1979-1990 Anime Primer
Robot Carnival (1987)
The concept behind Robot Carnival was to give some of the anime industry’s most talented animators the opportunity to direct their own works. The result was nine shorts that vary wildly in style and theme, but which all feature robots as a common thread.
Helmed by Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira), highlights of the anthology include: The pensive Presence, in which an inventor’s humanity is questioned by his own beautiful creation; Starlight Angel, which follows a cute teen girl’s romance in a robot-themed amusement park; Franken’s Gears, wherein a mad scientist’s attempts to bring a lightning-powered robot to life go catastrophically awry; and A Tale of Two Robots, a tongue-in-cheek farce about two rustic robots going mano e mano in 19th century Japan. The shorts, largely unvoiced, are backed by a delightful synthesizer score courtesy of Joe Hisaishi (Studio Ghibli).
Robot Carnival is now available for the first time on DVD in the West via Discotek!