Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Downbeat "Peeping Life" brings animated "ennui-style" laughs

by Chris MaGee

It was just the other day that I was going on about how I'd been disappointed by the 10-minute clip of Fumihiko Sori's upcoming animated space adventure "To" (read our report here or just scroll down a little). It's wooden depiction of human beings shook my faith in anime a bit. It's been a dark couple days, folks; but today I had my faith in anime restored with "Peeping Life".

Created by Ryōichi Mori and CoMix Wave Films "Peeping Life" uses motion capture technology and CGI-animation to create tiny snippets of daily conversations that are absurdly hilarious. These 5-minute clips aren't dramatic, action-packed or bizarre.. definitely not what you'd think of when you think of anime. Mori described the downbeat style of "Peeping Life" as datsuryoku-kei, or "ennui-style". Ennui is pretty apt as these conversations about videotapes and the difference between "cute" and "cool". Think of a Jim Jarmusch film, especially his "Coffee and Cigarettes", turned into animation and you might start to get the idea.

This is great stuff... but the human characters are still a bit wonky, but so's everything about "Peeping Life"... Wonderfully wonky. To see what I mean check out a whole series of subtitled segments over at Crunchyroll. I'd have embedded a clip below, but I wasn't able to track down any subtitled episodes on YouTube.

Thanks to Anime News Network for turning me, and now hopefully many of you, onto this great show.

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