2008 in anime - #5: The Diary of Tortov Roddle

We're now approaching the end of 2008, and like I already mentioned in my previous post, people like to make lists and recall what the year brought them. CCY of Mega Megane Moé had an interesting idea last year, which is to blog about the 12 moments that you'll remember from the anime series you watched during the year. The idea is to post about one of them each day during the twelve days preceding Christmas, and is a nice way to spend some time revisiting the fond memories you have regarding the shows you watched.

Now, of course, it's too late for me to join in the 2008 edition of the project, but I love the concept nonetheless, and thus will have you suffer through a series of posts starting now and ending the 31th of december. Something like "The 5 moments in anime 2008" if you will. And it probably will be more like "5 anime series" rather than "5 moments in anime", but whatever. Now that you're warned than my next 5 posts will be about anime, I can present you with my 5th favourite anime of the year : The Diary of Tortov Roddle.

This is one of the weirdest anime I've ever seen. The art style is very original, the format itself is uncommon - it's a collection of very short Flash animations - and overall the word that describes the adventures of Tortov Roddle best is "dreamy".

During the nine episodes, Tortov, the tall and very slender protagonist, travels with his trusted Dali-like pig and comes across many strange sights. From cities built on the back of giant frogs to rabbits taking a tramway to the moon, including people growing apples on their heads in a way that René Magritte probably would've liked, you'll never be able to guess what's next.

The show is for the most part a silent one. There's some background music of course, but it's more on the minimalistic side of thing, and you probably won't find yourself humming any melodies after your watching session. And as in "ye olde movies", the very scarce dialogs are presented in a written form, as if they were, well, written on the pages of the mysterious Tortov's diary.

The Diary of Tortov Roddle is undoubtedly one of the most creative and poetic anime around, and even without any real "plot", still manage to draw you in in a way many other shows can't. So it's no wonder that it finds itself in this list. Honestly, if you have any kind of artistic sensibility, you'll do yourself a favor by watching this. And it's not as if it was a long show... The whole series clocks in at about 30 minutes, so there. Go watch it ! As for me, it's time to close the pages of my own diary for now. I have to get a cup of coffee to wait for a fish that'll never appear again...


Pascale said...

A very aesthetic post. Totally makes me want to watch this. Thanks.

Grungi Ankhfire said...

You're welcome, that was the intended result. Now all you have to do is tell me WHEN you want to watch it. ^^