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Noiseman Soundinsect

Entry updated 31 October 2022. Tagged: Film.

Japanese animated film (1997). Original title Onkyo Seimeitai Noiseman; vt Noiseman Sound Insect; vt Noiseman. Studio 4°C. Directed by Koji Morimoto. Written by Hideo Morinaka. Voice cast includes Etsuko Kozakura, Hideki Ogihara and Maya Okamoto. 16 minutes. Colour.

A Scientist is unable to control his newly created Monster, who finds another Invention in the laboratory that separates people's souls from their bodies: the souls become fish-like beings called Ghosts and their bodies turn to crystal, from which music emanates. The creature, called Noiseman (Kozakura), adores the sound, so takes over the City to collect as many crystals as they can – robbing the people of music (see Dystopia). Noiseman is eventually defeated by the Ghosts and the city's survivors, and is cast out. The main protagonists are Tobio (Ogihara) and Reina (Okamoto), a boy and girl warped by Noiseman's propaganda and the discordant noise that permeates the city: after being fed a fruit by the Ghosts they witness the harmonious alternative to Noiseman (see Utopia).

The true star of the film is the brightly coloured city – seemingly built on the stems of an immense plant – that combines a ramshackle shanty-town construction with advanced Technology. The plot incorporates chases designed to tour the cityscape. The overall look is psychedelic Steampunk, with scenes of beauty and surrealism. There is some worldbuilding, with a food chain involving the Ghosts, fruit and people (see Ecology); with harmony versus dissonance as the tale's main theme. As a visual spectacle this short Anime is a delight, though the plot is difficult to follow, with parts of the story seemingly omitted. Including Masaaki Yuasa as Animation Director, this film was originally released in 1997 as a gift with the first Pioneer DVD players, though it was subsequently released on a 2003 DVD collection of Koji Morimoto shorts. [SP]


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