ANIMATION BREAKDOWN Halloween (feat. "Midori"!)

Step right up and feast your eyeballs, if you dare, upon one of the most grotesquely beautiful pieces of underground animation, and the ultimate antidote to mainstream anime. It’s the simple, twisted tale of an orphaned flower girl who’s taken in by circus freaks and horribly mistreated, until she meets a dwarf with a knack for escaping glass bottles and making people explode. Singlehandedly drawn and animated over five years by the impossibly dedicated artist Hiroshi Harada, this perverse masterwork was originally screened at secretive performance art happenings complete with pyrotechnics, live performances and raining cherry blossoms. Even without the live flourishes, it stands as a monumental work of transgressive independent animation, and a faithful adaptation of Suehiro Maruo’s infamous manga. Overflowing with gloriously lurid imagery and saturated with breaktaking detail, Midori is one of Japanese animation’s great white whales, for it remains banned in its home country, with its only film print having been confiscated and destroyed by customs in 1999. Made by and for social misfits, Midori begs to be discovered. Graphic, unsettling, gorgeous — and not on DVD either in the U.S. or Japan! Plus, preceeding animated short film TBA!
Dir. Hiroshi Harada, 1992, digital presentation, 56 min.

Watch our original trailer for “Midori”!