Anime: Twilight of the Cockroaches
Twilight of the Cockroaches
is a 1987 Hiroaki Yoshida-directed film once licensed by Streamline Pictures
A colony of cockroaches lives peacefully in lonely bachelor Seito's
apartment, as he suffers depression and lets his apartment become a mess. The cockroaches worship Seito as a god, and the crumbs he leaves out are like manna from heaven for them. Naomi, a sweet 19-year-old cockroach, is engaged to the nice but boring Ichiro. She'd rather have the exotic warrior hunter from another tribe, Hans. Naomi and the other cockroaches live affluently and like humans, eating crumbs out in the open in the lap of luxury while Seito sleeps and wastes away. The real threat comes when Seito brings home a girlfriend, who is disgusted by his messy apartment. She brings in pesticides and other poisons. Mass genocide of cockroaches is brought on by Seito's girlfriend's cleanliness. Crushings, charrings, and mutilations of the cockroaches occur. Death by spray can, rolled newspaper, vacuum cleaners, and a stomping boot are witnessed from the terrifying point of view of a cockroach. What the humans see as basic hygiene is a holocaust to the cockroaches, a point driven home by visual references to Hiroshima and Auschwitz. Naomi and the other cockroaches can't figure out why their god Seito has turned on them.
The film is an allegory for what could happen to affluent Japan if they don't live up to their international responsibilities. It has a small but growing Misaimed Fandom
reinterpreting it as the oppression of the Jews.
The film has had no DVD release, but was showed on Cartoon Network
often in The Nineties
. The VHS has been released, so you'll have to Keep Circulating the Tapes
Not to be confused with Grave of the Fireflies
Inspiration to the plot of the 1996 movie Joe's Apartment
Tropes featured in the film: