Monday, February 24, 2014
Sunday, February 23, 2014
Oh my god, I can't believe I forgot this! Well, here it is, a day late.
Yesterday was Tex Avery Day. Above, we have an embed of the wonderful cartoon "I Love to Singa", for which there was a fantastic writeup on Saturday Morning Cartoon. Go read what they have to say about it! It's got some great history. Heck, we've posted on this cartoon before.
There's also some neat stuff at Cartoon Brew and Loop
And now, I'm gonna show some cartoons.
We showed this cartoon once at Yulecon (we needed something holiday related), and it's shocking (looking at it as an adult) how many war gags were in it. Did we ever get those jokes as kids? Seriously, there's three war gags in the first 30 seconds and they just keep coming. Why would a kid ever laugh at a giant C sticker on the side of a boat? Actually, just go read that article and then watch the cartoon. It's funnier.
I have no idea why this is broken up the way it is. Probably to avoid a take-down notice.
According to the comments, this is Tex's last theatrical cartoon. What's great here is how the silence is used so effectively. The need to keep quiet was used that same year in Deputy Droopy and earlier in Rock a Bye Bear.
MGM Cartoon "The First Bad Man" (1955)
I am pretty sure that the first jail is based on the John Neely Bryan cabin in downtown Dallas (the map, by the way, is accurate). The cabin is not really that interesting, now that they keep the windows shuttered. It used to be you could walk up to it and look inside, which was actually kinda interesting when you're in fourth grade.
Picture distortion from passing airplanes! Oh, how far we've come.
Finally, "The Wacky World of Tex Avery". Mom told me if you can't say anything nice to not say anything at all, so I'll just keep mum on this one. They say the good die young; honestly, it's just they don't stick around long enough to disappoint you.
Oh come on, like I'd end on a down-note!
Friday, February 21, 2014
OK! So, yesterday, we fought a "robot" and decided to head into the subway. Let's go check out underground and the horrors lurking within.
Look, the guys even brought a little rover scout drone. Aw, how cute!
It even knows its name!
Deep in the subway, they've found several boxcars. Remembering what these guys did during the montage at the start, we can guess they're going to try to salvage something here.
And one of those boxcars has some plot in it. The music changes and people chat excitedly. No, whatever that is, they're not just going to haul it back to the truck. This is big stuff.
Oh, and explosions.
Someone is firing on them! It's another 'bot. This will be a very different battle, as Jin didn't have a chance to set up a kill-zone and Nobu is going to find it hard to snipe from the same level as his opponent. Also, Nobu's armor has gone out again. He's just sitting there.
Maru fires some grenades, but that might not be enough.
A different place, a different style.
What I really love about these critters, and part of why I started to giggle, is the sound effect of their lasers. I don't know why I get off on that as much as I do.
Jin has some missiles left, so he's going to set a kill-zone as quickly as he can. He might be more effective if he wasn't so spooked by the view of their vehicle outside and the smoke from it. I'll bet you Yankee's dead (he had no armor).
This thing is really mean.
The Chief tells Maru to go to the boxcar. Maru can't believe what he's hearing. Jin throws an electro-pulse grenade at the 'bot and it's momentarily paralyzed, but Maru has to puke in his helmet first (no, I'm not taking that snapshot).
Jin's taking pot shots at the bot while the Chief is un-burying himself. We can assume that Nobu is dead. Maru manages to make it onto the boxcar, which has power, for some reason.
The A-Train, it aint't.
The music is building. Something big is going to happen! The Chief frees himself from some rubble and uses his progressive-knife on a fallen bit of scaffold. Jin runs around the side from the 'bot. Maru busts open the roof and gets out of the boxcar. The Chief finds Nobu's sniper rifle.
Queue Philip Glass scales.
And then things get really unhinged. The roof on the boxcar starts to open. Maru gets hit by a laser. Jin jumps on the 'bot.
A worthy opponent.
Jin is vaporized. The Chief shoots a few more times. And then....
Not a minute too soon!
A minute-man missile comes out of the boxcar. Way to go, guys.
The warhead falls off, but the engine is still flying around in the subway, until it hits the roof. With nowhere to go, it just crumples up and kabooms.
The Chief and Maru make it out of the rubble that was the subway, but Maru's suit is still damaged from the laser hit it took earlier, so he has to do an emergency evac. A moment of relief that they're OK.
That was short-lived.
Oh no! The Chief is dead and Maru is defenseless! The thing is gonna kill him...and... No. It fires at his suit, but not him. In his struggle to get away, Maru loses his dog-tags and the 'bot fires on those, but not him. The 'bot tells him to have a nice day and starts to walk off. The 'bot should have a female voice when the dub comes, because that would be funnier.
You have to give him points for effort, though.
With everyone else from his party dead, Maru just beats on the 'bot with a rock. The 'bot's unfazed, but does take enough time to vaporize his clothing.
His butt looks like a kitty.
What else can you do? Maru picks up a warhead and runs at the automaton. Queue music. Queue credits. Queue my goony laughter. Final shot of Mt. Fuji!
Now, the fifth piece was not included in the final film, but here's a trailer.
Of course it's a game.
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Buki yo Saraba "A Farewell to Arms"
This one is worth the ending, and out of all the pieces in this Otomo anthology, it's the Otomost. Keep your eyes peeled for fiddly things, things falling apart, and automatons where every bolt has its own foley effect.
We've got rock and roll, a desert, and an all terrain vehicle. No, it's not a commentary on the Gulf Wars, but it could be. It's just a bunch of guys in the desert. A bunch of guys with suits.
Casual Friday! No ties!
We've got the Chief (blond), Nobu, Jin (with the mustache), Yankee (Junkie? The driver), and Maru (in glasses). The roomie swears that Maru has an Osaka dialect. That's right; make the stereotypical intellectual the hick.
Don't stand there.
While they're tootling around in the desert, we get some flashbacks of them scavenging (salvaging?) various things. These guys get in their power suits and rummage around in the ruins, looking for guns or ammo or whatever. They pull the doors off containers looking for stuff.
No idea where they get gas for the vehicle or their snacky-treats, but there it stands.
They also have a drone.
The kids who watch this now are going to have fond memories about it the way I do for Robot Carnival. I'm kind of embarrassed for them, because this is going to look so dated in twenty years. This is the one they'll all remember and it's the one that will look the hokiest. (Also, I giggled like an idiot for the last ten minutes of this one.)
Anyway, the drone has some interesting footage. They've found something in the city and so it's time to drive over there, get into the “protect suits", and check it out.
Hey, Nobu. No showing off.
This is also where we get to see that the suits have “Peacekeepers" on the badge on the side. The suits are pretty nifty: both armor and power-assist with face-masks that are an intelligel that you can peal off after damage. I can hardly wait for the cos-play.
But the drone saw something in the city! Time to break out the heavy gear and go to town. Literally.
Don't forget the beer.
The boys rush into the city square and set up their kill zone. Maru sends some flying bombs on trip around the sky, Jin ties off some missiles to a railing, and Nobu sets up his sniper's nest. the Chief overlooks all of this and radios back to Yankee.
Because Yankee sees what the drone sees.
And we get to see what a drone sees right before it's blown to kingdom come by a robot. Yes, I know that a robot is actually controlled by an external intelligence and these are automatons, but I'm calling them “'bots" here because that's going to be easier for everyone.
Plus, look at it.
Maru decides to give away his position with a green laser pointer. The 'bot fires on him.
Nobu fires, but misses, so the 'bot fires on his position. Thankfully, Nobu knows that when you are the sniper, you fire, then relocate. This involves a little roof-jumping, but that's easy in a power-assist suit.
Also helps to have computer-assisted targeting.
Maru fires some of the flying bombs at the 'bot, but it's no good. Nobu gets another shot in, but a building crumbles under him during his relocate and the 'bot has him dead to rights.
With no power, it's just dead weight.
Maru runs out to save him, while the Chief watches. It looks like the 'bot is close enough to some smoke bombs; the Chief orders a full discharge to hide Maru and Nobu so they can get away.
The 'bot is just firing at where ever those smoke bombs came from, which is a nice distraction for the others to try to get a hit in. No luck. Nobu's legs aren't working, but he can still fire his gun, so he does. Maru just drags a guy to possible safety.
Finally, the dumb 'bot wanders into the kill-zone that Jin set up earlier. All the little lights turn from green to red and that's it. It shoots a few down, but...
With that out of the way, let's go to the subway! There's no way that could be a bad idea.
Actually, this piece is a little long and this is a good place to stop. We'll pick up more tomorrow.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
The weakest piece in the whole set. I'm really meh about it, but something had to follow a tragic love-tale. Granted, they couldn't end with Combustible, because that would be a real downer, but there had to be something to buffer that with the last piece.
Still, it could have been better. I'm just not impressed. This is the one you can FF.
We start off with three guys and a horse who have all been beaten by the polar bear. The bear wounds them, but does not kill them. However, the guy wearing the cross has a few choice words for that bear. The bear ignores him and concentrates on the thing falling out of the sky.
This is what I was MADE for!
Meanwhile, two old guys discuss the giant red demon that's being tended to in the house. Saving his life and tending to his wounds must be very lucky!
The big red demon kills the old woman and busts up the joint. He goes after the girl and she screams because, well, it's anime. What else is she going to do?
The next morning and the guys who were fighting the bear are having their wounds treated in the house where the demon was. No, the bear didn't do this. No, the bear didn't repaint the place, eat a couple cows, and run off with the girl. That was the demon.
One of the survivors is a little girl, who plays with a spider-lily, just like the one her sister (mom?) wore in her hair before she was hauled off by the demon. The little girl runs into the woods.
Can I just say I'm not even impressed with the animation style here? I really want to be, but I'm not. It leaves me cold. The watercolor effect works very nicely with the backgrounds, not so much for the characters.
Anyhow, the kid goes running off and finds a clearing of spider lilies. She flops down in them and pounds the ground. It's not fair that her sister got carted off like that!
Poppies will make her sleep.
This is actually better writing than the rest of the piece. The red spider lily is the flower that symbolizes death and abandonment. Just as in Western culture, flowers have meanings, so you can sometimes use them as a short-cut when introducing a character. This also makes it really weird that the girl was wearing a red spider lily in her hair in the first place. She was pretty much marked for death from the start.
Somehow, all this emoting distracted the kid and she did not see the GIANT WHITE BEAR in the little stream that runs past the flowers. He's eating fish, as bears do. The kid thinks she's going to die, but no. The bear does not kill her, She tells him her problems and he lets her know it will be alright.
Human tears are delicious.
The bear accepts the mission to go save the sister.
However! Lurking nearby is the guy with the cross. He's still hunting the bear and follows it to the...
Oh man, steampunks!
...Crash site, I guess. It's a wasteland. Maybe it's just cursed. The bear goes inside and finds the sister.
A fate worse than death.
Yeah, there's not going to be much saving going on here. We all saw that scene in Aliens. Enraged, the bear just torches the place.
Sadly, the big red demon shows up in time to see its house on fire, knowing its babies inside are dead. The demon and the bear fight. It goes on forever.
Seriously, it's the longest three minutes of your life.
The kid sees this and comes out of her hiding spot behind a tree. She knows her sister's dead, and she cries. The guy with the cross shows up with a special spear. He's going to kill the demon.
Spear sans magic helmet.
This distracts the demon from the bear, but it sees the kid and figures he can try to raise a family again, or at least get a little snack in. The kid decides to use prayer to fight the demon, but the bear shows back up.
Thank god for the Portuguese.
Some local lord (maybe Takashima Shūhan?) has sent over his vassal troops and they fill the demon with musket balls and arrows. This has no effect, but thanks for trying.
But the bear keeps coming! Go bear! That bear is going to kill that demon if it's the last thing he does (don't worry. It will be). There's yelling! There's drooling! There's fountains of blood! The bear is full of berserker rage, which is funny because he wears a bear skin all of the time!
It's not a life-changing piece. I'm sure that with a good translation, everything might be more meaningful, but I'm not holding my breath on that one. Visually, it wasn't that interesting and the music was pretty blasé. The backgrounds were nice, but there was no outstanding character design or stunning animation techniques. I didn't laugh. I didn't cry. I didn't feel anything. I'm only grateful the movie did not end with this mess.
Oh dear. He's trying not to laugh.
I went and saw Crispin Glover at the Texas theater on Sunday with my buddy TK and we had an absolute blast. He's a very entertaining fellow, but not in the way you'd think.
The show started with his BIG SLIDE-SHOW and readings from eight books (one of them in the above embedded video). I'll say, of of all of them, my favorite was Rat Catching, parts of which were used in the following title sequence:
You can get some basic ideas of what the book is like here, but what Glover did with these old books was black out some parts, write in new bits, include his own illustrations and text, and occasionally insert bits from other books. That would be weird enough on its own, but then you remember it's the same guy who made this video because he wanted to.
He's thin, but not terribly tall or imposing. Still, I really enjoyed the BIG SLIDE SHOW and TK did as well and we joked with each other a little during it and in the silent dark before the movie.
Now, just a weird aside, TK thought the movie were were going to see was It is Fine! Everything is Fine!, which is the second in the series, but actually showed the night prior. As a result, she had this song stuck in her head:
Not too far off.
The movie we saw was What is it? and I'd post the trailer, but there's too much nudity and it's not something we'd ever show at Hell and—quite frankly—the movie itself isn't that good. Add to that, how I felt about the flick itself started with "This isn't brilliant; it's stupid," to "This is an exploitation film," and finally "This is parody of art-films" (come on, look at those credits) and in the end, none of that mattered.
You see, the movie doesn't matter.
So why watch it? Well, because there's a Q&A afterwards. That's the point of these showings and that's the point of his touring. The movie itself is an elaborate prop to assist in starting a conversation, and it was a fascinating conversation at that.
"In a certain way the discussion after the film with the audience is the most important part of the shows," Glover says. "[B]ut that discussion would not take place without the live performance and the feature films, so the whole thing has to happen in the single evening."
The point of the film What is it? is make the audience question what they've just seen. This is part of the reason Glover doesn't want to release the film on DVD: it's essential to the experience to be in public and surrounded by strangers. He watches the audience as they watch the film and lets us know what he's observed during that time.
Case in point: one of the biggest laughs in the film is when his character floats down, summons a record-player and its attendant, laughing puppets. This is followed immediately by an incredibly racist song with an offensive chorus; and, at the same time, a man with severe cerebral palsy is manually masturbated by a naked woman in a monkey mask. The audience goes stone cold silent. But! What the audience also does look around at other members of the audience to see how they're reacting. People look for a cue on how to respond to what they're seeing and hearing.
And then, after pushing every button connected to every trigger and taboo, Glover gets up on stage and asks, "Are there any questions?"
Now, I don't see this as theater of the offensive. Yes, it's supposed to make the audience uncomfortable, but there's nothing really that explicit (besides that one scene). Most of the cast has Down Syndrome, but they are also adults. The "gore" is a bloody knife and it's so cartoonish, you laugh at it. What grossed me out the most were the snails, but I just hate them in general.
And laughter's a huge part of the production. Glover calls it "the polite growl". When you make something else the "other" and want to heap derision on it, to push it away, you laugh at it. You laugh at that which is to be excised. Glover also says the coward comic laughs at others, but the brave comic makes himself something to be laughed at. That led to a question about this moment in history:
This is extraordinarily difficult to watch. The awkwardness and vulnerability that Glover displays in this performance is heartbreaking when coupled with Letterman's jeers. Also, it's promoting this movie:
Now, don't we all look like idiots? It's such an obvious troll.
Sadly, he was supposed to be promoting the movie River's Edge (the interview being in 1987). Rubin and Ed wasn't released until 1991, so it took four years before anyone got the joke, or cared to.
One thing he was willing to discuss was why he didn't return to the Back to the Future films. But first, you have to understand Joseph Campbell.
So, at 1:10, the "wisdom and power" is mentioned (read more here). When the hero returns from his ordeal, he brings back the "elixir", and that elixir is the moral of the story.
And the end of Back to the Future, when Marty comes back, everyone's problems have been solved by money. His brother is in a suit, his mom is thin, and Biff is their servant (granted, they still live in the same house in the same neighborhood), but Marty has that sweet truck he's always wanted. Everyone's problems go away because they are rich.
So, Glover went to Zemeckis and said he had a problem. Zemeckis said, "Crispin, I like weird movies. I liked Eraserhead. I made Used Cars and had a moral about greed and trickery and I didn't work for three years. I WANT TO BE RICH."
And, in case you're wondering, Eraserhead is where this is from:
Now we're getting into the main thrust of what Glover is trying to impart with these sessions. He says that for the last thirty years, films have been less about asking questions and more about propaganda. And before you say anything about Hitler or Stalin, let me remind you that PR are the first two letters of propaganda. Better yet, let's look at a quote from the "Father of Public Relations", Edward Bernays:
THE conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.
Bernays is not messing around here. He's the guy who convinced women to smoke by selling "torches of freedom" to suffragettes. He's the guy who came up with "planned obsolescence" and made everyone buy a new car every year. He's the guy who made the 20th Century what it is today.
The Q&A session we had Sunday night went WAY over schedule, but there were a few tangents and Wolf PAC was mentioned and an audience member wanted to talk about nullification and we can all pretty much agree that money in politics is bad.
Because we didn't see It is fine! Everything is Fine!, Glover filled us in on what that movie was about and why he made it and he showed the trailer. I'm sure, of the two, it's the better film, but I think we had the better Q&A session.
By the way, Glover's been living in the Czech Republic, so someone asked him about the Brothers Quay and Jan Švankmajer. I'm going to kill two birds with one stone on this one:
But it was Glover who talked about Karel Zeman (who I've mentioned before). The reason for that is, his new movie that he's working on, Title! Title! Title! (thus named because it's a three-word title, but he doesn't want it on IMDB) has a little fake train in the background at one point and he wanted to use some effects like that. "I'm not that patient".
Also, Glover will be working with his dad on Title! Title! Title! and they're both sporting Moscow on the Hudson beards and mustaches for that. Well, here, take a look:
All in all, it was a delightful evening. I found Mr. Glover to be one of the most thoughtful, considerate, and erudite speakers I'd seen. I was annoyed by how he's viewed by so many (and, I admit, what I thought going in). If you have a chance, I HIGHLY recommend seeing one of his shows. It is utterly worth it.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Yesterday, we talked about "Possessions". Today, it's the second piece.
This is the strongest piece in the anthology and one of the most beautiful things I've seen in a long time. It even won the Grand Prize at the 16th Japan Media Arts Festival Awards. There are a couple of really breath-taking sequences and by the end, I was crying. Also, please god, let them put the music by Makoto Kubota on any soundtrack that comes out.
This piece starts with a scroll. Which opens and shows us a traditional wood-cut print from the Edo Period.
Subtitles would be really handy here, as I'm sure we're all missing out of some important back-story.
Starting off as childhood friends and neighbors, Owaka (her name means “to flash" in Hawaiian) and Matsuyoshi are delightfully in love.
Look at their adorable little Shichigosan-shaved heads!
There's three events where the kids spend time together, so that's going to have to fill in for them growing up.
One night, while there's a fire raging on the other end of town, Matsuyoshi sneaks out, through Owaka's parents' back yard. He's so dashing!
. Eventually, Owaka is a lovely young lady and her folks are talking to other folks about her getting married.
Yes, the scroll borders are there the whole time. After a bit, you don't see them.
She's not too keen on the idea, but those are her parents' wishes, so that's what's going to happen. She cries and thinks about her childhood friend, with whom she use to play by the well. (There's even a purple iris by the scroll of the well. Purple iris represents loyalty).
Oh, but what has become of him?
He's been getting some ink.
Apparently, he's joined a group that identifies with tattooing. This is a great disgrace to his father, who throws things.
He stops by to see Owaka and let her know what's up. She tells him about her impending wedding. Oh, such tragedy!
But she really cleaned up on gifts!
Owaka is passing the time with a little tou sen kyou, but her heart's just not in it. She's getting married tomorrow (and what a great kimono!), but she does not love the person she's marrying. She throws fans without even looking.
I'm pretty sure that's a disqualification.
Oh dang! One of the fans lands in a floor lamp. That's a candle inside a tube of paper, to which someone just inadvertently introduced a thing made out of bamboo and paper. I wonder what will happen to the room made of paper?
Well, rather than run away, this loving fool decides to close the door and face her kimono.
Yes, let's bring lamps to the fire.
The fire brigade! Yay! This is also when the music really picks up and it's just stunning, incorporating the alarm bells that are ringing all over town. You get the full sense of urgency.
That escalated quickly.
This is one of the first moments in this movie where I just had to gasp. With the pounding of the drums and the way the camera comes over the rooftop, it's just stunning. I would imagine that on a big screen, it's even better. I'm glad it won an award.
Matsuyoshi's on the scene! He's with the fire brigade and they're going to take out a few key buildings. He looks around and sees the well where he used to play with his childhood friend, but, oh! Where is Owaka?
There she is.
Well, he tries to rescue her, but it's no good. There's just too much fire. They run around on the rooftops a bit more. Matsuyoshi has a bit of a plan, but now, buildings are collapsing from the fire. They haven't much time.
It's a good thing silk isn't flammable.
Crazy girl has decided to climb a tower instead of do anything that might save her life. Why, if she survives this, she might still have to marry that guy, if he's still alive.
Meanwhile the fire brigade is taking out a building.
In every great anime, something falls apart.
That might save some of the city, but a collapsing building has a tendency to force out all the air that was in it. This "fans the flames", so to speak. Owaka is climbing the tower, Matsuyoshi is yelling for her to come down, and then everything goes to hell.
It was a lovely kimono.
With the drums and flute and everything, I'm just crying. It's so sad and stupid and kids in love dumb and lives were destroyed. A cautionary tale on all fronts.
Monday, February 17, 2014
Oh, heads up: Otomo new movie Short Peace is now online, if you know where to look.— James Harvey (@jamesharveytm) February 7, 2014
Oh! What a lovely anime. Also, you should be following James Harvey.
I'm coming to you as someone who saw Robot Carnival, and Neo Tokyo and Memories (I always felt bad for the rats), so you already know I'm a sucker for anthologies.
Minor caveat here: I speak no Japanese. I am watching this with no dub or sub-titles. And, even with that, I am going to recommend you buy this as soon as you can. Oh, man. This is one you are going to want to buy. I know I will. It's just so pretty. Let's get started on the spoilers:
We start with our frame-story and a little girl playing hide-and-seek. She's counting down, but her surroundings have other plans.
Hey, it's a white rabbit. There's no way this can end badly!
What follows is going to be pretty run of the mill if you've ever done ketamine or listened to an album by the Orb. Our little girl goes through a series of scenes until she encounters a disco-ball and it flies up her skirt. She morphs a few times and this anime actually gets going.
She's everything, so she's nothing.
Out of all of them, this one is my favorite. It's a simple, classical ghost story, told in the Lafcadio Hern style. It takes about 12 minutes of you life and won't leave you in regret.
It's a-storming and there's lightning and thunder. Our hero is trudging through this mess, looking for shelter.
Spot the CGI.
There's actually a very good article here about how this piece was produced. Now, I know you can tell it's CG, but do you really care? It tells the story and does so in a simple, unobtrusive manner. I'm OK with it.
Anyhow, our hero gets to a shelter, after he gets his hat blown off. He decides to stay the night. Takeshi Kusao is the voice talent is here, and he's got a nice growl and sense of import here. When he announces his presence to the little shrine, it's very polite. Anyone who knows ghost stories understands how important it is to be polite.
This is where you really start to appreciate the CGI. Our hero's coat is a lovely pattern and it moves beautifully with him. When he find himself in the umbrella room, the way he moves tells the story as well as what he says. That pinch to the cheek is a mad desire to wake up.
Toodle luma luma toodle oh lay...
Luckily, our hero is not afraid and is resourceful. He repairs the umbrellas in question.
Because white glue is your friend.
Passing this test, our hero gains admission to the second room.
This room is more feminine, and there's a female ghost here, surrounded by skeins of fabric. This one's voiced by Aoi Yabusaki and she delivers a speech that's up there with Lady Wakasa from Ugestsu. It's a hypnotic performance and it's a real pity it's going to be ruined by a dub.
I'm going to sound like a 12-yr-old cheerleader before 2014 is done!
Anyhow, she sends her skeins of sultry, silken seduction after our hero, who grabs them and patches them up. Oh, this is the problem with silk: it gets worn if it's not cared for correctly. Luckily, our hero knows how to do this.
Not that there's anything wrong with that.
This, in its own way, grants admission to the third room. Sadly, the door here has to be torn down, so its contents can spill out, Fibber McGee and Molly style.
I swear to god, the roomie's room looks like this.
Oh, but there's a stench (it IS the roomie's room!). No, it's a dragon of abnormal composition. He's made of broken chairs and pots. It's like an episode of Hoarders, but without the dead kittens (that we can tell).
You can tell it's Otomo. He loves the fiddly shit.
There's nothing in the magic box that's going to fix this mess. Our hero clasps hands and prays. Crap flies past him. He maintains a level of stoicism I could not muster in a similar situation (seriously, the roomie can clean his own bathroom).
The next morning. The thunderstorm is over and the sun is out. Our hero is unharmed.
If this sequence does not make you yawn, you are a psychopath.
Our hero looks down and what has he gained for his troubles that night? A mighty fine umbrella, an excellent skein of cloth, and—woot! He got his hat back! Score. Time to trudge into town.
Oh, by the way....
Yes! Nominated for an Oscar. That's how good it is.
Tomorrow, we'll look at the second piece of Short Peace.