A devoted and happily-married housewife organises a surprise party on the occasion of her husband's birthday, unbeknownst to her that her dentist spouse is experiencing a sudden mid-life crisis at his office.
Accompanied by a shamisen, a masterful storyteller verses his lyric and sad rakugo (a traditional form of Japanese verbal entertainment) of a stingy old man living in a squalid tiny apartment in Tokyo, who after scavenging a few cherries from the pavement, he eats them whole for fear of wasting the pits. Before long, a minuscule cherry tree sprouts unexpectedly atop his bulging head, and when all efforts to get rid of it are proven futile, he allows it to grow into a magnificent tree where people gather for hanami under its cherry blossoms. And then, when the hordes of men start being annoying, the desperate man takes a decision that will follow him for the rest of his life.Written by
I fell in love with this film the first time I saw it, and it remains one of my absolute favorite animated shorts. I can entirely understand why a lot of people dislike Atama Yama - it's slow-paced, eccentric, and the story is kinda nonsensical. But for me it works. Amazingly so.
The art is very original. Its unique design is quite different from the typical anime style, and much more expressive. The animation is very lively as well. Though rough, it has a wonderful sense of weight, space, and movement. Complementing the visuals is a narration sung by a minstrel, who also plays the shamisen.
When it all comes together, the result is beautiful. For me, Yamamura creates an evocative, humorous mood in every scene. Can't wait to see what he does next.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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