The Strange Repetition of Immobility
by Beniamin Yazdani
A relatively young samurai man is standing immobile on one side of an empty area of dense forest trees which trees look greener and taller than they should be. We see him from the low angle and the glory of his height comes to our eyes more than what he is. He is wearing the traditional Japanese clothes of the samurai, and even the folds of the purple and blue fabric look immobile. It can be clearly recognized that the dress designer has gone to extremes and as if no matter how much fabric he or she uses, it doesn't make any difference in cost, he used the fabric needed for three dresses to prepare it. A relatively rough wind moves the masses of trees behind him, which are not clearly visible, but greener than they should look. In the strange repetition of the immobility of the samurai, the only movement of the purple cloth tied around his forehead can be seen.
On the other side of the same area without trees, which now seems so much wider than a few minutes ago, as if it is miles long, and you can even recognize the curvature of the earth's surface in its length, the evil warrior of the story who looks older than the samurai and has a deep wound under his left eye, is standing immobile too. He is a Ronin, who is the negative character of the story compared to the samurai. We see him from above as if he is a low person and far from the authenticity of Japanese traditions. He is wearing a red and black dress. The difference between the character of good and evil has not changed the excess of the dress designer in the use of fabric. But instead of the cloth tied around the samurai's forehead, Ronin wears a dark-colored helmet that the protective part of the nose continues from between his two eyes to the top of his lip, making his appearance more frightening.
That harsh wind does not blow towards the trees behind Ronin's head. The trees that, in a strange move, the director decided to be very dark orange. Of course, this color difference in the trees on the two sides of the area can be justified by the fact that the time of the incident is late summer or early autumn, and the forest on the colder side has started to turn yellow and orange, and this is also due to the large length of the area which it was mentioned. In any case, whether you accept this color difference or not, it helps a lot in showing the difference in the two warriors' personalities.
The two men are staring at each other as if the war between them is beyond time and space. Moments pass that seem much longer than they should be, but they remain still. We hear the sound of Ronin's scratchy breaths. Then the sound of deep and calm samurai breaths. We see the editing of their images faster and shorter each time. Every time the image is cut between two men, we see a more closed view. The soundtrack, which was first played only with a Japanese 13-string koto instrument, is now mixed with the sound of an electric guitar, raising the tension of the situation moment by moment.
In a sudden action, the clouds quickly block the sunlight and it becomes dark everywhere and it starts raining. The sound of raindrops hitting the wooden scabbards of the Hattori Hanzo swords of the two warriors can be heard. The rain becomes more intense and the sound of its drops hitting the soil of the area and Ronin's hat can also be heard. The director thinks that he wishes he could convey the smell of the raindrops mixing with the soil. The rain changes direction from between the two warriors so that it hits both of their faces. It is as if a magic wand keeps the raindrops away from each other.
Finally, in a moment, Ronin stops the strange repetition of his immobility. He quickly pulls out his Hattori Hanzo sword from its red sheath and starts running towards the samurai with a continuous shout. The samurai also pulls out his sword from its black scabbard and starts running towards him with a drawn-out squawk. It is clear that the samurai's voice is thinner. One moment we see the samurai and another moment the Ronin running in the opposite direction so fast that the space behind them seems stretched. They are getting closer to each other moment by moment. Between the shots of them shouting and running towards each other, we see closed shots of their swords; The closer they are to each other, the longer the samurai sword and the wider the Ronin sword. The repeated shots of them running and shouting are over. Ronin, who is now more enraged, brings his sword forward. The samurai, whose eyes are now bigger, raises his sword higher. They get close to each other. The samurai jumps in the air and raises his sword above his head and prepares for the final blow from above to the opponent's head. Ronin bends his knees a little and moves his sword, which he holds in his right hand, to his left side, and it is clear that his kick will be something similar to the backhand movement of the racket in tennis, and he is ready to hit from below to the stomach of his opponent. One warrior in the air and the other on the ground, while staring at each other with anger and ready to strike, remain immobile. In the background, there are distinct red and green thick trees. Unlike the warriors, they are not immobile, and the wind that gets stronger and blows from the green trees to the red trees, shakes them violently. Bigger drops of rain, now faster and more intense, fall on the samurai's back. He is still in the air, immobile, facing the warrior on the ground. Rain falls on Ronin's face as he raises his head and looks at the other warrior. Music has reached its peak. The director's eyes sparkle. The immobility of the warriors also takes longer than it should. We hear their voices, as if you are accompanying their thoughts at that moment. They usually speak Japanese and we don't understand what they are saying. But it can be understood that the samurai is talking about revenge and that he finally wants to carry out his revenge which is a food that should be served cold. On the other hand, it is possible that Ronin is saying something about how he will kill him just as he killed the previous person whom the samurai wants to avenge.
The sound of a sword strike is heard in the darkness. A ray of light fills the space and then the scene becomes dark again. A moment later, everything lights up. The wind is not blowing anymore. The rain has stopped and the clouds are quickly moving away. It seems that wind and rain and even climate changes in the region are ridiculous to them. The music has become calmer, but the drawn notes of the electric guitar evoke cold revenge suspense. Ronin and samurai are standing back to back at a distance of a few yards. Again caught in the strange repetition of their immobility. Ronin is still holding his sword up and staring at a point above the horizon. The samurai is holding his sword at a 45 degrees angle to the ground, exactly the angle the director wanted. He is also standing immobile and staring at a point lower than the horizon. Again, their moments of being immobile lasted longer than it should have. A drop of blood drips from one of the swords to the ground. We see the closed shot of the drop of blood falling on the wet soil and turning the water and soil around it red. Ronin's hand trembles and his eyes widen and his sword falls from his hand. The sword falls to the ground in a slow motion, while in the background, we see the back of the samurai's head, who is still staring immobile at the horizon. A moment later, Ronin falls to the ground. He falls on his back on the ground and his eyelids tremble and his eyes are closed forever. Now one of the characters comes to the strange repetition of absolute immobility. The samurai moves. He looks at his Hattori Hanzo sword and says something in Japanese. It can be assumed that the sword belongs to the same person who carried out his revenge. He cleans it and puts it in its black sheath. He turns to Ronin, who is already dead and has the best condition for anime painters, and bows to him. He spends moments immobile in a bowing position. The director looks satisfied and says something to the anime artists in Japanese. Even though the painters are also Japanese, it's as if they don't understand what he is saying. He thanks the dress designer who actually did not use any fabric and leaves the room happily.
In general, these moments of immobility of the characters are the most convenient moments of advancing the story for anime painters. The directors also try to use these moments to raise the suspense and express the inner and mental conversations of the characters. Painters, directors and other production agents discuss and consult with each other on many issues in the making of anime. But all these conversations are done in Japanese and we don't understand them. But it can be guessed that even they themselves do not know whether the samurai, Ronin, and old Japanese really stood up after hitting their blows and waited motionless for the opponent to fall or not? But these were the moments that filled more time of the anime with less painting and this strange repetition of the immobility of the anime characters had permeated all the pillars and moments of their lives and the painters have an easier job.
Of course, these requests for comfort from the Japanese are unlikely. I wish we knew someone who knows Japanese; He would tell us the meaning of the dialogues and we would get to know about the talks of the director and the painters and we would ask him more about this strange repetition of immobility!