October 22, 2015
Robot on the Road
Well, if you saw Ex Machina and are looking for some low-brow humor to cleanse the palate of all that high-brow pomposity, you'd have a hard time doing better than Robot on the Road.
This gorgeously drawn short also has a robot (obviously) with low and ulterior motives, and generous amounts of gratuitous nudity. But veteran animator Hiroyuki Okiura makes no bones about writing and directing what is basically a ten-minute long dirty joke.
Being up front about what you're up to and not pretending the subject matter is more than what it is always makes for better art. Robot on the Road is funnier (on purpose) and orders of magnitude more clever than the hundred long minutes of Ex Machina.
Writing a "good" dirty joke (or, for that matter, any run-of-the-mill episode in any run-of-the-mill police procedural) takes more talent that wallowing in the manipulative angst of unlikable people and their meaningless lives.
You can watch it here. (The second button from the bottom left turns on the subtitles; the button that says "Skip" skips the longish introduction.) One other thing: the subtitles don't reflect it, but the robot speaks bad Japanese with a worse American accent.
The website also has a slideshow of Okiura's enchanting production art designs, a rather jarring contrast with the juvenile nature of the story being told.