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Pigtails, Kick-Heart and Other Shorts Released in Collection on March 25

posted on by Andrew Osmond
Collection of five short films from Production I.G, released as Collectors and Standard Blu-ray/DVD editions

Anime Limited has confirmed details of its upcoming short film collection entitled Pigtails and Other Short Films from Production I.G. It will be released on March 25, both as a Collectors Blu-ray/DVD and a standard Blu-ray/DVD and will include the following short films: Pigtails, Kick-Heart (which was directed by Masaaki Yuasa), Li'l Spider Girl (Wasurenagumo), Drawer Hobs and OVAL X OVER (which was directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi). Details of the films are below.

All the films are subtitled-only. The Collectors Edition will be exclusively available from the AllTheAnime website, which will be available at a discount price until February 14. It will include two books: a 156-page Pigtails Storyboard book, including comments from director Yoshimi Itazu translated into English, and a 140-page Material Archive Book, which has sections on each of the five films.

Pigtails, pictured above, has won multiple awards, including the Diamond Award in the Animated Film category at the 2016 California Film Awards. The 28-minute animation was directed by Yoshimi Itazu (Miss Hokusai chief animation director), his directorial debut.

Production I.G describes the short:

The earth shook. The sea roared. And then... There is a small house solitary standing by the seaside. A pigtail-braided girl is living there alone since that day. Mail is no longer delivered, but even this morning, she's hanging out the laundry as usual.

The short made its international debut in April 2016 at the WorldFest Houston International Film Festival, where it won the Platinum Remi Award in the Classic Cel Animation Category. The 20th annual Fantasia International Film Festival also screened the short from July-August 2016 in Montreal. The film screened at the New York Japan CineFest event on June 2.

Kyō's original Mitsuami no Kami-sama manga is a reflection of Kyō's personal feelings toward the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami, although it is never explicitly stated in the story, out of consideration for those affected by the disaster.

Masaaki Yuasa and Production I.G's crowd-funded animated short film Kick-Heart premiered in Tokyo in May 2017. The film was also screened at Anime Expo, and then screened at 2017's Montreal's Fantasia International Film Festival, where it won Best Animated Short Film. Anime Limited describes the film as follows:

Kick-Heart is a love story between Romeo, a successful pro-wrestler, and Juliet, a nun who lives a secret double-life as a female pro-wrestler. Romeo's secret is that he enjoys taking a beating in the ring, while Juliet feels invigorated when facing her opponents as a wrestler. When the two meet in the ring, the fireworks fly. Their story is set in the colourful backdrop of the professional wrestling world. Will Juliet reveal her true identity to the one she loves? Will Romeo be able to share his secret to the world?

Li'l Spider Girl (Wasurenagumo) was a segment from the 2012 Anime Mirai project, which was shown in Japan from March that year. Anime Limited describes it as follows:

Everything started from an old book telling the story of an expert yin-yang master who defeated a giant spider in ancient times. Antique book dealer Amane Suzuri, who is trying to sell the book in order to pay the rent, would have never imagined that after reading this story to Mizuki, the building owner's young nephew, he could find himself face-to-face with a scared, twenty-centimeter-tall, eight-legged baby arachnid girl. And she's the sweetest thing in the world… or not?

Drawer Hobs was created as part of the Young Animators Fostering Project in 2010, and was the director debut of Kazuchika Kise (Ghost in the Shell Arise.) Anime Limited describes the film:

Noeru is a young woman with an uninteresting job who lives alone in an ageing apartment in a big city. One day, without notice, her mother sends her an old and bulky chest of drawers. That night, as Noeru comes back from work, she finds a chubby little boy sitting on the floor and peacefully munching a pack of rice crackers. The next morning, she wakes up at the delicious smell of breakfast waiting for her on the table… but she does not recall of having cooked any. And isn't the kitchen all clean and tidy instead of the usual mess. And aren't there two weird kids in her room now?

Noeru has just met the Drawer Hobs… but who are they, and why on earth are they in her apartment, anyway?

Hiroyuki Imaishi's OVAL X OVER was a promotional animation for the Bridgestone Indy Japan 300 Mile race. Anime Limited describes it as follows:

Burn is eager to defeat the champion, Earth, to overcome some past trauma. The glamorous Gravis is also after the championship. And there is Earth, the champion himself, who is waiting to face a challenger capable of defeating him. Each pilot skillfully exploits a variety of difficult driving techniques, and they run neck and neck in this car-action-filled animation. In fact, the three racers' destiny is bound by an accident occurred five years before…

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