This is a double review, attempting to highlight the short animations that come out off Young Animator Training Project. In 2015, the project was called Anime Mirai and it spawned four animations. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to get all four. Hence it’s only a double review. I’ll try to make it as spoiler free as I can.
Aki no Kanade (アキの奏で, lit. Aki’s Rhythm) – J.C.Staff
It has been 10 years since Aki moved to Tokyo to pursue her childhood dream of becoming a taiko drummer. However, trying to balance work and taiko practice is harsh, and each day is incredibly stressful. One day, Aki receives a phone call. A taiko drum festival is going to be revived after 15 years. Will she be able to come back and give technical guidance?
This is a story of finding lost passion. Before returning to her hometown to train the drummers for the festival, Aki feels like a failure for not being able to live off her drumming jobs. That she still has to keep a second job to pay her bills. But looking at the other drummers in her squad, she’s not the only one.
If you’re feeling lost on your journey and lack the drive and motivation to continue, think back to the things that made you start. That initial excitement and the reasons you have since almost forgotten might spark something. Aki remembers her training and the festivals in her hometown, the way she loved taiko drumming before it became a means of making money.
Robotto Kāsan (ロボットかあさん, lit. Robot Mother) – SynergySP
Tired of living alone, Hiroshi orders a robot from the company Happy ComeCome. However, instead of the housemaid-type robot he ordered, he receives a mom-type instead. The robot, named Yoshiko, acts more motherly than Hiroshi’s real mother which makes him uncomfortable. With each day, Yoshiko slowly opens and heals Hiroshi’s heart.
Also known as Happy ComeCome, I haven’t been able to find this animation in English. So I’ll just leave the summary here and move on to the next one…
Ongaku Shōjo (音楽少女, lit. Music Girls) – Studio Deen
When Eri, a girl who likes to stay indoors, meets the mysterious and hyperactive transfer student Haru, their lives change. Eri once loved to sing, but has stopped. However, Haru loves to hear Eri sing and gives her the inspiration to continue. The story follows the love between the two during one summer in their high school life, that sometimes overlaps and sometimes passes by each other.
The lesson of this anime is to “Be Stronger Than Your Fears, Bolder Than Your Insecurities”. Have you ever abandoned (or maybe not even started) some of your bold projects just for the fear, be it fear of judgement, failure or plain hard work? I have. After all, it took me years to start a blog; all of the fears I just named were present. Or try to get published; I’m working on that and it is hard, but also exhilarating. I shouldn’t have put it off for nine years though.
Back to you, though. Can you overcome your fears and get on the imaginary stage with Haru?
Actually, this animation is what sparked the whole “let’s do reviews of all the Anime Mirai/Tamago projects” project. Because Ongaku Shōjo has a 12-episode TV series this season! So I rewatched this in preparation for that. Look forward to blog posts about it; I’ll write at least a final review.
Kumi to Chūrippu (クミとチューリップ, lit. Kumi and Tulips) – Tezuka Productions
In a world of shining steel skyscrapers, bustling highways that stretch endlessly, and robots which support people, there lives Kumi. She plays often at a park with a fountain between these buildings, where the rich grass is made by man and butterflies are only digital images. To Kumi, this is normal. At the park, there is also an old man who paints artificial flowers. One day, he finds a tulip which has sprouted miraculously among the manmade flowers. Together, the old man and Kumi decide to watch over the tulip as it grows, until…
I also haven’t been able to get my hands on this animation.
And that’s it! I love how the two animations had something to say. I mean something other than “We want to make money.” Sometimes I get the feeling that’s all some series want to say nowadays and it’s a shame.