Web Animation: Deathigner
is an animated short created in 2013 by animation students at the Taiwanese University of Art.
The short centres on the children of various embodiments of death from different cultures
being enrolled in a Death School. The parents – Osiris
, The Heibai Wuchang
(The Light and Dark Guardians of Impermanence), and The Grim Reaper
– are determined to see their kids – Anubis, the Heibai Kids, and Little Death. But Little Death does not seem to be so keen on his studies as his fellow students...
The short itself can be found here
This short contains examples of:
- Action Girl: The Light Impermanence and her daughter.
- Actual Pacifist: Little Death does not like watching bunnies getting killed.
- Adult Fear: After the students practice on bunnies, the teacher announces they'll be harvesting souls from a hospital. After a long montage demonstrating them practising soul harvesting. The teacher then harvests a soul from a body bag. Ghost Girl can't be much older than 13.
- Animal Motif:
- Anubis, of course, has the head of a jackal.
- The teacher's design is based off a vulture.
- Art Shift: Happens when showing the various psychopomps harvesting souls around the world.
- Badass Adorable:
- Little Death is easily the cutest and gentlest of the four students and ends up being a lot better at harvesting souls because of this.
- Anubis has the face of a puppy, but he can clearly kick some ass.
- Badass Moustache: Daddy Death has one.
- Barbie Doll Anatomy: Ghost Girl is naked, but it's not immediately obvious until she actually realises this.
- Bermuda Triangle: The site of Death School, presumably why there are so many disapperances in the area.
- Blade on a Stick: The Grim Reaper has his trademark scythe. Little Death has a sickle!
- Book Ends: The short starts with the parents harvesting the souls of the dead around the world by violently wresting them from their still-living bodies, and ends with Little Death travelling around the world, meeting ghosts, and cheering them up with new clothes.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Death School's students are all single-mindedly devoted to the practice of death and the harvesting of souls. Except Little Death, who likes knitting.
- Credits Montage: At the end, we see Little Death, travelling around the world, collecting the souls of the dead, and giving them pink clothes to sheer them up.
- Disturbed Doves: Lampshaded. When Little Death brings down his sickle on the bunny, the image cuts away to a flock of vultures fluttering away. The cause of this commotion? Little Death was making his bunny a ribbon!
- Don't Fear the Reaper: Little Death.
- Establishing Character Moment: Each student's introduction.
- Everybody Hates Hades: Aside from the protagonist, all of the psychopomps are completly, irredeemably evil, and soul harvesting is depicted as actual murder instead of simply gathering the souls of the dead. This is quite jarring when some of the psychopomps depicted - Anubis, for example - are some of the most benevolent gods in their respective mythologies.
- Everything's Better With Bunnies: The students practice harvesting souls on them... or, in Little Death's case, fashion cute ribbons for them.
- Face Little Death With Dignity: When Ghost Girl awakes to find she's dead, she's upset - then she realises she's naked, and seems to forget her dismay.
- Face Palm: Daddy Death's reaction to Little Death failing to harvest the bunny's soul is grabbing his hood and pulling it over his eye-sockets.
- Fluffy Cloud Heaven: Ghost Girl's eventual destination, as implied by the Pearly Gates.
- Generation Xerox: Played straight with Anubis and the Heibai Kids, averted by Little Death.
- Gory Discretion Shot: during the practice session with the bunnies.
- Kick the Dog: The teacher snaps the bunny's neck in front of Little Death.
- Lightning Bruiser: Anubis is pretty thickset, but can fly through the air with apparent agility.
- Mad Psychopomp's Adorable Son: Little Death.
- Mood Whiplash:
- Daddy Death, his eyes aflame, pulls back his dark robes to reveal... his cute little son, who falls over onto his butt and drops his ball of yarn.
- Instead of harvesting his bunny's soul, Little Death makes it a cute ribbon, and is really proud of his achievement! Then the teacher breaks the bunny's neck.
- My Eyes Are Up Here: Ghost Girl.
- Naked People Are Funny: Ghost Girl.
- Neck Snap: It's how the teacher takes out Little Death's bunny.
- Non-Action Guy: Little Death prefers knitting.
- Physical God: Most of the cast are figures from Chinese, European, and Egyptian mythology.
- Pintsized Powerhouse: Little Death's fellow students.
- Psychopomp: Daddy Death, Osiris, and the Heibai Wuchang. Their children are psychopomps-in-training
- Punny Name: Deathigner = Death + Designer.
- Real Psychopomps Wear Pink: Little Death wears a pink ribbon around his neck, and little pink popsocks! All the clothes he makes are also pink, and adorned with ribbons and a cute little smiley skull!
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Daddy Death invokes this, when introducing Little Death. Promptly averted, as Little Death is not intimidating at all.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Little Death, Anubis, Ghost Girl, the Heibai Kids, the bunnies...
- Secondary Sexual Characteristics: Ghost Girl hastily covers her bust when she realises she's naked.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: the Heibai Kids are introduced emerging from a Yin-Yang. In Chinese Mythology, the Light Impermanence harvests good souls, while the Dark Impermanence harvests evil souls.
- Simple Staff: Anubis wields one.
- The Grim Reaper: Daddy Death. Little Death is a smaller, cuter version of his dad.
- The Speechless: None of the characters speak, communicating mostly with facial expressions and a few noises.
- Sweat Drop: Daddy Death sports one as his son struggles to harvest his bunny's soul.
- This Is No Time for Knitting: While Anubis and the Heibai Kids start chasing Ghost Girl, Little Death takes a seat and literally begins knitting and sewing. Turns out he wanted to win Ghost Girl over with a dress. It worked.
- Those Two Guys: The Heibai Wuchang and their kids.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: All of the kids are implied to be this - even Little Death tries to be good at harvesting souls.