Unbearable Unpleasantness of Midori – Shoujo Tsubaki
February 8, 2010
You can search all you like but you will never find an anime movie like Midori – Shoujo Tsubaki, a bizarre theatrical experience reserved only for the most sadistic and daring viewers. Not only did it take one person 5 years to animate the entire movie, the movie was ‘performed’ as an underground freak show, where people were given maps, giving them directions through a maze of eerie fogs, where one would arrive at an atmospheric screening room.
Interesting trivias aside, this is not the most important part about the movie. What is important is that, if you do plan to burn your eyes watch this film, it features extremely gory, disgusting and unbearably unpleasant images that you wish you didn’t see. If you don’t wish to witness a little girl horribly raped by a gang of freaks, or little puppies brutally deconstructed for amusement, stay far, far away from this movie.
The movie is actually an adaptation of an ero manga Mr. Arashi’s Amazing Freak Show by Maruo Suehiro and as such, unspeakably foul world of Midori is brought alive through Suehiro’s terrifyingly captivating style. The director remains faithful to the original manga’s form to every minute detail, which is evident in below screencap. Truly fearsome is its artistry in that we are drawn to the visuals despite their banal nature, making it harder for us to dismiss it as another freakish Japanese porn.
A good live-action counterpart to Midori would be Irreversible, a controversial film that won Palm d’Or at Cannes. A part of me died as I sat there watching Monica Bellucci being painfully raped for 9 minutes, not to mention unbearable horrors of the underground gay bar that we ‘tour’ through. And the inevitable question one may ask would be, why? Why watch it? Because Irreversible and Midori actually have beautiful moments. If it weren’t for those absolutely horrendous scenes, I wonder if the tragic kind of beauty depicted in Irreversible and Midori could have been fully appreciated. There is a memorable scene in Midori that I still cherish til this day. It’s when a little girl, after endless rape and abuse, miraculously meets a short magician and finds hope in her bleak life, all so naturally portrayed in beautiful drawings. But are they worth the unbearable unpleasantness? Unfortunately only you can answer that.