Ringing Bell

1978 Japanese anime drama film

Ringing Bell is the 1978 Japanese anime adventure-drama short film adaption of the storybook of the same name written by Takashi Yanase. It is most notable by fans and critics as a family film which makes a sharp-sudden turn into a dark and violent (stylized and bloodless) story that criticises and reflects upon the theme of revenge. It is also recognized as one of the only Japanese shock films directed towards children and families.

Directed by Masami Hata. Produced by Shintaro Tsuji and Tsunemasa Hatano.

Narrator edit

  • Our young friend's name is Chirin. He has more energy than all the other lambs in the pasture put together. He wears a ringing bell around his neck, and although Chirin likes the sound, it is there to help his Mother find him if he gets lost... or fall if he doesn't watch where he is going.
  • When we are young, we don't know a lot of things. But the small amount of knowledge we do possess makes us happy. Knowing our home, our friends, how to get places, and maybe how to get back. The world is a strange new place; a great puzzle. Sights, sounds, and smells are it's pieces. We see things we know nothing about; things that surprise us, and sometimes sadden us. But as we explore and grow, the time comes when we learn; we learn about the world and we grow older.
  • Chirin couldn't understand what his mother had done to deserve dying at the hands of the Wolf King. What did any of the sheep do for that matter? But the Wolf still came and the sheep still died; helpless at the fangs of their enemy. Nature had been unfair to Chirin... and to his mother.
  • Chirin tried to tell the frightened sheep that he had once lived with in the meadow, but no one believed him. The creature they saw before them was not one of their kind. Chirin was neither wolf nor sheep, he was an animal which only caused fear and terror. He wouldn't find a home again with the sheep of his childhood; and without the Wolf, Chirin realized he had no home at all.
  • [final lines] The Snow fell for days without letting up, covering the ground with a smooth white blanket. Whatever happened on that mountain, whatever happened in that meadow, was covered up without a trace to remind those who had witnessed it. And later, some claimed to remember Chirin as a lamb, others said he was a spirit from the mountain. But they were too wrapped up with their own lives to worry about it for long. And one night during a terrible blizzard, the gentle sound of a bell was heard. But the sheep in the meadow never saw Chirin again.

Wolf edit

  • To turn out like this is the fate of every wolf. I always knew I would die in some feud, at the hands of someone stronger. But I'm glad that the one who did it was you.

Voice cast edit

Character Japanese voice actor English dubbing actor
Chirin Minori Matsushima (lamb)
Akira Kamiya (ram)
Barbara Goodson (lamb)
Gregg Berger (ram)
Wolf Seizō Katō as Woe Bill Capizzi as The Wolf King
Chirin's Mother Taeko Nakanishi Alexandra Kenworthy
Narrator Hitoshi Takagi Ron Gans

External links edit

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