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Piece of Phantasmagoria, A

Japanese animated tv series (1995). Original title Phantasmagoria. Shigeru Tamura Studio. Directed and written by Shigeru Tamura. Fifteen five-minute episodes. Colour.

A series of fifteen shorts each ending with its narrator explaining how, whilst travelling the realm of dreams, they discovered the little planet Phantasmagoria, from which the story comes (see Life on Other Worlds). They are usually reflective, either whimsical or melancholy, pieces, with suitably expressive music.

The stories include a planetarium (see Astronomy) shaped like an old-fashioned reel-to-reel movie projector that projects the Stars onto the night sky; its operator must change the reels to display the appropriate season's constellation. Another is set in the locale of the creator's Glassy Ocean (1998), but adds telegraph poles jogging to work across the solid sea. Elsewhere a giant lightbulb lies half buried in the desert; one night it shines brightly. After billions of years an aged star returns to the Altair Bar and is reinvigorated. From his laboratory a Scientist writes to his sickly daughter of his failures to create an artificial moon. In the Digital Zone everything is cubic and, to a builder's regret, impermanent.

Based on the author's children's books, the stories are probably too slow-moving in this format to engage a child's attention. Though some are slight, others offer a calmly evocative surrealism (see Absurdist SF). [SP]

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Entry from The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (2011-current) edited by John Clute and David Langford.
Accessed 16:44 pm on 21 January 2022.
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