As part of the BFI’s Anime Season, I managed to get an exclusive preview at loundraw’s film debut, after the director, having previously worked on projects such as I Want to Eat Your Pancreas and Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Story alongside a short Q&A.
Summer Ghost explores three teenagers named Aoi, Tomoya and Ryou, who are discovering an urban legend called the “Summer Ghost”. After showing up at a random field one day and lighting up their sparklers, they then see a ghost named Ayane, in which they began to ask random questions about her existence as a ghost and why she became a ghost.
Tomoya later gets closer to Ayane and begins to discover and learn about her existence and so with along with the others, realising their connection with their friendship in death, they begin on a mission to find Ayane.
Inspired by the director’s drawings and taking influence from classic anime films and his personal influences, Summer Ghost captures the classic essence of traditional drawn animation, where the less is more approach was heavily encouraged to give the classic look, whilst going against the current standards of animated perfection within the Japanese animation industry.
Whilst, the film could have made a huger impact, had it been a longer film with the heavy focus on the individual characters and its protagonist, it nonetheless doesn’t change the hard work, effort, and the emotional depth of the film in in terms of talking about topics that are very sensitive to people and society.
Overall, Summer Ghost is a beautiful, short film in which it captures our inner curiosity with death and the afterlife and the realisation of the fragility of living and mankind and enjoying as much time as you can within the ever so short life.