Pencil test for an animated short. Key animation created between 1999 and 2005. The project incorporates animation scenes and sequences from various tests that were edited together. Currently the project is back on the animation board. Working title, the Marathon Run.
Tokei Maru is an animated short based on an extraordinary human in history. A story that sounds like an old myth, a Japanese captain that places human life above all else.
He was the captain of the Japanese cargo ship Tokei or Tokai Maru and he was a man who took a great risk in order to save more than 800 people during the devastating fire that destroyed the Greek and Armenian quarters of the city of Smyrna, present-day Izmir, on the coast of Asia Minor in September of 1922. The Turkish army, who had gained control of the city a couple of days before the devastation started, tried to stop him. Bravely, the Captain defied them, threw his cargo in the sea, and continued the rescue mission that made him a legend.
As the ship enters the Gulf of Smyrna, the Turkish army enters the city. Witnessing this, the Captain is suddenly flooded with memories. We are transferred to the city of Kagoshima in Japan circa 1873; it's been ten years since the Bombardment of Satsuma that devastated the city, ten years since the British warships claimed his father's life.
As his ship is about to enter the Port of Smyrna, the British warships warn against it. The city is under siege and black smoke is visible in the horizon. The city is doomed and people try to flee from death by fire and the atrocities of the hostile army.