Robot Carnival

Robot Carnival is a Japanese Anime anthology with many elements of Clockpunk. Especially the following short (excerpted from Wikipedia is of much relevance to Clockpunk.

Presence: Directed by Yasuomi Umetsu. This segment (featuring dialogue) tells the story of a man who has an obsession with a robot girl he has been secretly constructing in an attempt to compensate for the lack of any close relationship with his wife and family. The setting seems to be British and of the early twentieth century, but also suggests another planet or a future which has attempted to re-establish a former social structure. When the robot takes on a personality of her own, far beyond what the man had programmed, he smashes her in a fit of panic, and leaves his secret laboratory for what he believes is the last time. Twenty years later, the man has a vision of his robot appearing before him, but then blowing up before he can take her hand. He returns to his shed to find the robot still sitting smashed in a corner, just as she had been left years earlier. Another twenty years elapse, and the robot appears again before the man. This time, he takes her hand and walks into the distance with her, before vanishing in front of his shocked wife.


4 Responses to “Robot Carnival”

  1. 1 Dr. Virgil Disgr4ce January 29, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    I’ve been a huge fan of Robot Carnival, and this piece in particular, ever since I saw it as a younger Dr. Disgr4ce on the Sci-Fi Channel. This and “Cloud” struck me as astonishingly beautiful and tragic in a subtle, hard-to-define way. Even the title sequences were kind of powerfully affecting/disturbing.

  2. 2 K Owusu February 6, 2008 at 12:00 am

    Thanks for the heads up on this. I have never seen it, but I love anime. Just checked it out on youtube, and the animation art looks amazing. Reminds me a little of Samurai Champloo, but obviously a different storyline and director. Are there any places you can watch it via streaming other than youtube?

  3. 3 zupakomputer March 28, 2008 at 7:29 am

    Love it; had a copy on videotape since sometime in the 90s and I was lucky enough to pick up a second hand DVD a few years ago.
    I’m sure there are more anime in the mech subgenre that are less cyberpunk and more on the vintage technology side.
    Possibly Geo Armour is of that kind, I’m going to have to go check !

    – reminds me of the long-running cartoon Around the World with Phileas Fogg, thinking about this subject. The one with a catchy theme tune where he was depicted as a lion.

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