Sentai Filmworks hosted a one night screening of the new Anime shorts anthology SHORT PEACE last night at Alamo Drafthouse Mason Park in Katy, Texas. While turnout was less than a typical "Anime at the Alamo" night any given Tuesday, it was still a respectable crowd in attendence. The Sentai Filmworks promotional staff were on hand to introduce the film and did a short ticket drawing give away of 3 "grab bags" of goodies. I didn't get one, but it was fun to participate. Anyway, the run time was shorter than a typical "Anime at the Alamo" night as well, but only by a little. All the stories were very Japan-centric, so I didn't mind the sub-only nature of all of them. These were stories of wonder, whimsy, loss, tragedy, and ultimately the absurdity of war. The final story was worth the price of admission; It follows the story of an ill-fated squad of future Japanese Space Marines on a mop-up operation in a ruined city in a desert region. The visuals are so stunning in this piece it was a welcome reminder to me of why I love anime and what the medium is capable of in terms of artistic excellence. The other stories were quite good as well, and used very different styles of animation, but the last story I could probably watch over and over and not get bored. Besides being action-packed, it's also a darkly comedic commentary on the absurdity of war. The ending is tragi-comic; in other words, it's tragic, yet so absurd (and so very Bushido!) that it also provokes involuntary laughter from the audience.
This collection is not to be missed if it screens in a theater near you. Otherwise catch it on streaming or rental when it becomes available. I'd keep checking Anime Network for it if you want to watch it streaming legally. I recall that I rather enjoyed the earlier anthology MEMORIES, which I rented from my local Hastings Books & Records (remember those?) back in the day. SHORT PEACE is even better.