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Puparia by Shingo Tamagawa

The dreamlike three-minute anime short took Tamagawa three years to produce and animate on his own.

Originally released in 2020, Shingo Tamagawa’s Puparia is an impressive-looking anime short that becomes all the more so once you know that he made it entirely on his own over the course of three years.

The three-minute short doesn’t have a storyline per se but rather, consists of several short vignettes depicting people in a surreal (post-apocalyptic?) world populated by bizarre creatures. While not exactly conventional, Puparia is an absolute flex for Tamagawa’s art and animation skills. (And the Steve Reich soundtrack only adds to the short’s effect.)

Given Puparia’s ambiguous nature, the reactions aren’t too surprising. The YouTube comments are filled with people waxing eloquent about the short, posting their interpretations of its visuals, sharing dreams, drawing comparisons to other anime titles, and so on.

Tamagawa — who has also worked on studio anime titles like Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, Mobile Suit Gundam Hathaway, and Tiger & Bunny the Movie: The Beginning — is apparently working on a followup to Puparia. In the meantime, he appeared in a documentary about Puparia in which he explains his intentions with the short and the years of effort that went into its production, and offers some thoughtful commentary on the animation industry as a whole.

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