Tenshi no Tamago (天使のたまご, Angel’s Egg) is a Japanese original video animation produced by Tokuma Shoten in 1985. It was a collaboration between popular artist Yoshitaka Amano and director Mamoru Oshii. It features very little spoken dialogue, and its sparse plot and visual style have led to it being described as an “animated painting”. In a desolate and dark world full of shadows, lives one little girl who seems to do nothing but collect water in jars and protect a large egg she carries everywhere. A mysterious man enters her life… and they discuss the world around them.
The story here is quite simple, and is presented very slowly. The main character does not hesitate to observe and admire her surroundings. The pacing has been complained about before, and I halfway agree with these complaints. On one hand, the extra-slow paced lingering shots may bore you, and on the other hand, they will create a lasting impression on you once you finish the film. It’s kind of a catch-22, which is rather unfortunate. The slow pacing is both good and bad. Angel’s Egg is a memorable, slow-paced, mesmerizing and beautiful film, and although somewhat ambiguous and confusing in its message, it will still stick with you and affect you. Whatever the message is. I felt that this film was expressed very sincerely, from the bottom of Mr. Oshii’s heart. He himself said he didn’t know what it meant. I got some allegorical and Biblical what-if’s out of it, as well as symbols of hope, future and loss of innocence. You may find something else. It is incredibly deep, and it’s not laid out for you.