March 12, 2015

Now, Our Two Paths

Asahi Productions (Studio Shiroishi in Miyagi) has released an anime short about the rebuilding efforts in Miyagi Prefecture, hard-hit by the 11 March 2011 Tohoku earthquake. It's in Japanese but otherwise easy enough to understand.

(View the larger screen version here.)

Ima, Futari no Michi ("Now, Our Two Paths") begins a decade or so ago with Jun and Kunpei discussing their futures (Jun becoming a doctor, Kunpei a fisherman), and then gives us snapshots of their lives over the four year since March 2011.

The dates at the bottom right are the year (Heisei notation) followed by the numerical month or season (winter: 冬 spring: 春 summer: 夏 fall: 秋 New Year's: 元旦). Heisei 23 is 2011 (subtract 12 to get the Gregorian year).

The spring of 2011 finds Jun back in Miyagi, completing her residency at a clinic near her home town. Kunpei is a farmer. The buildings at the 2:20 mark are prefabricated housing units, still home to 77,000 (out of 230,000 total displaced persons).

A more in-depth description here. From a critical perspective, I'm impressed at how much story can be condensed into five minutes (it is very much a story of moments).

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