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Anime / Meikyuu Monogatari

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Meikyū Monogatari (Labyrinth Tales) is an anime anthology film released in 1989. The film has three segments:

  • Labyrinth (directed by Rintaro): A girl and a cat wander through a surrealistic city and encounter a circus.
  • The Running Man (directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri): A race driver has telekinetic powers, which go out of control.
  • Construction Cancellation Order (directed by Katsuhiro Otomo): A robotic construction crew won't stop working on a cancelled project.

Streamline Pictures released an English-dubbed version under the title Neo-Tokyo. Later, ADV Films released a bilingual DVD with the Streamline dub, still titled Neo-Tokyo. Also, The Running Man was featured in one episode of Liquid Television (with a different English dub).


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Tropes:

  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The robots in the third section refuse to be shut down, even though the project has been cancelled and the individual units keep breaking down or exploding.
  • Alien Lunch: The meals the robots start giving Sugioka become increasingly made of things he can't eat (nuts, bolts, oil, small pieces of machinery...)
  • Axe-Crazy: Sugioka's experiences begin to wear down on his sanity
  • Art Shift: The segments have different styles, especially the first one, which makes use of squash-and-stretch animation not often used in anime.
  • Circus of Fear
  • Completely Different Title: "Neo-Tokyo". A Non-Indicative Name, since the film doesn't involve any New Neo City, nor does it have any connection to AKIRA except for Katsuhiro Otomo being the director of one segment. (Probably Streamline chose this title just for the sake of name recognition.)
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  • Cool Gate: A grandfather clock acts as a portal to the city in the first segment.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: "Trying to use logic against a never-ending tide of robotic "get-the-job-done" types should be pretty familiar to anyone who's ever worked for a big company, especially in Japan."
    • Robot #1 declares in its introduction speech that if the proper procedures are not followed then there will be chaos, even if the hierarchy is utterly nonsensical.
    • There's also the way that the robots work themselves to the point that they explode and robot #1 just decides to increase overtime.
    • What really makes Sugioka angry? The fact that the robots cost a lot, so being worked to the point of exploding is costing his company a lot of cash.
  • Framing Device: Sachi from the first segment watches the other two on a screen in the circus tent.
  • German Expressionism: An apparent influence on the art style of the first segment.
  • Gratuitous French: this first line in the Running Man: Un des hauts lieux du continental circus: la chicane assen qui precede, de quelques dizaines de metres, la ligne d'arrivee durant les premiers tours.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: Gymnopédie No. 1 by Satie, Chanson du Toréador by Bizet, and Morning Mood by Grieg (this one is used as a Standard Snippet for Mickey Mousing)
  • Salaryman: Sugioka from the third segment
  • Superpower Meltdown: This is pretty much the entire premise of the second segment. A race driver's telekinetic powers go out of control, killing all of his opponents and ultimately himself.
  • Surreal Horror: The first segment.


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