display | more...

A surreal animated short film also known simply as "Comedy". Produced by Studio 4C, whose name often ends up stuck to the ten-minute movie's title, the anime is a whimsical yet twisted retelling of several legends, particularly the classic of the child-eating ogre living in a forest castle. It remains unlicensed, and sadly has the potential to stay that way for a good long time. The only overseas "release" is a digisub from the fansubbing group Wizzu.


The film opens with a still image of a gnarled, twisted tree. The text "Lately, I keep remembering him..." is superimposed as a morbid, threatening monologue is delivered in a halting, soft male voice:

What you saw at the castle on that windy night...

...and what you saw at the bridge last night...

...how I smiled...

...never utter a word to anyone.

If you dare speak...

...I will find you wherever you are...

...and I will kill you...

...Kill you.

I will rip you apart...

...crush your bones, and eat your flesh.

I will drink your blood.

I will... devour you.


With that warning out of the way, the movie proper begins.

The narrator is an Irish girl who retells this story from her childhood. England is invading Ireland, and the five-year-old's village stands in the path of some 200 horsemen. In the nearby Black Forest stands a ruined castle, whose lone inhabitant, a probably-supernatural swordsman and bibliophile, may be able to hold off the English. The child takes an old book from her home and runs towards the forest to find the Black Swordsman (no relation to the other Black Swordsman from the anime "Berserk").

The swordsman of rumor is an odd character. Tall, silent, pale and delicate of feature, and elegantly dressed, unlike the traditional ogres, he also seems much kinder than his counterparts in fairy tales, receiving the child and caring for her in the few days she spends at his castle. Further adding to his bizarre nature is the fact that, even mercenary as he is, the only payment he will accept is not money, but rare books. And he expects payment in advance, devouring (metaphorically) the book she brought before making his decision.

He still has an implied tendency towards the best-known hallmark of ogredom, though -- eating people. His enemies' bodies are never found, only their empty, bloodied armor. And near the end of the movie, when he gives his whispered warning (itself a definite signal) to the narrator, the bottom of his face is splotched with blood.


While it's not very deep (no character gets even a name), Comedy is still an excellent movie. The occasional jokes and gags (such as the narrator throwing rocks at the preoccupied swordsman, to no avail) contrast well with the gloomy atmosphere and grim drawing style. And while there's little closure, the end is strangely satisfying (and it's not like others do any better with that while still being fantastic). Watch it if you get the chance.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.