Director: Hiroshi Harada
Screenplay: Hiroshi Harada
(Voice) Cast: Minako Naka (as Midori); Norihiko Morishita (as Wonder Masanitsu); Keinosuke Okamoto (as Koijirô Arashi); Kazuyoshi Hayashi (as Akaza); Yoshifumi Nomura (as Muchisute)
A Night of a Thousand Horror (Movies) #41
A 1000 Anime Crossover
Abstract Spectrum: Grotesque; Psychotronic; Weird
Abstract Rating (High/Medium/Low/None): Low
Midori is an infamous work, an animated adaptation of Suehiro Maruo's ero-guro manga Mr. Arashi's Amazing Freak Show (1984), where a young girl finds herself trapped as part of a travelling carnival freak show in nineteen twenties Japan, created by one man, the former industry animator Hiroshi Harada who became an underground filmmaker. The result here of years of hard work is split into two divisive halves. The first is the most transgressive, responsible for this film's notorious reputation, a variety of horrifying yet lovingly drawn images of the worst in humanity, mainly still images with bursts of fluid movement, realistic but with incredibly detailed colour and exaggerated carnival characters with various bodily deformities and distinctions.
The bookending experimentation with surreal narration and the second half, when salvation is available for the heroine, is where Midori crosses into the abstract, a fully formed short length narrative which becomes more coherent and interesting but one which is immersed in the experimental style the film from the beginning has. From the dream sequences to the body horror to scenes such as a character called Wonder Masanitsu, a dwarf magician with mesmerizing abilities, causing a mass hallucinatory freak-out on an unsuspecting audience, the animation has a creepy, unreal tone added to by music by J. A. Seazer and Hiroshi Harada's expert craftsmanship as an animator.
For the full review of Midori, follow the link HERE.