A Piece of Phantasmagoria

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While traveling the realm of dream...
I discovered the little planet "Phantasmagoria".
This was a story from that planet.

—The iconic lines at the end of each episode

Phantasmagoria (In Japanese ファンタスマゴリア, released in America as A Piece of Phantasmagoria), is a 1995 series of 15 five-minute episodes by illustrator Shigeru Tamura, based on a earlier children book by him. It was distributed by Bandai Visual in America, and broadcast in the now defunct Latin-American channel Locomotion.

The series deal with snippets from the daily life of the inhabitants of the titular planet. But the planet of Phantasmagoria is anything but usual: the night sky is projected by a giant planetarium, the colors for paints are obtained by scrapping a rainbow, there is a glass ocean, people with stars for heads, walking buildings, sentient cacti, and a town made of bread, among several other wonders.

The third episode, "Glass Ocean", was eventually expanded into a 22 minutes short film titled The Glassy Ocean in 1998.

Do not confuse with the video game of the same name.

Tropes used in A Piece of Phantasmagoria include:

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  • Coolest Club Ever/Local Hangout: The Altair tavern. It's even star-shaped for extra coolness.
  • Dream World: it's implied that Phantasmagoria is one.
  • Patchwork Map: as seen in the ending of each episode. It could be justified by its dreamlike nature.
  • Pink Elephants: the distillery town is so reeking of alcohol, alcoholic-like hallucinations happen constantly
  • Riddle for the Ages: the mystery of the lone bulb in the desert.
  • Shaped Like What It Sells: Many of Phantasmagoria buildings. The Café near the planetary is shaped like a coffee pot, in Santa Claus Town there are many buildings on Santa's likeness, and the tavern Altair is star-shaped. The bakery deserves a special mention by not only being shaped like a bread loaf, but it's also made of bread too!
  • What Do You Mean It's for Kids?: for a series based on a children book, there are a lot of references about alcohol and drinking. There is a complete episode devoted to an illegal distillery town, and there is the famous tavern Altair, who is constantly mentioned and it's the center of another episode.