Who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned game of hide-and-seek? You know the feeling, hiding behind cars and up in trees, trying desperately to cling to the freedoms of not being the dreaded “It.” Writer, director, and producer of KakuRenBo, Shuuhei Morita sure as hell doesn’t. KakuRenBo is based on Otokoyo, a game of hide-and-seek that takes place around ruins of an abandoned city. In this game, children wear fox masks and are said to mysteriously disappear at the hands of demons.
The short 25-minute movie follows a little boy named Hikora, who only joins the game in search of his sister Sorincha. Yaimao, Hikaro’s best friend, joins him in search for his sister. Early on, the duo run into a rag tag team of fellow hide-and-seekers. Noshiga is the leader of this pre-pubescent gang. He is cocky, arrogant, and everything else that you’d expect in a fearless leader. Tachiji is the group’s resident nerd. He comes fully equipped with glasses and a fluffy blonde afro. Suku is as tiny as he is feisty. He dons a red scarf designed for a large adult male and he rocks it into next year. Inmu and Yanku are the lovable twins that can only be summed up by calling them silent but deadly. Noshiga does nothing but boast about the fact that he is unafraid of demons, even though in this brand of hide-and-seek children always manage to disappear. In fact, demons appear just as the kids get split up. They are attacked just as quickly as they were brought together and then all hell breaks loose.
Almost everything about this story is awesome. The characters are great, the animation is smooth; it’s just creepy enough to keep you interested, and the twist might actually surprise you. I loved every minute of this movie. But that’s just it! There’s only 25 minutes of movie. All I could think after watching it was, “Where’s the next episode? I want more!” But there was no more to be had. Once I accepted that KakuRenBo is short I just went with it. It gets a full five out of five Nerdskulls from me and it is most certainly Nerdlocker Approved. If you’ve never seen it, you should. Good news is, you can pretty much find it anywhere, including YouTube. As a matter of fact, here’s part 1. It’s even dubbed in English for all you subtitle haters out there. Jazercise out!