Genius Party Beyond

Made up of five short films not included in the original Genius Party anthology, this is a visually interesting but ultimately odd experience—and it’s not hard to see why none of these made the cut in the first compilation. All these shorts are either too simplistic—like the childish, cartoony style of Shinya Ohira’s “Wanwa” The Dog—or too absurdist, as in Koji Morimoto’s completely off-the-wall Dimension Bomb. None of the stories has the emotional impact or narrative coherence of any of the pieces in the original set—and this lot feels more randomly lumped together than the first series did. The only short that can be in any way recommended is the intricate, dusty steampunk world of Toujin Kit created by Tatsuyuki Tanaka, an animator who has been working in the genre since Akira.


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