(This is Momochi short film review, which is a 2019 animated short film created by a group of Japanese animators)
The feudal Japan era is a famous setting for mangas, animes, and live actions and this short film capitalises on that with its own take. More precisely, it is set during the Sengoku era where Samurai and ninja existed during the war period. This short film is uploaded to Vimeo by Takuto Mizuno, who is also in charge of designing the characters and the poster.
Though they may not work in a big budget project, they still aim to bring together their skills to create this short film. Without further ado, let’s check out this ninja vs samurai tale in the Momochi short film review below!
When a sole survivor of a destroyed village learned of the fate of his family and friends, his hatred turns into a mask that transforms him into a revenger. With his newfound ninja skills, could he defeat the samurai lord that was the culprit for his village wipeout?
Momochi Short Film Review
The story is a simple one, where a village boy returns to find his village already burnt to the ground with everyone he loves being dead. His hatred and the souls of the dead somehow forms into a mask that brings out the darkness within him. It drives him to seek his revenge at the samurai lord behind the attack. It’s nothing original and has been seen in plenty of other Japanese media.
It is essentially a short clip of ninja vs samurai, of which the group of Japanese artists strives to create something that is as great looking as possible with a limited budget. Though the ending is pretty cool and kind of symbolic with the flame consuming both the ninja and the samurai. As if to prove the saying of ‘consume by hatred’ literally.
Animation-wise, the graphics are pretty slick and professional looking. This is especially so with the lighting and the fire effects in the 3D sections. They don’t look amateurish at all with that quality of bloom and fires. The 2D section is created with the paintbrush effect which is also very Japanese. I kind of like the transformation from the black and white 2D paintings scenes towards the more realistic 3D fighting scenes.
However, where it disappoints is also one of the most crucial factors in any animation – the characters’ animations. Straight away, their animations give off a feeling that this is a semi-amateurish production. The movements are quite rigid and not really natural or slick at all. This is the only big points about the whole film.
They are a mixed bag. First of all, I like the designs of both the samurai and the ninja. They are replicated almost faithfully according to the Sengoku period apparels. The masks also added a nice touch to give a sense of dread, revenge and one of evil for the samurai lord. With that said, the designs are, therefore, not very original and its something that can be seen in other Japanese-based media as well that have samurais vs ninjas theme.
Also, none of the characters exhibit some unique personalities, other than the role of a revenger and antagonist. Perhaps because there is no subtitle in the video, so I could not understand much of the conversation. Thus this review will be updated once they put in the subtitles.
The fighting scenes are decent and I like some of the compositions of the scene to make them more dramatic and anime-like. Together with the great quality effects and lightings, some of these look legit to have come out from a video game CGI.
There is nothing to write about as there is none. So instead, I will focus on the sound foley and ambient sound quality. In a word, they are decent, where you can feel that the fire is indeed burning the place and the clashing with the weapons etc. However, some of the SFX like punching lacks some punch that makes the whole action feels weak. Otherwise, they are mostly alright and passable.