SIFF 2012: Tatsumi **1/2

By Dennis Hartley

(Originally posted on Digby’s Hullabaloo on June 2, 2012)

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It’s a toss-up. Tatsumi wins the trophy for either the worst date movie at SIFF this year…or the most depressing one. In his first animated feature, Singapore-based director Eric Khoo weaves biopic with omnibus to tell the life story and showcase the work of Japanese manga artist Yoshihiro Tatsumi, who was instrumental in the creation of an adult-themed sub-genre known as gekiga. Five of Tatsumi’s nihilistic (and unrelentingly misogynistic) gekiga tales are featured, broken up by vignettes adapted from his memoir, A Drifting Life. I was previously unaware of Tatsumi’s oeuvre, but his visual and narrative style reminded me of Creepy magazine (I went through a phase when I was 12). I assume that gekiga fans will enjoy, but otherwise…abandon hope, all ye who enter here.

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