HYPERSONIC Music Club: The Lost Anime Short, Explained

After a 7-minute anime short was recently unearthed, the work has come to commemorate the life of its late director, Osamu Kobayashi.

Highlights

  • Hypersonic Music Club is a 7-minute short film that was the final released work of animator Osamu Kobayashi, who tragically passed away in 2021.
  • The film is based on a comic created by Patrick Macias and was released online through TokyoScope, delving into its production and the staff members involved.
  • The story is set in a futuristic world where music is illegal, and follows a group of cyborg teens who have a secret music club but encounter extradimensional demons.

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Some say that things never truly disappear in the modern world, but it’s disheartening how many pieces of media are lost to time simply because they were never saved, or a license ran out. Recognizing that unfortunate truth makes it all the more meaningful when projects that never saw the light of day suddenly pop up out of nowhere; such is the tale of Hypersonic Music Club.

This 7-minute short film was directed and written by Osamu Kobayashi, an animator, illustrator, and all-around industry icon whose name can be found throughout the annals of anime history. The short was created in 2017 but never got released, and unfortunately, after a battle with cancer, Kobayashi passed away on April 6, 2021, making this now-public ONA his final released work.

Who Was Osamu Kobayashi?

director-osamu-kobayashi

Hypersonic Music Club was released online through TokyoScope, a blog run by Patrick Macias, who created the comic upon which the short film was based. In his post where he unveiled the long-lost anime, he delved into its production, the staff members who were a part of the project, and his experience working with Kobayashi personally.

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I feel fortunate to have spent time with him while he worked on this anime. He was a young-at-heart music fanatic, which made him the perfect choice to adapt “HYPERSONIC” into what it became.

– TokyoScope, August 1, 2023

The dog and band from Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad hanging out on an empty road

Kobayashi is perhaps most famous for his work on Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad, a 2004 coming-of-age drama from Studio Madhouse about the highs and lows of a rock band. It was an inspired, inspiring, and eclectic celebration of rock music, expressed through an understated, realistic style that, while perhaps showing its age, still feels raw and powerful.

His style really comes out in character dramas like Beck, which thrive on realistic backgrounds and character art that captures realism through highly expressive character acting. Of course, he’s lent his style to plenty of individual episodes on other popular anime over the years, as well. His work on Episode 4 of Gurren Lagann might have been controversial, but his 4 episodes of Naruto Shippuden (480-483) are often praised, despite being filler.

The episodes in question examine the major cast members as children in slower, more character-focused chapters where Kobayashi’s style of storytelling was the perfect fit. It’s the kind of arc that goes to show that not all filler is bad filler. Like some of the most fascinating figures in the industry, Kobayashi was a man of many talents, whose fingerprints could be found in almost every facet of the episodes to which he was attached.

What Is Hypersonic Music Club?

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Hypersonic Music Club is a proudly absurd and colorful sci-fi story set in a far-off future, in a school where music is illegal, much to the chagrin of the music-loving cyborg teens attending. When school is out, though, these kids go to a secret music club where they jam to their hearts’ content. But when Byrd, one of the club members, updates the sound system with some new tech, Val and her friends get some uninvited guests to the club.

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Extradimensional demons arrive in search of something called “The Mystery Frequency,” and Val’s friend Cosima is taken away to another dimension. Adding insult to injury, the club is found out by the administrators, and now Val has no idea how to save her friend. The short ends with Byrd having made a deal with the school administration in hopes that they can all go save Cosima, even if it means fighting the demons again.

The comic was one of Crunchyroll’s first original projects, a collaboration with artist MITSUME, and the anime short adapts the first and only chapter. There are creative liberties taken with the story and visuals, but for the most part, it remains faithful. In the same way, it is quite short. Yet, credit to Kobayashi and his team, they worked double time to create an enticing hook. It feels like a rapid-fire pilot for a series that never was.

What Is & Might Have Been

hypersonic-music-club-poster

Not much is known about why this project never got released prior to this year. Chapter 1 was released on Crunchyroll in 2015 and there was even a limited-edition merchandise line with designs by MITSUME. As of the time of writing, the first chapter is still listed, though Crunchyroll’s page for the chapter is mysteriously blank. It can still be read in full through an article on Crunchyroll News (linked below) or on Hypersonic Music Club‘s Tumblr page.

According to TokyoScope, the anime was produced in 2017, two years after the release of Chapter 1. Perhaps the anime was to serve as a means to gauge interest in a full series based on the original concept, or to get more attention on the comic. For whatever reason, Crunchyroll never continued with this project, leaving both the anime and its source material unfinished.

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There is much that remains unknown about the circumstances of this production, but thanks to TokyoScope unveiling this long-lost work, a lot of impressive names can now be tied to it. Takashi Mukouda, the animation director for 2021’s Inu-Oh, served as the animation director and character designer. The staff included animators like Mitsuo Iso, Yoshimichi Kameda, and Hisashi Mori, whose careers span everything from Ghost in the Shell to One Punch Man.

However, whether Hypersonic Music Club struck audiences as a passing oddity or a lost gem, the opportunity to reflect on the career of Osamu Kobayashi was the real gift from this discovery. With any luck, the buzz around this lost-and-found project will encourage fans to revisit his work and furthermore, to introduce even more people to an artist who deserves to be remembered.

Hypersonic Music Club is available to stream for free on TokyoScope’s blog.

Source: TokyoScope, Crunchyroll News

Fuente: successacademy.edu.vn
Categorías: Anime

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