Anime: Angel's Egg

aka: Tenshi No Tamago

"This is what would happen if Tarkovsky made an anime."
YouTube commentator

Angel's Egg (Tenshi No Tamago in Japanese) is a surreal 1985 animated film which was directed by Mamoru Oshii and featured art designs by Yoshitaka Amano. The film centers around a young girl protecting an egg in an abandoned gothic city who meets a mysterious man with a cross-shaped rifle. The rest is... a bit harder to describe, but it's extremely beautiful nonetheless.

This film contains examples of:

  • Bad Future: According to the man, Noah's Ark didn't end well in this universe. The ending, which reveals them to be on an ark, seems to confirm it.
  • Beautiful Void: The setting is completely deserted, dark and worn out, but damn if it isn't lovingly designed.
  • Crapsack World: While it's not clear on whatever's going on, it's clear that the world isn't an inviting place to live.
  • Creepy Cool Crosses: The man has a cross-shaped... gun? Staff? Something?
  • Egg McGuffin: It's empty... or is it?
  • Faceless Masses: The fishermen.
  • Flying Seafood Special: Giant flying coelacanth shadows, to be exact.
  • Gainax Ending: The girl apparently dies after losing her egg and becomes part of a spaceship (?) as the man looks on. But with her death, lots of eggs emerge from the water. The camera backs away, revealing that they were in an ark all along. The end.
  • Ghost City: The city is completely deserted, save for the two main characters, and the fishermen which may or may not be alive.
  • The Reveal: At the end of the movie, the camera pulls out slowly to show that the city is built on the capsized hull of Noah's Ark.
  • Scenery Porn: This is Yoshitaka Amano's and Mamoru Oshii's visual poem. With only about five minutes of dialog in its seventy minute run time the absolutely gorgeous visuals carry the film's elegant, surreal and poignant "narrative".
  • Silence Is Golden: There's less than a page of dialogue, and most of it is in one scene. The second line of dialogue is said a full 24 minutes into a 71 minute film.
  • Taken for Granite: The man says that everyone in Noah's Ark, which they are on, turned to stone. The fishermen might be part of it.

Alternative Title(s):

Angels Egg, Tenshi No Tamago, Ptitlegg1uuwqkpyr 6