902. Cencoroll – Atsuya Uki

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SUMMARY: In a town where large, white monsters have begun to appear, high school student Tetsu keeps one such creature named Cenco, who he controls through telepathy.

WHY IT’S HERE: An independent anime that was almost singlehandedly designed, directed, written and animated by Atsuya Uki, ‘Cencoroll’ is an interesting half-hour adventure which touches on several anime staples such as strange monsters and city battles but does so with an intriguing nonchalance which makes it stand out from inferior examples. ‘Cencoroll’ follows the story of Tetsu, a serious high-school student who keeps an amorphous, shape-shifting monster whom he controls by telepathy. His secret is discovered first by Yuki, a curious and persistent young girl and then by Shu, a fellow monster-owner who wants Cenco for himself. The story unfolds fairly predictably but without histrionics and its measured approach makes it infinitely more watchable than many of its raucous, showy equivalents. The impressive fact that it was created almost single-handedly also makes ‘Cencoroll’ worthy of special note. Uki’s work, particular the wonderful designs, is as strong as that of many established anime artists. While his storytelling could use a little development, Yuki is a great, inspiringly independent character who stands out from the animated cast.

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