Year Released: 2014
Distributor: Anthill Productions
Running Time: 4 minutes
Rating/Recommended Audience: 13+
Related Films/Series: The Sim 2 (upcoming)
For Fans Of: Plaything, Ghost in the Shell, VR Troopers, Ultraviolet, Captain Marvel
-This film is streaming on YouTube .
-The Sim is the directorial debut of Eri Umusu who’s known for Plaything and The Adventures of Lola and Chuchu.
-Hilarious in Hindsight: Those fade to black scenes with the sword swipings are quite reminiscent of Ninja Scroll and Rurouni Kenshin, don’t you think?
Welcome back, Anthill Studios! I’m glad to have discovered your works months ago. I really enjoyed Plaything which is the first piece of African animation I’ve ever seen in my life. I also watched and reviewed The Adventures of Lola and Chuchu which is the first non-Japanese animated series that got the Iridium Eye treatment up in here. Now, I thought I would take it back by checking out one of the first animated shorts that came from this Nigerian studio.
Much like my Hop review, I have to make a disclaimer joke before I start the review proper. No, this short animated film has nothing to do with The Sims series!
The Sim takes place in a virtual world that’s quite dangerous. One person who entered into this world and it’s Simisola “Simi” Williams. She’s an assassin who’s there to get a target by the name of Reloader. Various robots come in to attack her and Simi has to fight for her life to make sure she completes her mission.
Much like Plaything, I was impressed by both the CGI and the fight scenes. Anthill really shines with these thrilling action scenes that will get your blood pumping while the camera work really adds to the tension. I think Simi might be the closest thing to Nigeria’s answer to Motoko Kusanagi from Ghost in the Shell which is a compliment (no, I’m not calling her a rip-off) and I would’ve liked to see her get her own series or movie in the future. I also thought her name had creative wordplay given the situation without going into too much detail.
The Sim doesn’t fit in a perfect reality though. The robots look like the characters from Bionicle which I thought was too bizarre and incongruous for me. While the fight scenes were great, I thought the environment did get derivative with the whole virtual reality aspect. The ending was something I saw coming once there was a brutal attack going on towards Simi. Sure it added to the aforementioned wordplay with the character’s name, but I wish they could’ve handled it more creatively (hint: pay VERY close attention to the title of the animation).
This short was a good directorial debut from Eri Umusu. The Sim delivers on high-octane action, a likable protagonist, and it certainly shatters African stereotypes on all counts which is certainly awesome. I do with there was more originality with the ending and with the robot character designs. The Sim was a fun four minutes to watch. While I didn’t like it as much as Plaything, it was still totally worth checking out.
Adjustable Rating System:
Add 1-2 points if you like media with tough female protagonists.
Subtract 1-2 points if you like your sci-fi to be more innovative.
-Great fight scenes
-Destroys African stereotypes
-Simi is an interesting lead heroine
-Way too short
-Some generic elements at play
Final Score: 8/10 points
Content Warning: The Sim is certainly more intense than most other Anthill works. The violence is PG-13 level and one character gets stabbed through the stomach. Simi makes it clear that she’s an assassin, so that’s certainly not for the younger crowds.
All photos property of their respective owners and used under US “Fair Use” laws. The Sim is property of Anthill Studios. The screenshot is from YouTube and is property of Anthill Studios.