©︎ 2019 Hikaru Morishige/Daisuke Ozasa

24th Animation Division New Face Award

The Man on the Shore

Animated short film

MORISHIGE Hikaru / OZASA Daisuke[Japan]

Outline

In this 3DCG animation, a man films on the shoreline of an unnamed island and narrates his research on what he calls the onyudo—that is, giants. Purportedly born in Hyogo Prefecture and posted to this observatory, he refers to these enormous, shrimp-like onyudo as “she” and “her” while describing how their beached corpses will be processed and buried and his research into why they come ashore when all that awaits them is death. Through the use of models, motions, and detailed settings, the animation realistically portrays otherworldly beasts and the unlikely research accompanying their equally unlikely existence. It was created in the game engine Unreal Engine 4, an unconventional approach to 3DCG animation.

Reason

This one stuck with me. The director’s sensibility in choosing “observation” at a distance makes this an intriguing work. It calls contemporary society to the viewer’s mind and draws up a strong message that rejects escapism. It is, of course, fantasy by virtue of having made the unreal visual in a genre that tends to lean on “more” and “addition.” But, through the bleak subtraction that at first looks negative, this work communicates what is important as elegantly as sculpture. It fulfills its role as a short film and enriches and expands the imagination. I look forward to seeing more of this artist’s perspectives and works. (OHARA Hidekazu)