Dimension Bomb (2008) Review

AMVs are a fascinating combination of fan appreciation and artistic expression. They can be low quality collections of just a handful of scenes put to whatever song strikes the creators fancy or they can be derived from dozens of anime, tied together with original animation and accompanied by a song carefully and meticulously chosen. “Binary Overdrive” is one of the best AMVs I’ve ever seen. Its fantastic use of the images it pulls from as well as the editing of said material to the music really made it stand out. However, what drew me to it the most were the images themselves. Pulled from an anime I had never heard off, the animation and visual style were just so stunning that I imagined an epic story with dynamic characters and incredibly unique ideas. The anime, Dimension Bomb, is in reality a 20 minute surreal look into the thoughts of a heartbroken boy… or is it? Imagine if David Lynch took some antidepressants and moved to Japan and you’ve got a good idea of what this short film is like.

First and foremost, we need to talk about the animation. It’s fucking gorgeous. The visual style, character models and environments are all incredibly unique. The randomness of this dreamscape is portrayed beautifully here, even if a few of the symbols could have been tied a little more closely together. The film is originally part of the anthology Genius Party, or rather the sequel Genius Party Beyond, because it wasn’t completed in time. Well thank the lord for that, because many of the shots (especially when it kicks into slow motion) are pure eye candy and worth the extra effort. The soundtrack also deserves note since it accompanies what’s on the screen beautifully without distracting from it.

Now lets talk about the story… or lack thereof, as Dimension Bomb takes the approach of not telling you what’s going on as it flashes images in front of you. It’s a film that truly needs to be experienced rather then explained because a good number of interpretations can be pulled from it. For me it seems to be this: A boy who has felt like an outsider his whole life and who masks his true self finally meets a girl who likes him. She’s a bit strange but they have lots of good times together. One day she up and decides she doesn’t like him anymore and he can’t handle it so he buries all of his emotions, putting on the mask that she managed to pull off. Then he finds out that she’s leaving town and as he rushes to the train station on his busted up bike, all the emotions he had paw up to the surface. It’s a confusing mess of love and hate. In a single moment before he crashes his mind releases this emotion in a dream of sorts. He gets up and keeps going, only to crash again. It seems like the universe… like she… like he himself… don’t want him to get there and he’s left completely alone, but better for the experience. That’s my interpretation from the story, but really anything could be pulled from the plot I suppose. And maybe that’s its biggest detraction. That while it’s jumbled storytelling is unique and open to interpretation; it’s too open for anyone to gain any satisfaction from once they interpret it.

With its beautiful animation, well-placed soundtrack and unusual viewing experience Dimension Bomb is an anime to watch… a few times. It’s only 20 minutes long and for that short amount of time, it certainly packs a punch. Not only is this memorable, but it also makes good debate material for you and your friends. However, if you prefer a more straight forward story or aren’t a fan of analyzing your viewing material then… maybe you should just stick with the AMV instead.