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Anime / Winter Days

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Winter Days (Fuyu no Hi) is an abstract anime Anthology Film. Released in 2003, it is a retelling of the collaborative poem of the same name by Matsuo Bashō. The film follows on the original poem's footsteps by also being a collaborative work: it's split into segments featuring the work of 35 different animators, including Yuri Norstein, Raoul Servais, Aleksandr Petrov, Břetislav Pojar, Mark Baker, Isao Takahata, Co Hoedeman and Kōji Yamamura. The film is directed by Kihachirō Kawamoto, who also provides two of the segments.

Winter Days contains examples of...

  • Animal Reaction Shot: Yoji Kuri's segment has a frog react to the couple's lovemaking by jumping into the water.
  • Annoying Arrows: The stray arrow in Masahiro Katayama's segment misses several potential targets, including a samurai who had already been pierced by hundreds of other arrows.
  • The Burlesque of Venus: Kōji Yamamura's segment features a young woman standing in the classic "Venus" pose surrounded by angels.
  • Deranged Animation: Veers into this at points. Some notable examples:
    • Noriko Morita's segment is animated in a very erratic manner, and features a woman being savagely attacked while the sounds of a crying baby ring in the background, as well as some Body Horror.
    • Katsushi Boda's segment features a man growing butterfly wings and fighting an Eldritch Abomination, and culminates with a train floating in space.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Katsushi Boda's segment features a giant monster. Although he is vaguely human-like, most of his body seems to be made out of pulsating tentacles.
  • Hat Damage: Both Masahiro Katayama and Mark Baker interpret this line of the original poem as this.
    "Now's the time!", releasing an arrow of resentment.
    • Masahiro Katayama's segment features a crook who is about to shoot someone with an arrow, but gets blinded by a reflection of the moonlight. The arrow misses his target and instead ends up piercing a monk's hat, who just smiles it off.
    • Mark Baker's segment features a bandit who gets the attention of a lumberjack he is planning to mug by shooting him with an arrow, which pierces his hat before landing on a nearby tree.
  • Karmic Death: The bandit in Mark Baker's segment is crushed to death by a falling tree while trying to retrieve the lumberjack's hat, which had stuck to the trunk by an arrow he had shot earlier.
  • Male Frontal Nudity: Mark Baker's segment is about a lumberjack who is mugged by a bandit, who demands everything he has on him, including his pants.
  • Medium Blending: The film's bread-and-butter. The various segments use hand-drawn animation, 3D animation, stop-motion, puppetry, cut-out animation, paint-on-glass animation, cel animation, pinscreen animation, and more.
  • Negative Continuity: Segments don't have any continuity between each other, focusing instead on providing visual spectacle.
  • No Ending: After the last segment is done, the film just ends abruptly.
  • Silence Is Golden: Outside of the reading of the original poem in-between segments, the film is completely devoid of dialogue.
  • Toilet Humour: Isao Takahata's segment is about an old man going to the toilet.