Every so often in my anime travels, I come across small length features that are basically glorified shorts. Not that there’s anything wrong with that as some of these tend to be quite a treat, like Sentai Filmworks’ Typhoon Noruda. If you like your anime to be short, sweet, and to the point, then you’ll want to get swept away by this typhoon of wonder.
Shuichi Azuma and Saijo Kunta are best friends, well they were until they have a falling out over one of them deciding to quit baseball which was the thing that brought them together as kids. While their small island gets ready for a festival, a mysterious and deadly typhoon begins to tear apart Japan while making its way there. To make things even more weird, a strange girl shows up at the school out of nowhere (and as with most anime, naked at that) who has something to do with the storm. It’s up to Shuichi and Saijo to put aside their differences and find out about the girl, the typhoon, and how they can stop it before it’s too late for them and world.
This anime was short (nearly 30 mins excluding the end credits) and to the point, something I wish a lot more of them would do. It’s one of those stories that if it had went on too long, it would become tiresome and boring, and former Studio Ghibli animator Yojiro Arai who makes his directorial debut here knows exactly how to keep things interesting. So I’m glad it just focused on the two friends, the girl, and the impending doom that’s coming to the island. Since the short film was released in 2015, everything comes in crisp and clear on this high definition Blu-ray that showcases the fluid animation and nicely detailed artwork. I was surprised that Sentai gave the option of both an English and original Japanese dub here, but it’s a welcomed addition and both audio tracks come in great.
The special features are pretty nice here, especially with the fun and amazing “Control Bear Wonder Garden” short. Here a young girl while out shopping with her mom stops to look at a store window that shows off a dress and a stuffed bear. She begins to imagine herself in the dress which in turn makes the bear come to life and take her on a magical adventure where she gets to fly in the air with other stuffed bears and help out a giant one who needs assistance. I thought this was a really cute and cool short as there’s no dialogue and it felt so much like a small Studio Ghibli film with the flying parts. Then for those who want to see how Typhoon Noruda came together, watch the director answer fan questions, and more behind the scenes goodness, you’re in luck as these features run for about two hours and make you feel like you’re in Japan with a backstage pass.
Typhoon Noruda is as short and to the point as it gets. It’s fun, touching, and interesting while keeping things nice and tidy with its length and storytelling. Everything looks and sounds great thanks to being a recent film on Blu-ray, and the special features are some of the best I’ve seen on an anime release. So if you’re looking for something short and different for your anime viewing time, you’ll want to get caught up in this typhoon of goodness.