Jellyfish Eyes

Director: Takashi Murakami
Year Released: 2013
Rating: 1.0

Feature film debut from prolific pop artist Murakami - he had previously directed a music video for Kanye West - that has pre-teen Masashi (Takuto Sueoka) move to another town with his widowed mother and find a pink-and-white creature sneaking around him that he calls "Jellyfish Boy," but it turns out the other kids have one of these strange "pets" as well (clearly inspired by Pokémon) ... and there are some cloaked figures hanging around the local university that are doing research into harnessing "negative energy" (... or something to that extent).  While many of Murakami's digital creations are cute (Luxor looks like a giant, protective puppy), this is strictly - and I can't emphasize this enough - for the little ones (even though there is a suicide): it's made in this after-school special kind of way, and the "acting" invokes more laughs than anything (naturally there's plenty of bullying the "new kid").  Despite its faults, I hope it doesn't deter anyone from going to see any of Murakami's sculptures or paintings in real life: if you enjoy Japanese animation and a liberal use of the color palette, he's a real treat (and if you've seen a Louis Vuitton handbag in the last twenty years, he worked on that, too).