The Nether Side: Cencoroll

I did not jump on Cencoroll‘s bandwagon. Back when it was announced in 2006 that the OVA would come out in 2007, I was already sold with the trailer I had seen back then. It still boggles me how Atsuya Uki was able to pull off being really just a ‘one-man show’ in releasing Cencoroll. He did everything from the writing to the animation, and the result was impressive taking that into account.


The short film came out sometime in October last year, near Halloween. I recall its release vividly because it was one of my best friends’ birthdays, and that friend of mine and I were both pining passionately for its release. Business with medicine and exams have prevented me from watching it: ironically, I was able to watch it recently because I was diagnosed with pneumonia.

There’s really little depth to be explored in Cencoroll. For my part, I think it was just Atsuya Uki showing his skill and talent in animation. The story is very simple: there are monsters that appear in a certain city, and people who control those monsters. A huge monster appears in the middle of the city causing alarm, while the controllers of those monsters pursue this huge monster for their benefit. One is more unscrupulous than the other, and among all this chaos is an inquisitive girl, Yuki, who is interested in these monsters as well.

It was brilliant as a short film, but clearly wanting in terms of character development and plot (as can be expected). As an ode to animation, however, it was majestic: Cenco was also very cute. For an excursion into the wonders of animation, I must recommend Cencoroll. There are other anime series and other anime movies that are more fulfilling, however, when it comes to story and characterization.

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5 Responses to “The Nether Side: Cencoroll”

  1. coburn Says:

    Nice to see this added to your archive thing. Cencoroll is very easy to develop a fondness for, even if it disappointed some people with its simplicity. And accordingly it seems to have some pretty nice fanart for a short. Its intriguing nature is probably not just to do with the great visuals but something in the writing too.

  2. Ryan A Says:

    Just watched, and was quite impressed. I can’t believe the creator did so much and so effectively, it’s quite an amazing feat. The characters and development was subtle, but I think I admire that about the work, yet it does well in introducing the setting and situation without over-specifying. Really cool stuff.

  3. Vendredi Says:

    One key thing that a lot of people noted back when Cencoroll came out was the usage of the word “Kaijuu” to refer to the creatures in the film – Cencoroll is very definitely situated in this legacy of giant-monster-attacking-Tokyo movies.

  4. Michael Says:


    Thanks. It is very easy to be fond of Cencoroll, indeed.

    Ryan A:

    I’m glad you liked it. It is good stuff.


    Yes! 🙂

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