Recruit Rhapsody (2012) – Maho Yoshida

Maho Yoshida’s sketchy animation offers a realistic portrayal of university student life for 3rd  and 4th year Japanese students in their competitive pursuit for a position in the rat-race.  For the student, these years are a mentally draining process as they will go job hunting, attend job fairs as well as study for their end of term exams. From my experience, the classroom can be quite a visual spectacle as the job hunters are decked out in conservative suits with hair short or in a girl’s case, pinned back and sitting among other students fashionably dressed and often with hair dyed. Yoshida makes clear visible references of conformity in style and character (i.e.  donning suits, smart black hair (not dyed) and the competitiveness and punctuality). Yoshida’s animation is kept pacey by theatrically dancing figures, scenes morphing from one to another and a bouncy soundtrack. The colors often being depressingly dark; black and purples dominate corporate imagery. The sketchy backgrounds and character expressions have given me some ideas for my project. For me, the most expressive scene is the dramatic use of black background with chalk like line figure drawing from 5:09-5:22. The depleted figure heavily  drags herself up from the ground. Very impressive and effective!

 

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