Pigtails, 2015, Itazu Yoshimi, 28 minutes
Winning literally dozens of awards worldwide, Pigtails marks the directorial debut of animator Itazu Yoshimi, who earlier collaborated with Kon Satoshi on Paranoia Agent and Paprika (and who was slated to finish Kon's in-progress The Dreaming Machine, before that project was unfortunately abandoned).
A melancholy story told in pastels, in Pigtails you follow a young girl living alone in a nice cottage. But why do her surroundings resemble a wasteland? And who are the masked strangers who do medical check-ups on her, and who make sure she has everything she needs?
The answers may not be too surprising, and Itazu thankfully doesn't work towards a giant reveal which explains everything as the climax of his story. Instead, he shows an impressive focus on tiny details and the characters' emotions, and allows for the emotional delivery to arrive all by itself. And ooh boy, does it arrive...