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Spring and Chaos (2001)

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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Tokyopop Anime
Genre: Anime, Science Fiction , Anime Feature Films, Animation, Cel
Running Time: 57 min.
Languages: English, Japanese
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Korean, German
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This title is currently out of print.

Shoji Kawamori's Spring and Chaos is the tragic story of one of Japan's most beloved poets, Kenji Miyazawa. Born at the end of the 19th Century, Kenji, like many artists, did not receive recognition for his tremendous literary contributions until after his death at the tragically early age of 37. Spring and Chaos was originally released in Japan in 1996 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Miyazawa's birth in rural Iwate Prefecture. Originally titled Kenji no Haru, the project was a labor of love for director Shoji Kawamori (Macross, Escaflowne), Group TAC (Street Fighter II The Movie), and TV Iwate. Spring and Chaos tells the story of Kenji's tragically short life and his struggle to be true to his art and himself.

Special Features:

  • Exclusive Interviews with Shoji Kawamori (Writer/Director) and Atsumi Tashiro (Sound Director/Producer)
  • Art Gallery

GreenCine Member Reviews

Gorgeous visual poem of Miyazawa's world by hneline1 February 26, 2003 - 11:01 PM PST
8 out of 9 members found this review helpful
Spring and Chaos (Ihatov no genso, Kenji no haru) is a beautiful, made-for-tv animation special of the life of Kenji Miyazawa (1896-1933), the famous Japanese poet and writer. Director Shoji Kawamori (Macross, Arjuna, Escaflowne) creates an almost surreal retelling of the most creative period of Miyazawa's life, when he was a schoolteacher, geologist and agriculturalist in his rural hometown. Kawamori combines numerous animation techniques ranging from traditional cell to 3D CG to pastel scribbles in an attempt to capture Miyazawa's worldview -- although the characters act Japanese and the environment is Japanese, the style reminds me of more Western abstract animation where scenes can metamorph into dream imagery without warning.

This is a biography that conveys themes and feelings more than plot and factoids. If you aren't familiar with Miyazawa and his works, I highly suggest that you read a few blurbs about him first (there are plenty of sites on the web). Otherwise, many things probably won't make sense -- what's happening with his sister, his relationship with his father, what he's doing with his notebook, the montage of story images. The strength of this film is in creating a gorgeous visual poem of Miyazawa's world, and I think you'll appreciate the imagery more if you know at least a few references (for example, the trains bursting up from the fields to climb into the starry sky refers to his short story, Night on the Galactic Railroad).

This disk contains some insightful interviews with Director Kawamori and Sound Director Atsumi Tashiro. There is a very short English-language "intro" which shows photographs from Miyazawa's life. Also, I like the Japanese audio more than the English dub -- it's more powerful to read the translated poetry subbed while listening to the actual Japanese words, rather than listening to a badly performed English dubbing.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.16)
31 Votes
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