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Japanese stop-motion film brings 'wooden' samurai to life

Crowdfunded pilot project carves out global success as 2m watch on YouTube

"HIDARI," a stop-motion samurai movie produced using wooden puppets, has amassed more than 2 million YouTube views since its release in March. (Courtesy of Dwarf/Whatever/Tecarat)

TOKYO -- In the gruesome climactic scene of the film "HIDARI," the samurai hero Hidari Jingoro, spinning in midair, slices through the torsos of 12 of his adversaries simultaneously with a chain saw. For a split second, time seems to stand still, until the victims' bodies, chopped in half as if they were fruit, fall limply to the ground.

But instead of blood and guts, it is sawdust that spews from the enemies' gaping stomachs. And instead of the dull thud of human bodies, it is the clinking of wood that rings out as Hidari's unlucky conquests hit the floor.

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