Ihatov Gensou: Kenji no Haru

Title:Ihatov Gensou: Kenji no Haru
Kenji's Spring
Spring and Chaos
イーハトーブ幻想 Kenjiの春
Keywords: , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - Satelight
Original Concept - KAWAMORI Shouji
Set in the beginning of the 20th century Japan, the film follows the bright and eccentric Kenji from his late student years through his adulthood. Kenji suffers the tragedy of being an artist whose art isn't recognized during his lifetime. Based on the life of the author Kenji Miyazawa, the film depicts his brief but intense existence.
(Summary Courtesy of Anime News Network)

TV special which aired on December 14, 1996 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Japanese author Kenji Miyazawa's birth.
Animated by Group TAC, Satelight and TV IWATE.
The first anime title licensed for American video distribution by Tokyopop.
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Rent 8 9 8 8 8 Ggultra2764 [series:2607#1552]
Spring and Chaos is quite the unique little title, enough so where it might not be for everyone considering the themes, slow pace and experimental animation styles used in it. Made to commemorate the 100th anniversary of famous Japanese author Kenji Miyazawa, Spring and Chaos portrays the life of the struggling author as it was during the early part of the 20th century, with the characters portrayed as anthropomorphic cats as a homage to the 1985 anime film adaptation of his famous work, Night on the Galactic Railroad. While dramatizing on some elements of the author's short life, Spring and Chaos does do well in portraying the major elements of Miyazawa's life: his falling out with his father, coping with the terminal illness of his sister, his hands-on approach to teaching with his students, the poor sales of his written works while alive and struggling to help the peasant farmers of his hometown in the final years of his life.

The animation for Spring and Chaos is a bit diverse as it tends to mix around hand drawn and CG animation in depicting Miyazawa's life. CG animation is mostly used in the rendering of different types of scenery or to enhance the different types of surreal scenes that play out in Miyazawa's mind over the differing situations he encounters throughout this film. The scenes that play out in Shinji's mind make for the animation highlight in this TV special as they create surreal scenes that play out to depict how the author thinks of his surroundings compared to others around him such as the special's opening sequence where we see a train entering a tunnel of rotating gears, a grotesque scene where the entrails of a corpse are getting eaten by wild beasts and brief shots of deep inside a living being as its atoms are interacting violently with each other.

The music to Springs and Chaos is beautiful and unique, mixing European classical pieces, pop music and experimental tracks. They do quite well at complimenting the story and visuals to the special, and definitely do enough to stick out like the other mentioned elements.

If you are an animation enthusiast or fan of Japanese literature, then Spring and Chaos is a recommended watch. It effectively mixes CG and hand-drawn animation to depict the mind and life of Kenji Miyazawa, on top of portraying the major elements that effected the 36 years he lived. I give this TV special a strong Rent recommendation.

Last updated Saturday, September 01 2012. Created Saturday, September 01 2012.

Community Anime Reviews

anime mikomi org