A hybrid between anime and European cartoons, Mutafukaz is a highly anticipated adaptation of Guillaume “Run” Renard’s webtoon based on his comic book. He and co-director Shoujiro Nishimi have created an animated feature that takes place in the armpit of a near-future L.A./New York-like city. In this unhappy microcosm, a group of squatters get messed up in a dangerous predicament involving men in black.
Right away from the first few sequences, there’s an incredible attention to detail. The sets, locations, and backgrounds carry lots of lines, textures and colors. Dizzying pans and camera angles lead us into the underworld with our foul-mouthed slacker antiheroes. Visually, everything works. There is a liquid sort of characteristic to the animation during dream sequences. The protagonists (and their habits) are a balance between ugly and cute. Unfortunately, the great visuals can’t disguise the feeling that maybe the creators tried to fit too much into one film. Still, for those who like fast-paced action, mysterious atmosphere with quirky characters, and just a hint of romance, it may be worth checking out.
Mutafukaz screens at TIFF (Tokyo International Film Festival) – TOHO Cinemas, Ropponii Hills, 9 pm, October 30th, 2017.