GALA (dir. Masahiro Maeda) 7/10 Conventional tale in the vein of PRINCESS MONONOKE, but with a poignant and redeeming conclusion. Its traditional visual style and eco-friendly message makes this short the most accessible of the bunch.
JIGEN BAKUDAN (DIMENSION BOMB) (dir. Kôji Morimoto) 9/10 A somewhat abstruse sci-fi story told via awesome, highly stylized animation by the director of BEYOND. Powerful post-apocalyptic imagery and a pounding techno soundtrack make this the best entry of the lot.
MOONDRIVE (dir. Kazuto Nakazawa) 6/10 Manga-styled comic animation about a ragtag group of individuals on a weird hunt for a treasure-map. The distinct visual style is interesting but film remains ultimately less engaging than it should be.
WANWA THE DOGGY(dir. Shinya Ohara) 8/10 Genuinely unique visuals employed flawlessly in a tale about a small child lost in the surreal world of his over-active imagination. This one reminded me quite a bit of HAPPY MACHINE from GENIUS PARTY.
TOUJIN KIT (dir. Tatsuyuki Tanaka) 7/10 A subdued story about a girl raising strange creatures in hiding, in a society where they are considered harmful and hunted down by the law. Various common police-state themes abound. Although slick presentation fails to raise this one above par, it remains extremely watchable.
FINAL SCORE: 7/10 Shorter and less satisfying than its predecessor, but still easy to recommend. A must for animation fans.
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