Kigeki (Comedy) is a short anime film produced in 2002 by Studio 4°C, and directed by Kazuto Nakazawa. It features two Schubert pieces, “Ave Maria” and “Erlkönig.”

In this dark fairy tale, a young girl, desperate to save her village from invading English soldiers, sets out in search of the legendary Black Swordsman, who accepts only rare books of a specific genre as payment.

The film is dark and atmospheric. The backgrounds are full of detail, and the composition of each scene is excellently done. The characters themselves lack any sort of detail, but the contrast of the simple characters and detailed background works well. The selection of Schubert’s pieces as the background music gives the anime a haunting feel. As a short film, the characters remain completely undeveloped, but they still have a sense of personality.  The story is narrated from the perspective of a young girl who witnessed the most secret aspects of the mysterious swordsman. She is fearless around the swordsman and even heckles him like he is an older brother.The English army’s design looks more at home in a science fiction film than a fairy tale, but they are certainly menacing! The short film captures the feel of a fairy tale on the order of Grimm’s fairy tales.