D’art Shtajio means to tackle the search for meaning in one’s life with their new short indie anime, The Doll. Released on December 27, 2017, this meditative effort peeks into the life of 54-year-old Ijiro after he loses his job. For over 30 years, he worked for Mikionics designing electronic dolls, a popular toy in the world of the story. Now, as he says in a somber tone, he has nothing but dolls.
We first reported on D’art Shtajio several months ago when they released the pilot for Indigo Ignited. Check out our thoughts here. That project took a more action-oriented approach and aimed itself at a teenage audience.
The Doll, on the other hand, has a steadier, quieter pace while still using animation to convey deeper meanings. In one segment, Ijiro tosses away broken dolls as he vents his bitterness over losing his job. This short spot stands out as an interesting visual representation of his feelings.
Get your life together, man
The doll itself, which makes a brief appearance at the end of the video, is actually the character on D’art Shatjio’s logo. That connection makes it clear that this is an extremely important and personal project for the studio.
We get only a very brief view into Ijiro’s situation with this two and a half minute clip. You’ll just have to wait for the second part for the complete story.
First Step: Electronic Dolls, Last Step: SkyNet
Founded by Henry Thurlow and Arthell Isom in 2016, D’art Shtajio remains the first animation studio run by foreigners in Japan. Since then, they’ve been following their own vision and creating indie anime projects they are passionate about. They’ve also recently done production work for the new anime series Record of Grancrest War, so their talent is being recognized in the anime world as well.
The Doll ends on a cliffhanger as Ijiro’s purpose begins to be reignited. We’ll have to wait for the second half to see how things play out.