Updated: Dec 17, 2019
I wanted to review a spirited animated gaming short that has been going around called Kaizo Trap. The short was created by YouTube artist Guy Collins, who reportedly stated that the creation of this project took 16 months. With that much time spent on this, it is true what they say that good things come to those who wait. If you have seen it, great! Watch it again! If you haven’t, WATCH IT! The title is clearly game ordinated as Google defines the name Kaizo Trap as a type of video game hope spot: The spot in the game where you have just finished a difficult challenge, such as defeating a boss, completing a level, or even winning the whole game.
This short film is hands down great! There are no words throughout the entire film and it makes it much more dramatic and completing. With a Kaizo Trap, our player has to find a way to resolve the task before completing their real goal. If they don't, their fate is inescapable after triggering the next step of the game and losing control of their avatar.
When watching this short for the 20th time, I wanted to reflect about the film as a whole and try to express what is was all about. Why did it go viral? What made it so good? Now I know that some people are just going to say that it was a good animated short and to not think so much into it, but come on! This is me and I am going to pick apart this film more than I should no matter what you say, so just listen.
So, here we go!
Our two main characters are never named within the film and therefore I felt that in order to describe them in detail, we should at least name them. We’ll call our female character Natsuki and our male character will be Toka.
Natsuki has found that Toka has disappeared after she surprises him with what looks like an old school Nintendo NES console from the 80’s. Following the disappearance of Toka, the Nintendo NES console system sucks her into it and she is transported to a video game based dimension.
Now that Natsuki is in this dimension she starts to “play” in order to find Toka. She dies within the game and comes back to the starting point. Seeing this, we witness her evolve throughout the levels as she improves and enhances. We can relate to this as we all do when we play any video game. The point of the film that had me was when she was blasted away from a version on Toka (Negative Toka) and was given the choice to continue back to the starting point or go home and leave Toka within the system.
As the time counts down, I asked myself the same thing. Would I continue or not? Than I thought, WHY in the hell would I ask myself this when watching this? What is Natsuki’s struggle all about? Does this short represent something more?
What if the disappearance of Toka it representing the truth that our society is too addicted with the technology we have produced? Toka being sucked into the game is a clear presentation of how you could see a loved one being drawn to obsess over a game. Now, we all know that there are people out there that can’t tell the difference between reality and fantasy. I understand why they choose the fantasy world over the real world. It’s nice to be in control of something and 9 out of 10 times their real job sucks. The struggle to get Toka back by Natsuki can clearly be how love ones try to help game addicts recover.
Or…..does this film signify the struggle for women gamers/nerds who are still looked down upon in this tribe of male geeks? Does it demonstrate that women do not need to be saved every time? Maybe… I am not a woman…. Not today at least…. I think. What I do know is women within our little geek world are not being taking seriously. This shows the truth that you don’t need a guy to be a hero. Women can do WHATEVER boys can do and most of the time can do it better. There are tons and tons are talented gamers, artists, and writers out there that are women and that shouldn’t be an issue. If it is an issue… you need to check yourself and get over it. Talent is not defined by gender, it is defined by what you can provide to the world by showing that you love what you are doing. We are all geeks in the end when Cthulhu devourers the world. Get over it!
Enough said about that. I will tell you what I really thought the film was all about and some may not be surprised by this coming from me.
It was about love, plain and simple.
Right off the bat, Natsuki affectionately greets Toka, gives him a gift then gets sucked into a video game dimension. She fights throughout countless levels of danger, dies (who knowns how many times), but when she was given the choice to quit, she chose to start over at the beginning, for him.
It makes you think; if you were her, would you continue or leave? Natsuki knew what she loved and it was Toka. Think about it, if you knew that the road ahead was going to be rough and dangerous (as most life can be), would you risk it for that one person? Would you be as strong as Natsuki and fight, or be as smart as Toka and recognize it? Would you do it all for love? Well this sappy writer can tell you without a doubt, I would. We should always strive to be that strong or that smart not only in our romantic relationships, but in all relationships
To close this review, I would say that Guy Collins did a brilliant job not only with the art, the timing, and music, but with the base storyline. He made you think about it and feel for our heroine. You cheered for her when she made that jump and you felt bad for her when she didn’t. You wanted to be there for her and all it took was 8 mins. Remember to laugh hard, create often and as Ed says be kind to each other!
Your Friendly Neighborhood Moose.