25th Animation Division Excellence Award
Dozens of Norths
Animated feature film
This work traces fragmentary memories depicted as a “record of the people I met in these Norths.” The omnibus work spins scenes of the “Norths” along with dramatic phrases such as “A song that we don’t mean to sing,” “A journey to find the lost phrase,” and “Sky with twinkling stars, 13.7 billion years old.” The characters are crooked and unstable, drawn with dark ink and colored pencils. The trembling lines of the animation make them look as if they are facing anguish and misfortune. The artist says that he attempted to “mythologize” the “suffering in modernity” in this work, and while depicting the sadness and ridiculousness of human activities that can be traced to various problems facing the world today, the reality of life that resides in these people can also be strongly felt in the images created through the stirring animation. The artist’s attempt to create hope in the real world through animation, which is based on the theme of facing up to pain, is strongly conveyed to the viewer through the accumulation of pictures, frame by frame.
Reason for Award
This work originated from the series of illustrations the artist had drawn for the cover of the monthly magazine Bungaku-Kai, and was produced into an animated film by his own hand. The illustrations were drawn with the concept of conceiving a feature-length animation and drawing a scene from it, and animating the art was inevitable. The film begins with two dwarfs walking out carrying the narrator’s quill pen. They guide us through this work, which advances through the realm of the unconscious on behalf of the narrator. The realm of the unconscious is not portrayed as the narrator’s inner world, but as a place showing the state of the world through its fragments. The “fragments” depicted in this work are drawn so specifically that at first, they seem to be satirical, but they gradually become more abstract. And at the deepest level, it is revealed that the world is also connected to the narrator. The screen evokes a sense of desolation and disquiet, but at the same time, it has a humorous and nostalgic atmosphere. The grandness of the theme and the depth of this expression is something that could only be achieved in a feature animation. (FUJITSU Ryota)