The opening sequence depicts a young girl following a white rabbit through different magical worlds. It was created by Koji Morimoto. It is then followed by 4 short films:Possessions (九十九, Tsukumo)
A lone traveler is caught in a storm, and finds an abandoned shrine when his hat is blown away. He takes refuge inside, where he discovers a small altar and some old offerings. Falling asleep, he wakes to find himself in a small room, surrounded by painted sliding screens. Unusual spirits
begin to come through the walls. The traveler opens the portable cabinet
he was carrying, revealing an assortment of tailoring tools. He proceeds to repair items for the spirits, who appear satisfied. At the end, he forces open a final screen door, causing a mountain of old items to fall on him. The items assemble themselves into the shape of a monster, emitting a foul odor. The monster charges at the traveler, who shuts his eyes and presses his hands together, causing the old items to fly past him. Upon opening his eyes, he discovers that he has returned to the abandoned shrine, and that the sun has risen. Standing up, the traveler notices old talismans plastered on the walls of the shrine. As he steps outside, he notices that his hat, along with several items he repaired for the spirits, have been left outside for his taking.Directed by Shuhei Morita
.Combustible (火要鎮, Hi no Yōjin)
Set in the Edo period
, Owaka, a young aristocratic woman, is set to be engaged to a wealthy suitor. However, her true love lay with her childhood friend Matsukichi, a handsome and rebellious young man from next door. Three days before her wedding, Owaka is in her room, looking over wedding gifts, as well as a splendid kimono
, hanging on a rack. In her despair, she throws a folded fan across the room, where it lands inside a standing lamp. The fan catches fire, and the flames begin spreading across the doors. Owaka cries for help, but decides to shut herself in her room after taking a long look at the splendid kimono. The fire spreads through the building, and quickly engulfs the entire neighborhood. Firefighters, among them Matsukichi, rush to the scene, and begin demolishing surrounding buildings in an attempt to confine the conflagration. Matsukichi sees Owaka standing on top of a roof, covering herself with the splendid kimono. He calls out to her, warning her not to climb a nearby tower. But, surrounded by fire, Owaka had no choice, and climbs it anyway. The fire reaches her, and the tower goes up in a burst of flame. The splendid kimono is sent flying into the sky, still burning.This story was likely inspired by the Great fire of Meireki
, which was said to have been caused by a cursed kimono. Directed by Katsuhiro Otomo
An injured Christian samurai
looks up at Gambo, a mysterious white bear, who walks away without killing him. Soon after, Gambo sees a streak of fire descend from the sky. In a nearby village, several people are praying and caring for a giant, red humanoid that resembles an oni
, a Japanese ogre. It is unconscious on the floor, wearing a loincloth and broken restraints on its wrists and neck. The village chief says that a young girl is offered to the ogre every night, so it will not attack the village, since the villagers' guns are ineffective against it. The ogre awakens, and kills the villagers tending over him. Distraught, the village chief begs the Christian samurai to hunt down and kill the ogre, before it returns to claim the emperor's daughter, the last girl in the village.The emperor's daughter runs off into the forest, where she encounters Gambo, who seems to understand the young girl's thoughts. Sensing her desperation, Gambo sets off to confront the red ogre. He arrives at the site of a strange ruin, where a large half organic, half metallic craft lies smoldering amidst animal carcasses and yellow slime. Gambo enters the craft, and finds a human woman bound to a cybernetic alcove, unnaturally pregnant with several ogre-like fetuses. In a rage, Gambo rips apart the inside of the structure, causing explosions that destroy the entire craft. The ogre returns, and upon seeing his wrecked vessel, attacks Gambo in a fit of fury. The two fight, but the ogre is much stronger. Having followed the bear, the Christian samurai intervenes in their fight. Believing the ogre to be a demon, he drives a spear into its back, and slashes at it with his sword, but does little damage against its massive body. The emperor's daughter leaps out from her hiding spot, catching the ogre's attention, who runs towards her. Before he can get to her, Gambo attacks the ogre from behind, and the two wrestle on the ground. Shogunate soldiers show up, attacking the ogre with rifles and arrows, to no avail. With his remaining strength, Gambo lifts the ogre up into the air, gripping its middle in a tight hold as his claws sank into the ogre's abdomen, eviscerating and killing it. Gambo falls to the ground, and dies from his injuries. The camera pans out, showing a path of destroyed trees where the ogre's spacecraft had crashed into the mountain.Directed by Hiroaki Ando.A Farewell to Weapons (武器よさらば, Buki yo Saraba)
A tour-de-force saga of men battling robotic tanks in apocalyptic Tokyo, directed by Hajime Katoki
and based on Katsuhiro Otomo
's manga of the same name.
Short Peace: Ranko Tsukigime's Longest Day, released in Japan as Short Peace: Tsukigime Ranko no Ichiban Nagai Hi (ショートピース 月極蘭子のいちばん長い日), is a side-scrolling platform game directed by Yohei Kataoka and published by Bandai Namco Games for the PlayStation 3. The game's story was written by Goichi Suda. The game follows the titular heroine, a schoolgirl-assassin who is tasked with killing her own father.
The game puts players in the role of the eponymous Ranko Tsukigime, as she races through levels attempting to outrun a wave of spirits chasing after her. Ranko's basic maneuverability allows her to jump, hover across long gaps, slide under obstacles, and jump off walls. Ranko also has a melee attack which can destroy enemies, as well as reflect enemy fire. By destroying enemies, the player can trigger chain reactions which may automatically destroy other nearby enemies. Along with some areas requiring the players to defeat all enemies in an area to progress, defeating enemies helps fuel ammunition for a fire-arm which can be used to push back the pursuing spirits in case they get too close.
The idea behind the Short Peace was of a hybrid project composed of the four anime shorts and one video game. The overarching theme of the project is Japan, with each entry representing a different setting within the country's history. Because the modern era had not been represented in the anime, the team decided to represent it using the video game. The decision to bring both the four anime as well as the game to the west was made early in production.
Combustible won the Grand Prize at the 16th Japan Media Arts Festival and the Ōfuji Noburō Award at the 2012 Mainichi Film Awards.
Tsukumo, under the title Possessions, was nominated for Best Animated Short at the 86th Academy Awards.
The film grossed US$622,049 by August 4.