films seen
average score
Alive and kicking
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The Burning Buddha Man

by Ujicha
Moeru ButsuzĂ´ Ningen
2013 / 80m - Japan
Horror, Fantasy - Animation
The Burning Buddha Man poster

Uhm. The Burning Buddha Man is as niche as it gets. Puppet animation with paper cutouts that uses plenty of parallax and focal tricks to brings its universe to life. The designs are reminiscent of Junji Ito's work, the plot is absolutely bonkers and the characters are all batshit crazy. This is quite the trip. Definitely not something everyone will appreciate, but I have to say that I came out half in a daze, uncertain of what I just witnessed. That's always a big plus in my book.

Violence Voyager

by Ujicha
2018 / 83m - Japan
Adventure, Horror - Animation
Violence Voyager poster

The second Ujicha film I've seen. Not quite as good as Burning Buddha Man I'm afraid, even though the films are pretty similar. The biggest difference for me was that Violence Voyager takes a lot longer to get started and isn't quite as crazy or insane. Meaning that any reservations I had about Ujicha's Gekimation style are just more prevalent here.

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Bobby and his friend are playing in the mountains, where they find a sign that points them to a hidden amusement park. When they arrive at the spot the place looks abandoned, until a guy comes forward and invites them to join his role play adventure. Bobby and his friend put on their suits, pick their weapons and set out to kick some alien butt.

The first half of the film is very basic. Ujicha's art style is decent, and the animation has its charm, but it's hardly revolutionary and not that suited to tell a simple story. Things definitely improve during the second half, when the creep and crazy finally surfaces, but by then it's a case of too little, too late. I'm a little surprised Violence Voyager is actually the newer of the two films, it certainly felt the other way around. It's still a cool film, just not as good as Burning Buddha Man.