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"Nekojiru-so" ("Cat Soup") is based in the manga of the same name by Nekojiru. I can't compare both for I have not read the manga, and only found out it was based on a manga after popping the disc in the DVD and watching the short.
This is described as "Hello Kitty on Acid", but I would describe it more as "Psychotic Lynchian Hello Kitty". Yes, that's more fitting. Plotwise, the short doesn't explain much, and it doesn't need to! With no dialogue what-so-ever, random cat noises here and there, and some pop-up speech balloons like in a comic book, the short needs nothing but its imagery to be understood. And this is supported by the fact that, "Nekojiru-so" is supposed to be understood differently by everyone. There's so much interpretation to be had, so many symbolisms and abstract imagery. And this is where it succeeds the most, it's such a personal experience!
The animation is amazingly fitting, sometimes very weird and abstract. The art and backgrounds are also equally superb. Sound is top notch, the soundtrack is so fitting it enhances the feeling of doom, despair and just down right weirdness. And happiness too! Even though it's a very weird happiness...
Opposite to what you may have thought from the cute-sy art, this is absolutely NOT a film for kids. Don't even think about popping this on for a kid. There are some very disturbing images / actions in these amazingly brilliant 30 minutes of art.
Only downside? Too short... but it's like Tatsuo Sato says in the interview, if it were any longer, people might go crazy! But hey... I just wanted this crazy experience to last a wee-bit longer. That's it. The only downside.
This is an absolutely incredible, stunning and dark short surreal animation that hooked me up from the beginning to the very end without letting go. It spoke so much to me, I had to watch it a second time almost immediately.
So, if you're into surreal / abstract animation / film / art, you should be watching this right now, getting freaked out and developing your own interpretation.
An amazing experience!
9 out of 10.
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