“A boy overcomes the loss of his father through the encounter with the spirits of ancestor. The title is a Japanese pun, ‘KOI’ being the kind of fish used for the flag designs and ‘KOISHI (こいし)’ meaning ‘I miss you’.”
Grief, as so many of us regrettably know from firsthand experience, works itself out in ways none of us really see coming.
Far from following a clean and tidy “Five Stages of Grief” trajectory, it’s often messy, confusing, debilitating, five or more steps back before we take a faltering step or two forward, not something anyone can say behaves one way or another.
First year CalArts student, Hikari Toriumi has captured its astounding complexity and poignancy in his gorgeously-rendered anime short Koishi, which details how one little boy, awash in grief and unable to fully articulate what he’s feeling, deals with the loss of his father in the most remarkable of ways.
The film is heart-rendingly touching, visually engrossing, and emotionally-resonant in a powerful way that not even many feature films manage.
You can only hope that this remarkably talent student is given the chance to make such a film one day – what a marvel that will likely be.