If you’ve ever been to Japan, you’ll know just how central the gaming culture is to the lives of (almost) three generations of young, and not so young, people. It’s pervasive and encroaches into almost every aspect of daily life.  For his feature debut, Makoto Nagahisa chooses a structure which mimics that of a role-playing game. In We Are Little Zombies our four heroes must complete all the levels to regain their feelings.

After the death of their parents, four 13-year-olds (Satoshi Mizuno, Sena Nakajima, Keita Ninomiya, Mondo Okumura) meet by chance at a crematorium. These orphans, devoid of emotions, label themselves as ‘zombies’. With no aim, future or sense of purpose and no one to care about them they drift through life. Until they decide to form a band. The best band you’ve ever seen. The Little Zombies.

Buckle up and strap yourselves in because We Are Little Zombies starts at a pace and never lets up. It focuses on grief, loss and isolation through a dazzling spectrum of colours and an almost relentless visual and aural assault. Over a 2-hour duration this could have all been too much, but Nagahisa has a box of tricks up his sleeve to keep it fresh and fun. We Are Little Zombies is a bright, absorbing and inventive slice of sonic cinema.

We Are Little Zombies screened at Fantasia Festival 2019.