Yamakan's 3/11 charity anime: Blossom
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Pray for all living things
Blossom is a short, five minute anime dedicated to those who were lost and those who lived through the Japanese 2011 tsunami and earthquake. It’s a sweet and uplifting animated short about keeping going and staying hopeful.
I’m sure everyone remembers the disaster of the 2011 earthquake and the subsequent tsunami that wiped out homes, families, and lives in the area near Tokyo. The media were quick to show us shots of the destruction; torn motorways, flattened buildings, lost and glazy-eyed survivors. Having never lived through so much as a tremor, it’s hard for me to imagine how easy it is to lose everything in the blink of an eye but nevertheless I’m sure everyone was horrified by the scenes of the destruction. Disaster isn’t something new to anime. Tokyo Magnitude was one great anime depicting the after effect of an earthquake. Grave of the Fireflies was also a tragic movie, though of a very different kind of disaster. However, Blossom isn’t about the pain and struggle that comes after the wave but of something very different, though equally important. Blossom is about building anew.
Since hope is the theme of this anime, it was fitting that they decided to use plants as their motif. Actually, I’ve always been very impressed by the imperviousness of plant life. (Grass, for instance can re-grow in a matter of days after a forest fire has decimated everything, and when humanity is long gone grass will take over the streets and roads). Blossom shows the efforts of a man toiling hard every day to grow flowers in a disaster-struck area. “Don’t give up” is basically the message here, and it’s a message that applied to all hardships of life. And after years of toil, the plants finally grow.
The simplicity of this animate short is one of its charms. The animation style is like a child’s colouring book. Very fitting since childhood has always been another symbol of hope. There isn’t really a plot per say but a monologue voice-over about God and praying to God. Even if you’re not religious, I think that God as a metaphor for hope is something that we can all understand.
Incidentally, if you wish to help the survivors of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, Save the Children, Network for Good, and Global Giving are all devoted charities that will accept your donation.