Anime: Typhoon Noruda
Released By: Sentai Filmworks
Release Date: January 23, 2018
Retail Price: $19.98
What happens when you mix a blusterous typhoon, tension between friends, and an ominous girl with potential ties to impending disaster? You get the anime short Typhoon Noruda. Taking place on a tropical island, a deadly typhoon strikes and chaos ensues - resulting in a classroom of students ending up trapped at school to ride out the storm. Now this wouldn't be an anime without a little more tension and or drama, so the already bumpy relationships will be put to the test. Regardless of these present conflicts, the teens must come together and set aside all ill feelings as it becomes very evident that this storm isn't your standard bad weather.
What at first seems like a natural event that strikes, the intense winds, constant downpour and powerful lightning quickly prove that this is going to not only threaten the island, but potentially the world. The mysterious element of the animated short comes from a quiet girl of the same age as the class who appears and from the early stages of the storm, almost seems like there is potential correlation. Though nothing is truly known about the young girl, a boy named Shuichi Azuma takes an interest in her. For being a contained story as much as Typhoon Noruda is, the pre-existing dynamics and introduction of a force of nature aids the series in finding its footing almost immediately.
A major aspect of the narrative stems from a conflict of sorts between two best friends on the island (protagonist Shuichi Azuma and the more cautious Saijo Kunta.) The tension in part is a result of baseball - something that ignited passion for both but is equally crucial to their tight bond. Despite the introduction of the girl who in most series would divide a friendship, Saijo joins forces with Shuichi to help the person he cares about and casts his doubts or hesitations aside to show his devotion. On the flipside, the short also portrays the lead character in a rather selfish manner by his actions in regards to being blinded by the girl and doesn't put much thought into the fact that he has put someone he supposedly cares for at risk of danger.
The animation quality of Typhoon Noruda is a remarkable use of art. The captivating typhoon creates a stunning depiction of something so deadly that doubles as something truly beautiful. Even when their surroundings are being demolished Typhoon Noruda integrates the artistry that offers high quality images of the unique surroundings. It has select moments where fan-service is fully visible, but its strengths would have made for a fascinating series or film if only given more time to alter the bumps in the road. Typhoon Noruda isn't necessarily groundbreaking in comparison to films, shorts or other series, but can absolutely be enjoyed as a simple standalone that feels like experiencing a brief but life changing moment in time of a characters life.
Overall Score: 6/10