. The film is animated in Manga style mixed with occasional film noir. At the top of the treat is the visual depth, as a new visual layer unfolds with every narrative twist. It’s like a flip book, except the pages are transparent.
The original language of the film is Japanese but nothing seems to be lost in translation as the English subtitles seem to befit the storyline very well. The plot is in-tune with the fast yet deep changes that are redefining world societies. Ironically the story is crafted and narrated in a very childlike way. So, a 5-year old may not get the final message but will nevertheless be spellbound with the elaborate, evocative art. And a 50-year-old may not relate to the voice of the characters but will definitely connect with their spirits.
The only disappointment, which probably is intentional, is that after trapping you with its magical show, it suddenly ends. It’s like you were really enjoying the meal when it got over and you smirk at your own expectation of it being everlasting. At that moment, if you were truly enjoying the film, you would be subconsciously widening your eyes as if that would help you see more; know more; feel more. You would realise that the film has indeed, in its own special way, possessed you.