Yuukai Anna is an original short film from Studio Deen. It was released in 2018, so a pretty recent offering from them. Deen is one of those studios that’s difficult to predict the quality of, because their output is so varied in terms of quality. So, let’s just jump into it.
We open with a wedding. It’s quickly interrupted by a woman crashing in on her motorcycle and taking the groom away. We learn that this is Anna, a woman known for doing kidnappings for people.
First off, why hasn’t she been arrested? The authorities know what she looks like. She, apparently, does this all the time. She in no way disguises herself and she’s open to the point where she did a television interview.
You might think that egregious lack of logic is the worst part of the film. It’s not. Most of the film follows Anna as she converses with this bloke she’s kidnapped. And the pair of them talk like they’re idiots who are trying to sound smart and just wind up spewing bollocks. If I wanted to watch a moron spewing bollocks while trying to look smart, I’d watch select political speeches. The film also features a “big moment” where the kidnap victim is confronted by his past that spits in the face of logic just as badly as Anna being free. The ending is complete bullshit. To the point where I yelled something that best translates to “Are you fucking kidding me?” when I got to that part.
The characters are ceaselessly obnoxious and their dynamic is complete rubbish. Even limiting themselves to two characters who actually matter and putting a huge spotlight on them apparently wasn’t enough for them to make characters who were complex, interesting or endearing to any degree.
I mean, I’ve seen other anime that can manage at least a degree of that in twenty minutes, this one just fails.
The art can be summed up as exceptionally low quality, no effort rubbish CG art. You can never quite tell what emotional state they’re trying to express. Honestly, there are Flash animations that look much better than this and were made by a thirteen year old after school just because they were bored. The backgrounds are lacklustre. The driving sequences are visually unappealing and uninteresting. It’s just awful.
If you want to hear Takeda Anna and Morikawa Toshiyuki put in zero effort and generally provide all the energy and emotion of reading a phone book out loud, you’ll be happy with the acting in this. Also, why would you ever want that?
Frankly, these two are too good for their performances here. We have the voice of Sephiroth and… Deneve from Claymore. Yes, even the more inexperienced actor who doesn’t have all that many roles to choose from is still far too good for this. The music is the best part of the film because it’s just weak and not outright rubbish.
I would prefer if people who can’t write character relationships well just stay away from ho-yay, which they did here. At least that’s something.
Areas of Improvement:
- if you’re going to base an entire short film on discussing a topic like love, have something complex or at the very least a bit interesting to say about it. Don’t just drop a load of rubbish dialogue that’s roughly equivalent to audible diarrhoea.
- Have something going for your characters. Anna and the Professor have no complexity, no interesting characteristics and no redeeming qualities whatsoever.
- Have some basic logic. Because in twenty six minutes, this film has three huge, nonsensical points. If you just want the dialogue without worrying about thinking or writing a coherent plot, you can just have them stand by a tree or something.
This is easily among the worst films I’ve reviewed. The plot is nonsense. The dialogue is imbecilic. The characters are rubbish. The art is terrible. The acting is zero effort. We had a good run of quality with this year’s films, but this one is clearly an exception. I’m giving it a 1/10. If you like listening to conversations between dumb people who are trying to sound deep and philosophical, this one is for you. For anyone else, I can’t recommend it.