The Life of Guskou Budori

1080p | 720p

We continue our run by subbing another furry movie.

Also, I’m not entirely sure what this movie is even about. Ask Margaan.

Posted by herkz under Blue Menace, Releases | Permalink

14 Responses to “The Life of Guskou Budori”

  1. nx6 says:

    Is this the 1994 one or the 2012 one?

    • herkz says:


    • Margaan says:

      I have the 1994 one too, but it turns out it’s not really “animated”—it’s just storybook illustrations with narration. I couldn’t bring myself to force it onto any translators.

      • Name says:

        Eh? The 1994 one is animated. It’s also directed by Ryutaro Nakamura, the guy that directed Kino’s Journey, Colorful, and Serial Experiments Lain. So it must be good!

        Also, thanks for subbing this.

        • Margaan says:

          Yeah, Nakamura’s name was what made me pick up the 1994 DVD. You’re right—I just checked it again, and it is yet a THIRD version of the film, lightly animated and based on on an audio drama adaptation, that came out in 1996. I foolishly fell for misleading packaging.

          Sadly, the real Nakamura version has never been released on DVD, so unless someone wants to pay over ¥15,000 for a used VHS (that’s on Amazon; on Rakuten it’s going for ¥35,000!) we are highly unlikely to have any way to get a raw.

  2. rrr15 says:

    Snap! I was waiting so long, I even lost hope and thought that it was forgotten by everyone. And to think that it’s you guys, many thanks!

  3. Margaan says:

    It’s about blue cats, the contrareity of ambition, and saving the world with global warming (and volcanoes). It’s but a pale shadow of Night on the Galactic Railroad, but I wanted to do it because I have a thing for Miyazawa Kenji’s poetry. Thanks to BluWacky for the original translation.

    Also there is pant-soakingly terrifying stop-motion animation, which is always a plus in my book.

  4. Kouzeon says:

    Thanx for subbing this. Honestly I’m a bit confused of the plot. What happen to Guskou and Neri anyway?

  5. Margaan says:

    Sugii Gisaburou.

    Actually, as far as I’m concerned they both starved to death in the endless winter, and all the events after that are the febrile efforts of Budori’s dying mind to give his Life some sort of purpose (inspired by his teacher’s half-remembered Ame ni mo Makezu reading). That’d also explain why the science in the later parts of the story is so bad (it’s only at the level of Bodori’s schoolboy knowledge). But who knows? Maybe they really did inadvertently make contact with a weird alternate dimension. It’s up to you to decide.

    • BluWacky says:

      This sort of thing is why the film is something of a failure. The story is not supposed to be fantastic realism or metaphysical in any way – although the global warming stuff is “bad science” in that volcanic eruptions actually cool the atmosphere (I believe), the original story is all about the virtues of hard work and self-sacrifice. That’s why Ame ni mo Makezu SHOULD be relevant, because that kind of ascetic lifestyle is what Miyazawa aspired to and used Budori to represent.

      The film fairly clearly suggests that Neri is dead – I think for anyone who knows anything about Night on the Galactic Railroad, the railway fantasy sequence would make this clear. Of course, in the original story, she doesn’t die – although she’s still taken away from Budori, she grows up, gets married and lives a happy life caring for her family, so…

      I’m afraid I don’t know enough about Miyazawa’s work to know if there are more visual and literary allusions beyond those clear in the script. The trial sequence, for instance, and the imagery when Budori climbs the tower (the only place we see human characters in the film, I believe?), seem like they must have come from somewhere – but I just don’t know where.

  6. Kouzeon says:

    Thanx for the explanation. I had a vague guess about Neri’s death but none about Budori. These explain then ^^