(Four stand-alone episodes)
Government-sponsored shorts to showcase new talent.
Grampa’s Lamp (Ojisan no Lamp) has the titular grandfather tell the story of how he rose from pauper orphan kid to successful lamp seller… and what happened next. It’s a nice little country tale, perfectly making its point in the 24 minutes it’s got. It doesn’t have groundbreaking animation or art, and you can probably see where it’s going from a mile off, but it works.
Kizuna Ichigeki is a very energetic tale of a prodigy kung-fu girl and her family… and that’s pretty much it. The artstyle is very rough, although it works out well in the (numerous) fight sequences. Still, there’s not much substance there, and the comedic tone can only carry it so far.
Wardrobe Dwellers (Tansu Warashi) is a very charming little tale where a young Office Lady receives from her mother a magic wardrobe housing little servants that teach her adult skills she’d never got the hang of before (cooking, make-up, sewing, basic security…). It’s, er, not exactly the most progressive story, but it’s got enough charm to get away with it.
The one I found most enjoyable, though, was Super Veggie Torracman (Bannou Yasai Ninninman). Technically it’s an “Eat your veggies” morality tale, but it’s so full of delirious imagery and bizarre symbolism that I couldn’t help but loving it. It’s got superb voice acting, too (Mami Koyama makes for the scariest mom ever).