[Eight] Five Minutes of Respite, Endless Night

animator expo endless night, sayo yamamoto endless night figure skating, anime figure skating endless night animator expo short by sayo yamamoto

Once, while alone in my room, I may have pantomimed a figure skating routine along with Sayo Yamamoto’s Endless Night.

Also, it may have been more than once.

endless night figure skating while watching television, animator expo endless night, sayo yamamoto endless night

Figure skating was something I put away come junior high school, along with many other things. Unlike stuffed animals (too childish), or a shell collection (too uncool), I left figure skating because there are only two choices when one reaches a certain age – either put all effort into figure skating, or leave it entirely. Soccer, the thought of playing a sport with my friends, and making an attempt at that whole “fitting in thing” overrode any sort of affinity I had cultivated for figure skating.

However, a bit later in junior high, I fell very ill and spent months at home. During this time, I ended up watching a lot of figure skating competitions, and would occasionally try to recreate or mimic their movements as I watched – partially out of boredom or feverish delusion, and partially due to missing it a bit.

Endless Night, a short by Sayo Yamamoto (Michiko to Hatchin and Lupin III: A Woman Called Fujiko Mine) for Animator Expo, portrays a figure skater growing up watching another skater on television. All he thinks about is skating, shown in the near-five minutes of constant, non-stop figure skating animation – 30 seconds longer than a long program – throughout. He skates in front of the television, he skates to school, in class, on the train. Through a series of seamless transitions, we watch as he grows older and hones his craft until the final scene, where he completes a professional program at the highest level.

endless night animator expo sayo yamamoto, sayo yamamoto animator expo short endless night figure skating

Since Endless Night‘s debut, when I’m feeling particularly exhausted, sick, or stressed, I sometimes put it on and get lost for five minutes. I don’t want to be a professional figure skater, and I certainly cannot execute even half of what I was taught properly, yet Endless Night is oddly comforting to me, like watching an old movie or television series.

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