Posted by psgels on 14 July 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews, Genius Party



Genius Party gathers many different people with many different talents to create shorts. With Limit Cycle, this is monologues. It’s basically 20 minutes of monologue about religious and philosophical topics. Its director is Hideki Futamura, who isn’t really a big name. He worked on a bunch of the Animatrix shorts, did key animation for movies as Junkers Come Here, Vampire Hunter D Bloodlust and Perfect Blue, and he directed Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. He’s definitely someone with talent, and here he finally gets to prove again what he can do.

In these twenty minutes of nothing but talking however, he makes the classic mistake that you can do with these kinds of shorts: he forgets to put anything into context. What we have right now is some random guy who rambles on about life, death, immortality, religion, et cetera. I just had one question on my mind, though: “what’s the point?” Why is this guy delving into philosophy? What does he want to achieve?

You see, the thing is that right now you have a string of dialogue of a level that even I could have come up with. Just give me enough time to quote a bunch of famous philosophers who talked about life, immortality and religion, and voila! This isn’t intelligent, this is just plain random. I think that what the director should have done is that he should have looked more at good examples, in which endless strings of dialogues and monologues do work. Most notably, if he watched Mamoru Oshii’s short on Twillight Q, or Mouryou no Hako, he would have gotten a good idea of what he needed to do to put some meaning behind these words. And give them impact.

Still, a complete waste of time this isn’t, because thankfully the visuals are utterly gorgeous. Along with Dimension Bomb, Limit Cycle definitely has the best aesthetics of all the shorts of Genius Party, and that has to say something. The compositions, character-designs, use of colours, and filters, all come together wonderfully along with great character-designs. If anything, the images were much more thought-provoking than the dialogue!

Anyway, to wrap up Genius Party: it really was a great opportunity to see so many different talents and styles, together in one package. These compilation movies of different short stories have been there before, but never in this scale, with so many different movies and I can only hope that Studio 4C (or any other studio for that matter) is going to continue making more of these, because I really enjoyed sitting through even the lesser ones.

As for my favourite ones, my top three consists of Dimension Bomb, Toujin Kit and Baby Blue. These three are definite works of art and really succeeded in what they set out to do. The other shorts also all have their own merits in their own single way.

Storytelling: 7/10
Characters: 6/10
Production-Values: 9/10
Setting: 7/10

5 Responses

  1. PL says:

    What bothered me about this one, as a trained philosopher and literary critic, is that there was no argument to his dialogue, just literally rambling on several topics loosely tied together. Sometimes he even contradicted himself, and not in a meaningful way, like Derrida or Heidegger, who use contradictions to point to something else. At the end, I was so confused by what he was even trying to convey that any power the imagery had was wasted because I had to focus so hard on the monologue in order to not just drift off. It might actually be an improvement to rip the audio from this one, lay some techno on top of it, and just watch the pretty colors.

  2. Sheepdude says:

    I think the short deals more with limit cycles and deterministic chaos than the philosophic and religious talk. Not that I claim to understand the context.

  3. Dan Yellow says:

    After reaching the half way mark, my threshold, and reaching the conclusion that there undoubtably is no cohesive logic, I assumed there had to be logic in reflection.

    my interpretations started as a reflection on the hierarchy of content where god claimed prominence. I thought that the aimless stream of consciousness was a communication method allowing for viewers to formulate the presented patchwork logic into something they could understand and believe much like religion or the idea of god – connecting dots/ideas or things without meaning and forming meaning.

    My other interpretation was that this stream of consciousness is a mode of reflection before suicide. Presenting the minds thoughts as encrypted unstable logic as affirmation to conclude the characters life. There were scenes that could support this idea and perhaps the title.

    Perhaps schizophrenia is another option ( wouldn’t it be awful if your vision to communicate a complex series of logic was dismissed as trying to communicate schizophrenia :)

    Ever interpretable perhaps? sounds like reality and varying ideas of life and truth. – poetry snaps –
    Or perhaps an attempt at something intellectual for intellectual’s sake.

  4. there ia logic says:

    there is fucking logic in, you just have to get high as fuck HOLY SHIT

  5. Incognitoxic says:

    Here the less philosophical way of looking at it more then just saying what it is too. I am a big philosopher but meaning that the representation is telling us is that there is a god-like person limiting himself from becoming irrational and stabilizing himself with both himself and god. He tries to find the unseen god with trying to represent himself out to be one (hence the glasses meaning “limit cycle”). There are many background meanings when you look for them. I understanding the random hypocritical aspect and yet see no hypocritical aspect and only see contridictions to prove what life cycle means even after death or before it. He does throw some philosophical meanings but he is trying to get to the truth without becoming schizophrenic. He is also determining the reason for our choices and what they are made of. Very sketchy and very sensitive since sympathy runs the left side of our brain and our consciousness move all around our head whilst leaving our subconscious every few seconds which in turn leaves the lightbulb effect all around our head. since we cannot keep our conscious thoughts to ourselves for no longer then 10 minutes. It is nice to see fresh ideas come from the blue is all ^.^

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    @K-off: wait, somebody ziptied your mailbox? Can’t you just cut it then? Also, how is that related to the car situation?
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    On a lighter note, Tokyo Sessions feels like a watered down Persona title. The Mirage system is so weak. It throws the balance off especially during poor matchups.
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    To the asshat that ziptied my mailbox and called the PD just because I cut you off since you were tailgating me in a 25 mph zone last night – fuck you. God dammit this year is full of bullshit. Now I have to file a police report which I’m reluctant to waste my time on since there’s no evidence to prove what the fuckface did.
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