Posted by psgels on 4 August 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews


Franz Kafka was once a German author, famous for his downright depressing stories. I’ve only read one work of his (about a salaryman, turning into a huge beetle and then dying from loneliness), but I can fully understand why he got that reputation. A Country Doctor is the interpretation of director Koji Yamamura, the director of Atama Yama on one of the guy’s short stories.

I think it’s already apparent through the screenshots, but the director went for a surreal approach with this 20-minute long movie. The character-designs are constantly warping into strange shapes, and the entire movie is chock-full of symbolism about the old country doctor that plays the main character in this story. You might need a second viewing in order to fully understand what’s going on.

Overall, I liked a country doctor. It’s a great short horror-ish story, but I do think that the director went a bit too overboard with his visual effects. The warped character-designs only distract from what’s really important in the movie, and the plot doesn’t flow as smoothly as you’d like at times. It’s just like Shoji Kawamura’s Spring and Chaos: you want to give a classic writer too much credit and go overboard with the style so that the style actually works against it a bit.

Nevertheless, the art style does look great and apart from a few humps and bumps along the way, the story is well-told for such a short time of 20 minutes and it gives a good look inside the mind of the titular country doctor. A country Doctor is obviously not for everyone (stay FAR away if you hate depressing stories), but if you’re looking for something surreal and have half an hour to burn, then why not give it a chance?

Storytelling: 8/10
Characters: 8/10
Production-Values: 8/10
Setting: 8/10

4 Responses

  1. Archer says:

    i really think this is worth the watch and i will watch it mostly because we get to see how a japanese director managed to adapt a short story written by the brilliant Kafka
    it should be interesting to watch

  2. Michael says:

    Woah!

    I’ll try and take a look into this. Kafka was a brilliant writer.

  3. Reiter says:

    I believe that was Metamorphasis with the story of the man who turns into a giant cockroach. Pretty depressing stuff, as I recall (read it waaaaay back in high school), as everyone around the guy (including family) were actually happy and better off that he was dead at the end of the story.

    This anime looks pretty surreal. I don’t mind depressing as long as it’s done right (I liked Jin-Roh for that reason; Grave of the Fireflies as well though to a lesser extent for reasons I won’t go into). I’ll give this one a shot.

  4. Denizen says:

    This was such an amazing production.
    I can’t sleep at nights, but hey it was worth it.

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  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Mar 4. 2015 03:23 AM)
    I kinda wish I had a Wii-U, that new Xenoblade game looks wet.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Mar 4. 2015 03:07 AM)
    oh and speaking of consoles I am using the Wii-U cruchyroll…app I suppose a lot more than I thought I would. It’s really handy strangely enough. At least I am getting something out of the cruchyroll subscription. Now if only they did dub.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Mar 4. 2015 03:07 AM)
    Interestingly it was the DragonBall dub that got the majority of Americans into anime, and although it doesn’t really hold up it’s still charming and entertaining.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Mar 4. 2015 03:05 AM)
    I am pretty surprised myself. Twas me and two responsible fellows. And I ended up being the only guy left writing. Oh and there was some other guy Ninja took on. Note to site: Take on writers who have the time to write.
    I spot an number of shows I am interested in with the next season. There is some really good potential. And if it all goes wrong well, there’s always fate. Fate…my precious….
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Mar 4. 2015 03:03 AM)
    Commitments man …
    It’s not only anime but quite a lot of gaming that has been cut outta my schedule, but I’m still interested enough to eagerly watch if something remarkable comes out; just like how my PS4 will get properly dusted when Bloodbourne drops later this month.
  • Aries
    (Wednesday, Mar 4. 2015 03:00 AM)
    But I’m glad this blog is still alive. And I think you’re doing a great job Aidan. Funny, I never pinned you as the one who would’ve been up for taking over but here we are lmao.
  • Aries
    (Wednesday, Mar 4. 2015 02:58 AM)
    Last year I feel like I only completed 4 shows….I suppose I’m uninspired right now.
  • Aries
    (Wednesday, Mar 4. 2015 02:57 AM)
    This season I’ve only been watching YuriKuma (which I’m thoroughly enjoying). Next season I can only see Yahari being on my watch list. It makes me a little sad because I’ve had such good memories of spending hours on watching anime.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Mar 4. 2015 02:55 AM)
    I should check out Garo. But I have been watching Dragonball and doing a few other things.
    Kinda surprised with how entertaining Dragonball turned out. What’s even more surprising is that the dub is better than the sub. The actors ad libbed quite a bit and made it a lot more fun.
  • Aries
    (Wednesday, Mar 4. 2015 02:55 AM)
    It’s so funny to think that a few years ago I was watching 12+ shows per season and now I can only watch 1 to 2. I’m just so disinterested with the stories that are coming out. Maybe I’m just way more critical of things These days.

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