Enter the Pale Cocoon
I mentioned in my last post that I just started watching random anime; shows I have never heard of and shows that I would most likely ignore otherwise. In my game of anime roulette, I came across an OVA titled Pale Cocoon. Ok, so its not surprising that I chose this to watch if I’m going to be honest with myself and you, dear readers. It looked like it was about space and the future. I like science fiction and the unknown a space; perfect. I was also attracted to the fact that it was only 23 minutes and not another show I needed to invest myself into.
I really did not know what to expect as I generally don’t watch many OVAs and I’ve only seen one thing directed by Yasuhiro Yoshiura and that was Eve no Jikan a couple of years ago and is a must-watch. I don’t like putting spoilers in my posts but I don’t want this to sound like a Wiki post. If you’ve seen Eve no Jikan, Pale Cocoon is obviously older (2006 vs 2010) by its animation and visuals. Eve no Jikan is achingly beautifully animated and much more detailed. However, this is not to say Pale Cocoon is not detailed; its just not as beautiful which is probably purposeful as it has a very dystopian feel.
The viewer is introduced to only four characters; Ura, Riko, Yoko Yamaguchi, and an unnamed colleague of Ura. Ura, Riko, and the unnamed colleague all work in an underground colony which is the only place humans can live. It also seems quite cold where they live as they clothed in heavy layers. They all seem to suffer from depression as none have ever been above. They have never experienced the blue sky, greenery, or fresh air. You learn that they have been moving further and further down into the underground colony. The main character, Ura, throws himself into his work in the archive excavation department and dreams of a world lost and unknown to him; the fertile green of Earth.
He discovers a record that he is trynig to analyze which is a video of a Yoko Yamaguchi. He is obsessed wtih understanding it while his friend Riko wonders why he is so zealous at his job. She and his unnamed colleauge are tired of their daily grind. Their voices are flat and emotionless, fatigued. It is apparent that living in an underground colony is slowly draining them. The video of Yoko Yamaguchi leads Ura to do something he has not done before and apparently not many others. And this is where the surprise comes in at the end of this short film. One that should have been expected but it wasn’t for me. What I took from the film is what I always take from dystopian and apocalyptic films and books, humans really need to care more for our home. Any other option is undesirable.