Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Shojo Tsubaki (Midori, The Camellia Girl)

Shojo Tsubaki (Midori, The Camellia Girl) Directed By Hiroshi Harada
In the DR catalog there are a few anime titles, aside from Akira and Urotsukidoji, I was extremely bored by the whole genre and never watched any of the ones featured. Later on I found out many of the titles in the catalog were based on Manga's like Star Of David, RapeMan, and Story Of Ricky. I'm a complete novice to the world of cutesy cartoons with bulging "Margaret Keene" inspired eyeballs, ripping off Blade Runner (or Anime as a whole), but I like graphic violence, so lets dive into this sushi role of nails and broken glass!
   I became aware of this film through clips on various tumblr's (the always reliable Illcon tumblr ramped up my interest enough to seek this hideously ugly cartoon out). It's originally based on a Japanese 20's era paper drama (or Kamishibai) and its director Hiroshi Harada spent 5 years painstakingly animating the film in isolation like a demented Charles Shultz!
too many Midori sours
   Midori (no not the "Herbert West" colored girly drink mixer), the Japanese one, doesn't fuck around, it swirls around your psyche and dunks you headfirst into a cruel world where rats infest the corpse of your mother and you have to fend for yourself on desolate roads, finding shelter among a Japanese version of Todd Brownings Freaks (I even spotted a nod to Prince Randian, the human worm)!
   Midori's parents are killed and after thinking she's applying for a job as a flower selling girl, she immediately gets tricked and raped by circus freaks (or fairground people). The story has Disney connotations, only with smashed puppies and horny circus freaks.   

Everybody do the body dysmorphia shimmy
    Anything Midori cares for is crushed or stolen from her, it's a gut wrenchingly bleak existence. A sadistic hermaphrodite smushes a few innocent puppies and than uses the meat for a stew. There are so many revolting and yet fascinating images that make someone like me, who has no interest in Anime feel like they should give it another chance. 
   In the second act, she starts to adjust to her new life and falls for a dwarf magician. Things seem better and her confidence slowly returns, mainly because her new husband has shape shifting powers and the cruel freaks stop bullying her. Things soon go from tolerable to miserable again, because the dwarf encases his wife in a giant glass bottle and turns the audience at one of his shows into a hurricane of bursting entrails and human deformities!
   For a minute all seems on the verge of looking up, than it all comes crashing down into ultimate darkness again. The is one of the most hateful, nihilistic cartoons I've ever seen, filled with dazzling and revolting imagery that's supremely existential. Brace yourself for the unpleasantness and for christ sakes avoid internet memes showing all the juicy bits before you see the whole shebang! 
Not recommended for the severely depressed, because it may push you over the cliff!
somebody call cartoon PETA

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