Skip to main content

Akuemon

Japan, 1993 (MIFF 1995, Buried Treasures – Osamu Tezuka)

Director: Makato Tezuka

Akuemon is a good example of animation in the gekiga style which has developed in Japan by the start of the 60s. This was a more seriously toned adult-oriented form of manga, which stressed realistic effect and emotional impact, as opposed to the visual symbolism and hi-keyed archetypes displayed in early postwar manga. Establishing himself in the early postwar period, Tezuka defined much of that period's manga: a mix of kawaii, mysticism, fantasy and playfulness. By the mid 60-s, Tezuka not only carved his niche in anime, but also incorporated the gekiga shift of tone which was shipping both industries. Intriguingly, Tezuka did so by retaining a sometimes disturbing cuteness which made his dramatic situations all the harsher. Akuemon is a tale about a baby's relationship with a cute fox who becomes a human spirit after the baby's mother dies. The original mother's husband is Akuemon ( nickname for a savage, animalistic man), who killed the fox's mother. Further twists ensue which make this film a fascinating mix of chintzy fairytale and brooding morality play.

See also...

Drop

A companion piece of sorts to Mermaid, Drop utilizes similar brush and wash backgrounds, but stylizes its central protagonist in broader caricature. Tezuka made this film in one week as a ... More »

SPACE FIREBIRD 2772

Space Firebird 2772 is loosely based on certain futuristic aspects of Tezuka's sprawling Hi No Tori (Phoenix) series of manga, regarded by many as his most outstanding work. Firebird. is a ... More »

Adachi-Ga Hara

Adachi-Ga Hara continues the afore-mentioned 'mutative approach' to story-telllng. This time, the original manga is based on a traditional Non play called Kurozuka which mines tho rich vein of ... More »

Jumping

A tour de force of technique and the imagination. Influenced by the experimental hungarian animation, The Fly, Jumping utilizes the point-of-view gag to convey a breathtaking view of how powerful a ... More »

Legend of the Forest

The second major work Tezuka produced as a reflection on the art, craft and history of animation (the first being Pictures at an Exhibition). Legend of the Forest is formally dedicated to walt ... More »

Remake of Astro Boy

Technically referred to as the Remake Of Astro Boy this series features a karaoke disco version of the theme (true to the Japanese theme but with English words). Many changes are evident in this ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director