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Cencoroll – Review February 17, 2010

Posted by Cello in Anime Reviews.
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Cencoroll tells the story of a town under attack by a mysterious monster, and a young girl named Yuki and a boy named Tetsu, who hold the secret to fighting back: a strange and even-more-mysterious pet called Cenco. When another Cenco user discovers Tetsu, the two will ultimately duel for control and dominance, involving the entire city as their battleground. What is a Cencoroll? Well, the only description given is large, mostly white amorphus creatures. Cenco here is special in a sense that he really adept at shapeshifting into many kinds of different yet useful things to blend into the surroundings. The fluidity of such scenes really shows the technical prowess that Uki has for understanding the amorphousness nature of his creature designs. It is an outstanding anime to behold. However, scene selection is incredibly unconventional, most likely due to it being an amateur work.

At a little under twenty seven minutes, barely a fraction of its theme is explored. Overall, Cencoroll could best be described as a winning idea burdened by a lack of design sense and questionable editing. There is not much to work with but it makes for a quick escape for the casual film watchers and just the right fix for the hardcore fans of the genre. I also don’t know whether the Yuki and Tetsu pairing should really be treated as a pairing since their relationship was just flimsy. Maybe, if they were given a little more time in order to develop the character of this short film, then maybe their paring would have been more convincing for the viewers.

Cencoroll is a quirky little anime that gives you a snapshot of what the genre is still capable of, given the appropriate resources and a little imagination. No doubt a weird story, but I really enjoyed it and while I was watching this I could not help but think that this would work really well as an actual series or at least a long film. Alas, I had to take the film at face value and it’s structured in a very straightforward manner, with the events following a tried and true formula. The way the film uses its assets is worth reproducing in future works, but Cencoroll lacks a life of its own.

Even more, it intentionally does not put forth a great effort to be overly dramatic and thematic. The combination of straightforward cinematography, a blunt protagonist, and weird mecha battles sounds right up my alley. I can’t find any faults in what it sets out to do although from a critics perspective I can rip this anime apart. It puts me at a bit of a crossroads because one of my major criticisms of this movie is that it leaves you wanting more since there are quite a few questions that went unanswered to make for a complete entity as a whole. That can either be a bad thing or a good thing. Yet there is so much wrapped up in this half hour; so much room for imagination and potential for future possibilities. I loved the two simultaneous extremes. Split decision down the middle stamped with an average final score, but it is only 27 minutes of your time…you could do worse.

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