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REVIEW: On-Gaku: Our Sound




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Neko-sensei



Joined: 19 Jan 2007
Posts: 211
PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2020 9:24 pm Reply with quote
I loved, loved, loved this movie, for many of the reasons the review mentioned. I just can't think of any other film that has quite the cadence On-Gaku does—long stretches of dead silence punctuated by abrupt bursts of explosive, random noise. Inexplicably, it's charming and wholesomely wonderful in its ugliness, which is a fair description of the entire film.

I do have to complain again that, despite the misleading English Wikipedia article, a "mini theater" release no longer means that a film is only released in physically small independent theaters—it means exactly the same thing as the term "limited release" in the US. Many multiplexes have a screen or two to show mini theater releases, so movies listed on the mini theater charts are by no means only playing in indie cinemas. I saw On-Gaku twice, once in my local arthouse cinema and once on literally the largest screen at the multiplex in the next town (not an experience I'll soon forget).
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Blackiris_
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Joined: 06 Sep 2013
Posts: 506
PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2020 2:27 pm Reply with quote
Excellent review, I wholeheartedly agree! It rarely happens these days that I watch an anime and truly feel like I’ve seen something new, but On-Gaku definitely gave me that feeling. It’s unlike anything I’ve watched so far and highly entertaining.

I did not count the lines, but I guess the whole movie only has about half or even a third of the typical amount of dialogue you’d expect in a movie of 70 minutes. I hope this inspires other directors to focus more on types of expression that don’t rely on speech so much. Especially modern anime is extremely intent on filling silence with dialogue, possibly to compensate for the limited animation & because consumers are conditioned to be weirded out by prolonged moments of silence. But On-Gaku proves that silence – including visual silence – can be used very successfully, especially for comedic timing. That definitely left an impression.
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