With all of that in mind, we dive into the final part of the Memories film package. Cannon Fodder. A short directed and written by the main man himself, Katsuhiro Otomo. This film is honestly the most straight forward portion of this film package in a lot of ways. Mainly because it’s shorter and it has to dig into its themes and story a lot more up front then the others. No tricks or messing of conventions at all.
As the title proclaims, these are citizens living in a cannon fodder-ed society. We open the film with a boy and his mother arguing over normal things like tuition rates and studying with the father figure a bit later for breakfast. Fairly normal things. Except, this is only the start and there is a whole lot of not normal going on. Wonderful grounding though.
This short is a day in the life of a fascist society only focused on firing cannons and defeating an enemy. An enemy that no one knows. The son is studying about cannon fire in school while his father is living it. He is one of the loaders. Whenever the cannon is loaded, a fat officer shows up to fire it. No exceptions. At some point, the father fails and has to endure the cannon fire up close. Cannon fodder.
The established dream of the son looking forward to firing the cannon himself one day. Father figure says “you will understand one day”. It’s too late for him and kid as well. The news shows up to tell everyone they destroyed the enemy. An enemy that no one sees, but were told they were defeated anyway. The main message, man it must suck to be a part of this society. How worried this makes me about our current situation tells me how strong the writing and execution of it all is.
Cannon Fodder’s most interesting aspect is the art design. It looks like a children’s story book and transitions from one scene to another are so seamless and interesting. This aesthetic together with the idea behind this short creates some of the realistically scariest and thought provoking atmospheres in a while. I do favor Magnetic Rose, but this one is great as well. So yes, this is solid over all.