The Drudgeon reviews KakuRenBo

KakuRenBoaka KakuRenBo – Hide And Seek
25 min., 2005
Written by Shiro Kuro/Shuhei Morita
Directed by Shuhei Morita
Language: Japanese
My rating: ★★★★

Why did it have to be so short?

* * *

The story goes that if seven kids follow some signs that light up in a special way (O-To-Ko-Yo) they will be lead to a place where they can play KakuRenBo (Hide and Seek) in an ancient town.  The only catch is that they have to wear fox masks and once inside the town there will be demons chasing them.  Our story follows seven such kids.  First is a group of three, the leader Noshiga (Rei Naito) and his two younger followers, Tachiji (Mika Ishibashi) and Suku (Akiko Kobayashi).  Then there are to different pairs of kids.  Twins Inmu and Yanku who never talk, and Hikora (Junko Takeuchi) and Yaimao (Makoto Ueki) who are both looking for Hikora’s lost sister.  She disappeared after playing the same game that they are about to play.  Now the strange thing that Hikora notices before they begin is that there are eight kids, not seven.  They ignore it and decide to play anyway.  Will Hikora find his sister or will he end up disappearing like all the other kids that have played before him?

The voice acting in the movie is really top notch.  A lot of times there is the over-the-top screechy voiced kid, but this movie had none of them and I was really pleased at that.  All of the voice actors were believable as kids and when it came time to show fear, they had no problem.  But the biggest problem does come with the sound.  It’s really all over the place.  During the beginning you can barely hear a voice, but you know that someone is talking.  Now I understand that sometimes there is whispering that you aren’t supposed to hear, but you know this is dialogue that you need to hear (thank goodness for subtitles).

Unlike most anime, this one is CG and cell-shaded.  It looks incredible and the colors are just gorgeous, but with that being said the cell-shading and CG combined made most of the movement very stiff.  There was very little fluidity when anyone moved, and it felt more like watching paper dolls instead of anime.  Then again all of the characters and especially the demons looked really fucking cool, they just moved very stiffly.

One of the coolest things about this movie is the demons themselves.  They aren’t on screen for any incredible amount of time, but when they are there you just want to see more of them.  One of the best scenes is when one of the demons, Chitori, tries to attack one of the kids and instead destroys another demon, Kimotori.  It was one of those wow moments that really sticks out in your mind.  Now the ending to the movie, or the revelation of what is going on, is just awesome and incredibly inventive.  In the end I just wish that this movie was longer.  25 minutes just isn’t enough for me.  There is very little that isn’t explained, so it’s not that.  It’s just that it was so entertaining that I wanted more.  This is a great little movie with a few hiccups and you should really check it out.

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About The Drudgeon

I don't remember my real name or where I came from. All I know is that I'm traped in an underground cave with nothing but a TV, DVD player and a notebook and pen. They keep calling me The Drudgeon, I don't even know what that means. Someone keeps dropping horror movies in and yelling at me to watch them and write about what I watch. Then I eat the DVD and case, because they tell me if I consume the horror I will understand the horror. I think there are three of them. So if you are reading this right now, HELP ME!!!!!!! OUCH!!!! Someone just poked me with a sea urchin attacked to a pool cue, what the fuck is going on?
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