The earth shook. The sea roared. And then… There is a small house solitary standing by the seaside. A young girl has been living there alone since that fateful day.  […]

A very interesting story is behind what happens in PIGTAILS. With an amazing drawing style, sweet and peaceful colors, everything evolves around a lonely girl. We never hear the humans speaking, while are the everyday objects that argue, comment, reflect, confront the others. We are initially led to think that something destructive or catastrophic has happened, since the girl is isolated and it is suggested that her parents are dead. Periodically, a team of doctors with fully protective suits visit her, examine her health and then leave. That’s why we initially thought that she could have survived a nuclear attack or something dangerous of that kind. When the plots evolves, we instead learn that the place she lives in is closed behind a very tall wall and is called “the farm”: similar to Kazuo Ishiguro’s “Never let me go“, it is explained that some humans are used as replacement parts for other rich ones. So is the Pigtails-Girl a spare part? Did her parents die to mend someone else? It is possible. But Pigtails’ isolated life ends when she meets a boy working at the junkyard and the two spent time together: at the end, he discovers the truth and escapes, trying to make her leave too. While all her objects encourage her to leave, save herself and never come back, Pigtails arrives at the wall with the boy, ready to climb the ladder and escape. But, in the end, she decides to let herself fall in the garbage and goes back to her past life. What’s the meaning of this decision? She knows she is going to die soon. Does she feel like this is her true purpose? We can imagine that, as a bear toy told while talking to the pillow and the umbrella, she feels that her parts can be useful to mend something else.

And so this philosophic and maybe not totally clear to us short film ends. Beautifully, magically, unforgettably. What is true is, in fact, that Pigtails while being sweet and delicate in the drawing and coloring features, is strong in its meanings and plot and is difficult to forget.

Director: Yoshimi Itazu
Country: Japan
Year: 2015
Running time: 28