Cencoroll

Cencoroll DVD Atsuya Uki

Cencoroll Cenco swallows Yuki

Cencoroll is a short half hour film with a rather intriguing story, unique artistic direction, and a splash of randomness. Yuki accidentally discovers the secret of Cenco and Tetsu and gets caught up in a battle between monsters and their controllers.

Cencoroll characters monsters

This movie feels a lot like a one-shot manga. While the self-contained plot does seem abrupt and somewhat random, the world of Cencoroll and the “rules” of the monsters are soon understood. I was rather impressed by how well Cencoroll does this in such a limited time. Of course, there are still some loose ends and a few confusing details, but overall, this short movie is able to keep a coherent story and setting.

Cencoroll screenshots

The animation of Cencoroll is quite pleasant; the art takes a rather uncommon direction, a bit reminiscent of more detailed and cleaner cell shadings. The polished look of everything really makes watching this an unique experience and highlights the profound simplicity of the story. This seemingly ironic feeling is indeed something I really enjoyed about Cencoroll. It is a short light, self sustained story with a straightforward plot. Yet there is so much wrapped up in this half hour; so much room for imagination and potential for future possibilities. I loved the two simultaneous extremes. Watching this, I could enjoy it both as something light or as something involved, and can do so in harmony. The detailed minimalistic shading of the anime further complements this.

Cencoroll Rout 12 Yuki

Moreover, the ending sequence by ryo is really nice as well. I love this song.

Love & Roll composed by Supercell/ Ryo

Cencoroll Yuki Tetsu characters

The one thing lacking from Cencoroll is the character development. While the designs for the monsters were grotesquely lovely and the girls cute, their personalities were hardly defined. They fail at being even merely generic.

Cencoroll girls Yuki

Cencoroll Shiwasu

Still, I enjoyed watching Cencoroll. As a one shot, Cencoroll is perhaps what the pilot episode of Black Rock Shooter should have been like…

Screenshots stolen from Ningyo.

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35 Responses to Cencoroll

  1. Guy says:

    I kept seeing Cencoroll this, Cencoroll that, and I didn’t know why it seemed so familiar, yet so strange.

    Now I recall! I don’t know where, but I’ve heard of both Cencoroll and Summer Wars somewhere, maybe a short time after their release, maybe a short time before their release, and I was filled with wonderment.

    I’m not going to read anything that spoils it, and in fact, that’s why I didn’t read your post, or mefloraine’s in depth, for fear of spoilers, that no one (but me?) seems to tag their posts to warn others of😛

    Anyway, Cencoroll and Summer Wars seem out, and I will be getting them, and I will watch them. The scene where people cry in Summer Wars, along with not having the faintest idea what happens there intrigues me. Then again, some movies you are intrigued by the trailer and puzzled by the film, like Paprika, heh.

    It’s good to see that you enjoyed it, I did see that bit😀

  2. kluxorious says:

    I NEED to watch this SOON!

  3. lylibellule says:

    An anime just right for me : one episod it’s perfect. LoooL (in fact i can’t find the time to watch anime).

    I’m attracted by the monsters here they’re so cuuuute!

  4. One of the major criticisms of this movie is that it leaves you wanting more since there are quite a few questions that went unanswered to make for a complete entity as a whole. I really should give it a shot once I find some free time though since it looks interesting enough on the surface.

  5. Ningyo says:

    Gah! You got me again. I was staring at those screenshots for a very long time wondering where I’d seen them before >.>…

    Well, I’ve bashed Cencoroll enough. The fans’ll bury me if I say any more. Thanks for addressing the flaws as well as the good parts as well, that kept my blood pressure in check ^^

    “Still, I enjoyed watching Cencoroll. As a one shot, Cencoroll is perhaps what the pilot episode of Black Rock Shooter should have been like…”
    QFT!! ARGHBLARFJGIFGJSDGOF
    Ugh, looks like I still haven’t properly wiped that from my memory… Even this level of ambiguity would’ve made me worship the BRS pilot, but they just had to slit my wrists and feed me my own intestines like that ;-;…

    Really though, Love & Roll MADE the episode. Ryo makes me hard. Not many people can do that.
    Naw, I’m kidding. About the Not many people part.

  6. mefloraine says:

    @Guy Sorry, but my blog comes with spoilers attached unless I say otherwise. 😛

    This film was pretty much as you said. It’d be nice to see them do more with Cencoroll, but at the same time, I wouldn’t want to see it expanded too much.
    Character development isn’t key in short stories, so I personally didn’t find it surprising that there wasn’t much.

  7. shijima says:

    Thanks for the intro.
    I’ll have to check it out.
    I definitely like Supercell also since they did Bakemonogatari’s ED. =)

  8. rockleelotus says:

    i loved this! the art style and music is great and the story was interesting. i agree about the lack of character development though, it left me wanting to know more that for sure😄

  9. Sellers says:

    This simply seemed to outlandish for my tastes. I might still see it though. Sometime. Maybe.

  10. Jubbz says:

    I still haven’t gotten around to seeing Cencroll! but despite that, it’s amazing how this was all done by a single person…

  11. 2DT says:

    What amuses me now is how frequently fanartists depict that other girl hooking up with Shuu in some way, despite the fact that they’ve never ever met and have no reason to really like each other. I guess you only need twenty minutes to start a shipper fandom.

  12. Canne says:

    I think a one-shot shouldn’t be expected to have much character development.
    Oh, I just love those monsters! BTW, you’re back from Taiwan already?

  13. chii says:

    I agree that this felt like a one shot manga. I want MORE😀
    Like Canne I too loved those monsters.

  14. What Canne said. Also, more of Cencoroll is welcome!

  15. Yi says:

    @Guy: That’s the attitude I had before I watched Cencoroll. I didn’t read many people’s blog posts for fear of spoiling or affecting my impressions. Anyways, it’s definitely a good watch and a great way to kill 30 minutes.

    I need to watch Summer Wars.

    @kluxorious: Yep yep. It’s good.

    @lylibellule: I know! The monsters are so ugly, grotesque, and in some odd way, cute.

    @zzeroparticle: I think that is certainly a valid criticism. However, I appreciated the loose ends given the context of the short length and the feeling the anime is trying to get across. In fact, it feels quite a bit like FLCL to me in that this was simply a light series that started randomly and ended randomly, yet packs so much depth.

    @Ningyo: That’s Yi. Always stealing screenshots from you without your consent or knowledge. ^ ^
    All in all, I thought Cencoroll is quite nice. Listening to Love & Roll is actually what made me finally move this up on my watchlist. Love the song.

  16. Yi says:

    @mefloraine: I share your sentiments. In a lot of ways, this reminds me a lot of FLCL. I think something of that expansion and length would make Cencoroll really great.
    Character development is really hard even for a complete series or full length film, let alone a 30 minute animation. Still, it’d be nice.

    @shijima: I really like Supercell now too after listening to a lot of tracks.

    @rockleelotus: Yea. The length of Cencoroll is a double edged sword. On the one hand, it allows for a concentrated dose of amazing, but at the same time, character development is sacrificed. I would’ve liked to see more personality other than than the general apathy displayed.

    @Sellers: Give it a chance if you need to kill some time. I thought it was nice, but certainly a bit random.

    @Jubbz: I didn’t know a single person did this. That’s incredible!

  17. Yi says:

    @2DT: Yea I know! Looking for images on pixiv and boorus, I kept seeing that guy with that other girl (Forgot her name) to the point that I even thought they are indeed a pair… Fans are always desperate to make canon pairs. I do that a lot too.

    @Canne: Agreed. I wasn’t expecting character development, but it did kind of want it. The monsters are lovely! I like the really big one a lot because it’s just so awkwardly ugly.
    Anyway, I’m back from Taiwan. School is starting soon…*sigh*

    @chii: More would be nice. Too much would be bad.

    @ghostlightning: If more were to come, I hope the producers do not overdo it. I enjoyed the mysterious random feel this anime has. Anyway, if there were no more, I think that’s fine too.

  18. FaS says:

    Yeah…I’m wondering why’s it so popular, when it came out…and why in the hell haven’t I heard about it…? I’m always in the dust…-_-”

  19. Shin says:

    Someone to remind that I’ve not seen this!

  20. Blowfish says:

    I wouldnt really expect much character development in a one shit but the fact that the characters are rather “face-less” is a bit disappointing though.On the other hand how do you want to display a characters quirk in such a short time?

    Ill definately give this a try

  21. Reltair says:

    I think I heard the Cencoroll song on one of the Bakemonogatari CDs or something. Still need to get around to watching this.

  22. Yi says:

    @FaS: It was popular among some of the bloggers, but as a short film, I’m not sure if it was actually a major franchise.

    @Shin: No loli, no shota, no traps. Is this on your priority?

    @Blowfish: The slender bland character designs I actually thought were quite elegant, but without a personality, everyone does fall somewhat flat. Agreed though that it’s simply too much to ask.

    @Reltair: It might have been since Supercell/ ryo composed them.

  23. Katsura-chan says:

    Hello there🙂 Interesting review, never heard of this but usually i don’t watch short OAV. It looks nice though, i love the graphics and monsters look soooooo cuuuute.
    What’s cold me a bit is the characters devellopement:/ I guess it’s difficult to deepen a character in a short period of time but still …

  24. blur says:

    Everyone’s gay for Love and Roll. Almost?🙂

    I like the first picture, which really describes how the character in the anime are in a single shot.

    One looking sly and cunning.
    One looking blur and curious.
    Last on the right looking ready to rumble anytime.

  25. Yi says:

    @Katsura-chan: Despite the low character development, I thought the anime is actually really good. The monsters are really really cute!

    @blur: Seems like it. I certainly do love Love & Roll!
    Anyway, agreed about that first picture. ^ ^

  26. Akira says:

    Yea, I definitely check this anime out too. Since it’s short, have nice cool art, and it has a short one-shot plot. *added to my never completing anime list *

  27. Yi says:

    @Akira: The good thing about this is that it can clear off your anime list really quickly since it’s so short.

  28. I think I saw Ningyo’s post on Cencoroll and was intrigued that I went and search it out. Very good, but too short. I’d like to see more if possible. I like how throughout the whole thing, the girl (Yuki, I believe her name is?) is calm, cool and collected. Actually all the characters were calm, cool and collected, except for the antagonist.

  29. Yi says:

    @lightningsabre: I would’ve liked to see more as well. The characters felt a bit flat though… I thought that Cencoroll just did not have too much impact. Still, it was interesting and beautifully done.

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  32. Anya says:

    Half an hour? I seem to recall it being much more than that, since I remember complaining to my friends about how it wasted a lot of time from my life. I thought it was really boring, with like you said little to nonexistent character development. I actually didn’t like the straightforward plot, it seemed pointless and anticlimatic that when it ended I went “Wait, that’s it?”. It also felt like failed literature, as in a piece of literature with a message that failed to deliver it’s message. Or maybe it’s just me.

    • Yi says:

      I think it is only 30 minutes. The characters were sooo flat, and the story sort of just thrown together to some degree. True, it may not have a coherent message–or any message–but it did create a world and gave it some significance, I think. If only it made us care more about what happens… Well, at the very least, I thought it was a nice visual experience

  33. Yerocha says:

    This was a very pleasant watch. It’s good to know other people liked it too, and now I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who mixed up the main characters.

    • Yi says:

      I thought it was pretty decent too, but yea, the characters suffer a bit from both blandness and same-face. It was really hard to remember who was who, which is even more unforgivable given that there were only so few characters.

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