Top 7 Japanese Independent Short Animations

Yes! My personal Top 7. Why 7? Because it’s lucky!

I’m a great fan of short things; short stories, short animations. They’re all opportunities to show a powerfully concise moving, touching, or just plain funny story. They require a special kind of skill to execute, and all the better when they’re visually unique!

I won’t say too much about each of these animations, or else I would be spoiling them. Needless to say, they mostly speak for themselves.

7. Takumi K. & Mayuko K. “Sarumomo”

Actually, this one is a little sad. Stories like this always make me cry… Yet, so sweet. Apparently there would be more parts to this, but I did not see them.

6. Hiroco Ichinose “ハピー / Ha・P”

Downright strange, and yet… I like it. I like it a lot. You know there is a story behind it. I also like the author’s description of it on its YouTube page.

5. Tannokojo “Wilderness”

I’m a real sucker for such fluid, conceptual action scenes. Leaves a lot up to interpretation.

4. Junichi Yamamoto “Hot-Blooded Alien”

He certainly is hot-blooded. There’s a strange mix of animation styles here, not to mention a strange mix of everything else. I like the ending especially.

3. Tomoyoshi Joko “Mr. Cloud and Mr. Rain”

Watching the title characters interact so fluidly (to make an obvious statement) is just so delightful. It’s kind of surreal, too. Many principles of what makes an enjoyable animation are present.

2. Hiroyasu Ishida “Fumiko’s Confession”

It’s a joy to look at, not to mention funny and adorable. I mentioned this in a post a while back, too.

1. Kousuke Sugimoto “The TV Show”

Yeah, it’s another one that I posted about a couple posts ago! It is one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen. I am not exaggerating. How all the scenes are juxtaposed with differing styles, yet come together and interact — I can’t even imagine how it was all conceived. Watch it. Watch it over. And over. And over again.

Runners Up

Fujio Tanabe’s “Fridges“; for me, it could have been benefited by a slight change of either music or pacing. I still love the animation and the feel of it.

Melody“, another one by Junichi Yamamoto. Sweet, if not a little long.

Tomoyoshi Joko’s “Lizard Planet” has surprisingly few views, too (probably because it is newish). Go watch it!

Designer, artist, author, comic enthusiast, and geek about visual design/video games/Japan/human rights. Among other things!

2 Replies to “Top 7 Japanese Independent Short Animations”

  1. […] enjoyed doing my past research for nice independent animations on the internet made by Japanese people. I should keep posting them from time to time. Here’s an adorable one I just saw, which is […]

  2. […] Top 7 Japanese Indie Short Animations […]