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Genius Party (2007)

Several directors take part in an anthology dedicated to short anime films.
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Cast

Credited cast:
Tomoko Kaneda ... (voice)
... (voice)
Kaoru Mizuhara ... Baby (segment "Happy Machine") (voice)
Lu Ningjuan ... (voice)
Taro Yabe ... (voice)
... (voice)
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Storyline

Seven short films from different directors. Atsuko Fukushima's intro piece is a fantastic abstraction to soak up with the eyes. Masaaki Yuasa, of MIND GAME and CAT SOUP fame, brings his distinctive and deceptively simple graphic style and dream-state logic to the table with "Happy Machine," his spin on a child's earliest year. Shinji Kimura's spookier "Deathtic 4," meanwhile, seems to tap into the creepier corners of a child's imagination and open up a toybox full of dark delights. Hideki Futamura's "Limit Cycle" conjures up a vision of virtual reality, while Yuji Fukuyama's "Doorbell" and "Baby Blue" by Shinichiro Watanabe use understated realism for very surreal purposes. And Shoji Kawamori, with "Shanghai Dragon," takes the tropes and conventions of traditional anime out for very fun joyride. Written by Rupert Bottenberg for Fantasia Film Festival

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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7 Impacts by 7 Directors

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Animation

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7 July 2007 (Japan)  »

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Followed by Genius Party Beyond (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A collection of shorts ranging from BRILLIANT to WTF. Tending towards former.
4 July 2008 | by See all my reviews

Genius Party Opening: 9/10 Abstract animation doesn't get better than this. Reminiscent of MIND GAME, although director Masaaki Yuasa wasn't involved here. Uplifting techno soundtrack complemented the visuals well.

Shanghai Dragon: 9/10 Superb crowd pleaser. An adrenalized action-thrill-ride that avoids stylistic cues of other hyper-kinetic films like DEAD LEAVES or FLCL.. (not that there's anything wrong with them..) and very funny to boot. Flawless direction and pacing. This is a minor anime masterpiece.

Deathtic 4: 8/10 Conspicuously Tim Burtonesque stylings utilized to great effect. Inventive and unexpected use of CG throughout. Hilariously dark.

(thus far GENIUS PARTY was turning out to be ridiculously good. Too good to be true apparently... )

Doorbell: 7/10 Solid little psychological yarn about multiple selves/personalities vying for dominance. Unfortunately, bogged down by substandard animation (the worst of the bunch) which was all the more ostensible after having just sat through the first three installments. I liked the story so it still gets a 7 from me.

Limit Cycle: 5/10 Others will probably be less lenient with this one than me.. but the visuals were great. If ONLY the pointless rumination actually meant something or went somewhere. Promising early on, the over-intellectualizing quickly spirals into repetition and utter confusion. Cutting the length in half would have EASILY salvaged this. Director has an inexplicable James Dean fixation.

Happy Machine: 8/10 A surrealist moving take on early childhood and growing up. Cute, funny and original.

Baby Blue: 7/10 A sentimental tale in the vein of the work of Makoto Shinkai (VOICES FROM A DISTANT STAR), except not animated nearly as well as his stuff, which is a shame as it's a well-written short that manages to dodge most of the clichés that rid this kind of story.

FINAL SCORE 8/10 recommended without reservation.


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