One of the visceral thrills of a giant-monster movie is seeing a modern-day metropolis utterly demolished — a city that took hundreds of years to build, reduced to rubble in mere seconds. Now imagine you could reverse the process, and see a city assemble itself from the ground up — would it still be as exciting to watch? Oh, my: yes.
In this computer animation by graphic artist Nobuo Takahashi, a Japanese town metamorphoses from a tiny postwar village to a 21st-century urban behemoth, all in the time it takes you to make toast. Like an infinite set of super-realistic Legos put together by unseen hands, houses rise and fall in synchronized waves, giving way to high-rise apartments and office skyscrapers, which finally cluster together in a beastly superstructure of sprawl. For a moment, the city seems to have its own beating heart — and then it loses its soul. Probably a lesson in there somewhere.
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