“Saka Men” is a Dark and Wondrous Stop Motion Short Film

Have you ever heard of the term Saka Men? It relates to a legend involving the Shinto monks and something called a Shimenawa rope. This rope is supposed to act as the border between people that are alive and present in this world and the dead, which exist in another plane. In the legend involving the Shinto monks, the rope is frequently utilized to mark places that living individuals should stay away from. These areas are often considered haunted or are marked as taboo for some other reason. People are frequently cautioned to avoid these areas and if they enter, they’re doing so as their own risk. Frequently, the thing they are risking is there very soul.

This story is both frightening and compelling enough to get the attention of just about anyone. It is also the subject of a new stop motion horror animation created by Shigeru Okada, with the help of Tetsu Kawamura. The truth is, it’s a very unique type of animation. It’s not very often that someone makes the decision to create anything in an animated version that deals with subjects of this type. Most of the time, it’s simply avoided because a lot of people equate animation to something that attracts younger audiences. At the same time, they don’t necessarily consider these types of horror stories to be appropriate for people of that age, so it’s very rare that the two ever come together.

With that being said, these two individuals have done exactly that and they’ve done it very well. It gives them an opportunity to take the minds of individuals to places that they normally wouldn’t go. It’s almost like watching one of the most fascinating horror films that you’ve ever seen, yet it’s all done with stop motion animation. It puts an entirely different spin on things, but it doesn’t make the stories themselves any less compelling, or less frightening. That’s part of the magic of the entire project, and it’s largely what attracts people to it in such large numbers.

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