Review of 'Short Peace'

short_peace.jpg “Short Peace” is a short movie consisting of four separate chapters, each by a different, eminent, anime director with a somewhat nebulous connection of all being stories about redemption…and all quite Japanese. It should be noted that in Japan there is a fifth part that consists of a video game so watching the movie is only partly the vision of the experience intended by the directors.

“Posessions” tells the story of a traveller escaping a driving rain storm in a forest seeking shelter in a shrine. In the course of the night he experiences visions of discarded possessions having a life of their own as they dance around him in their dilapidated state. He manages to take the discarded artefacts and make them good - Repairing the holed umbrellas, stitching together the discarded and worn fabric…This is a sureal story that reminded me of “Paprika” with it's army of toys parading through the streets. It helps to understand that the Japanese have this belief that if you own and use something for a long period of time it eventually develops a soul so when discarded it may return to haunt you…

“Combustible” tells the odd tale of a young woman from a wealthy family who, heart broken, accidentally starts a fire in old Tokyo where most houses were made of wood. Her childhood sweetheart, casting aside the desires of his family, becomes a firefighter and works to safe the city. This is a tale of honour and tragedy.

“Gambo” is a story of a white bear who is befriended by a young girl and fights a terrifying red demon threatening her village. Very violent this brings to mind “Princess Mononoke”…

The final piece, “A Farewell to Weapons” is the Science Fiction story here with a team of soldiers clearing a post-war, future, city of the weapons of war left behind - In particular a rather resilient robotic tank. Intriguing in that we are never told what is really happening and what has happened it is left to the viewers to decide for themselves. It ends on a slightly off-kilter, at least to me, comedic note.

An interesting collection of very different films. Certainly worth watching for the styles of each of the directors on the screen - The swirling, whimsical “Possessions”, the brutally violent colours of “Gambo” and the harshly realistic “A Farewell to Weapons”.

Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2015-02-07

Directed by: Hiroaki Ando, Hajime Katoki, Shuhei Morita and Katsuhiro Otomo

Studio: Bandai Visual Company

Year: 2013

Length: 68 minutes

Genre: Japanese Animation

Other reviewed films by Katsuhiro Otomo:

Other reviewed films by Katsuhiro Otomo, Koji Morimoto and Tensai Okamura:

Other reviewed films by Shuhei Morita: