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An Incredible Stop-Motion Animation of a Samurai Fight

Not going to bury the lede here: this is a straight-up masterpiece and maybe the best thing I’ve seen all week. Hidari is a stop-motion animation of an inventive fight sequence between a lone warrior/craftsman and a boss & his minions. The vibe of the animation is at once halting and buttery smooth, a combination that’s wonderfully expressive. Directed by Masashi Kawamura, the plan is to turn this into a feature-length film:

This is a pilot version of the stop-motion samurai film that tells the story of “Jingoro Hidari,” a legendary Edo-era craftsman. All the characters are made by wood and animated frame by frame, just like how Jingoro’s wooden sculptures came to life in his many anecdotes. We hope you enjoy this film, which mixes dynamic actions as seen in Japanimation, and the rich analog expressions of stop-motion animation.

Our intention is to use this pilot film as a starting point to create a full length feature film. We have started activities to raise the necessary partners and funding to achieve this goal.

Take my money! (P.S. Turn on subtitles if you don’t speak Japanese. Oh, and here’s a behind-the-scenes look at how they did the animation.)