The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials


Title: Cencoroll
Genre: Action
Company: Anime Innovation Tokyo/Aniplex
Format: Movie, 27 minutes.
Dates: 22 Aug 2009

Synopsis: A huge monster appears on the top of a building of a town, resulting in panic and anxiety. Yuki, an all too curious girl, chances upon a boy, Tetsu who has been rearing a strange creature he calls Cenco. A mysterious boy who appears to control the huge monster confronts Tetsu. With that, havoc ensues and disaster looms over them.

The Highlights
Premise: Compelling.
Art: Clean and aesthetically pleasing.
Animation: Crisp and fluid.
Duration: Biggest drawback.

Cencoroll marks Uki Atsuya’s foray in the anime industry. Based on his one-shot manga, Amon-Game, Cencoroll was nearly single-handedly directed, animated and designed by Uki. Whilst amorphous extra terrestrial creatures may make one cringe, upon closer inspection, it clearly distinguishes itself from other cliché-ridden disasters that have beset the anime industry for years.

Cencoroll’s quality lies in its execution. In fact, despite the patently unrealistic theme and fantastical setting, there is a generally raw and understated feel that permeates the movie, the duels between aforementioned creatures notwithstanding. Throughout the course of the movie, Cencoroll makes an effort to steer clear of stereotypic qualities like bravado-driven speeches that have become increasingly prevalent in science-fiction anime. This along with the voice actors’ quality help neutralise the outlandishness of its plot.

The art is reminiscent of minimalist anime like Mushishi and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time which is a fresh breath of air. The backgrounds are uniquely rendered, starkly contrasting the characters, yet not unpleasant on the eyes in the least. In addition, despite being directed, produced and animated by a one-man team, the animation is crisp and fluid, besting that of numerous other anime.

However, what hinders Cencoroll from being a gem is its too-short duration. At a little under twenty seven minutes, barely a fraction of its theme is expounded on. Most of the 27 minutes is used to showcase the anime’s extrinsic quality, leaving the finer nuances in the dust. Thus, Cencoroll functions more as an experimental piece than anything else. Plot development, elaboration of themes and dynamic between characters are all relegated, leaving the anime as an interesting but ultimately superficial piece.

In conclusion, Cencoroll has several merits but one major flaw that prevents it from ascending to higher ground. However, if this pithy work is at all indicative of Uki’s aplomb, I most eagerly await his next project.

The Rating: 6

Reviewed by: Fuu

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