5. The Dragon Dentist (TV)
Director: Kazuya Tsurumaki
Script: Ohtaro Maijo, Yoji Enokido
Character designer, animation director: Shuichi Iseki
Animation production: Khara
Why it's great: A war-ridden world where humans have made a pact with dragons, which are used as almighty tools of war in exchange for... dental hygiene? Quite the unique way to explore concepts such as our purpose in life, inevitability, death, and fate itself. The Dragon Dentist was originally the opening salvo for the Animator Expo project, an ambitious anthology of short films that allowed creators to put together ideas that would likely never have been funded otherwise. It’s no secret that director Sayo Yamamoto was testing ideas for the megahit Yuri on ICE when she helmed a skating music video, but studio Khara’s very own Kazuya Tsurumaki took a more direct approach and remade his original piece as a much longer, double TV special. The interesting themes of the original are kept, as well as its impressive sense of scale, wrapping it up with a sweet personal story and adding neat action sequences. There’s clear shades of Evangelion around the ending, aesthetic and otherwise, so it should also serve as a distraction if you’re getting tired of waiting for the next installment of Rebuild. Don’t get me wrong, though: this is definitely worth it on its own right.
Available on: Crunchyroll for many European countries, Blu-ray release available otherwise.