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Howl from Beyond the Fog

Sagiri no Kuni
2019 / 35m - Japan
Fantasy - Animation
Howl from Beyond the Fog poster

A beautiful indie animation that wears the marks of its low budget roots, but managed to overcome most of its biggest hurdles. It's an interesting take on the Kaiju genre, with a more stylish and oldskool style to set it apart from other Kaiju films. The fact that we're talking full puppet animation certainly helped too.

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Eiji is a boy who returns to his hometown after the death of his brother. Kyushu is a small city hidden in the mountains, when he arrives at his old home he finds his mother there together with a mysterious woman. She introduces herself as his niece, but when Eiji sees her walking around at night, he discovers she shares a special connection with a giant monster.

The animation and puppet work look solid enough, especially for a small indie project, but the illusion isn't always there. The soundtrack is the most defining element and is by far its strongest quality. The plot is fun enough, and the classic take on Kaiju material adds a little extra intrigue. Give these guys a bigger budget, and I'm certain a masterpiece is there for the taking.