Japan Animator’s Expo started streaming their 15th animated short film, “Obake-chan”, last March 27, 2015. “Obake” means ghost in Japanese.
The short film is more than 9 minutes long and is composed of skits mostly featuring “Obake-chan”and her misadventures. Obake-chan is a young female ghost and most of the stories follow her as she encounters different people and tries to interact with them. Most of the scenes featured in the film have very little to do with the fact that the titular character is a ghost, and are mostly just simple and funny jokes narrated in a visual format.
The animation itself is nothing spectacular. It is simple but very nice to look at. What makes this piece unique is the presentation, the whole film itself appears like cute animated outlines moving on top of parchment paper. Obake-chan’s character design is reminiscent of Rei Ayanami, one of the female heroines of the popular anime franchise Neon Genesis Evangelion. This comes as no surprise since Japan Animator’s Expo is a joint project between Hideaki Anno’s Studio Khara (Rebuild of Evangelion Movies) and the media company Dwango.
Here are some more screenies from the short film:
One more interesting thing to note is that the film’s ending credits are shown to the tune of a cute version of “Komm, süsser Tod”, which means “Come, Sweet Death” in German. This song was played during the start of the Human Instrumentality Project in the movie “End Of Evangelion”, at which point the EVA Replicas started impaling themselves with their imitation copies of the Spear of Longinus. The ending credits show different “ghost pictures” taken in real life with Obake-chan appearing inconspicuously in the background.
The short film was directed by Shigeto Koyama (designer for Big Hero 6 and Gundam: G no Reconquista). Along with Koyama, Tsuyoshi Kusano (Title Design for Star Driver and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood) is credited for original work. Obake-chan’s technical director is Hiromi Wakabayashi (script writer for Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt).
You can watch the entire film here along with other short films from Japan Animator’s Expo.