In This Corner of the World

(Kono Sekai no Katasumi ni)

There were two questions I had for this anime film. First, why Kimi no na wa (Your name) lost to this in Japan Academy Awards? Second, after the ruckus she made, Non (Nounen Rena) will be a good as a voice actress in an anime film?

After watching this film, I can say those questions were pretty well answered.. Let’s discuss first the minor flaws. First was the storyline, especially those first scenes. I mean, both kids were kidnapped by a big bad wolf? I don’t know if that was true or it was the imagination of Suzu when she was young. It was confusing at first, sudden changes but it was not a big deal. I hope it was clear though. Lastly, I think it’s not also a bad thing, but I just hope Suzu (the main character) was not very naive as the story goes along. But its not really a negative thing but its just there were moments I hate it when she got lost or just daydreaming. These are minor flaws, which I think really part of the story or they could have improved. Nevertheless, very forgiving. Let it pass should I say.

Wow, when I saw this film the sudden release, I had a hard time deciding where to watch it.. I knew, it will be only for one week as I know nobody anticipating this or even know this anime film, what more it was shown for free in Eiga sai 2017 for free at 4pm. Great thing, I was able to watch plus I had a great time.
It was hard to decide whether this film is a anime classic or great anime film. It will be a debate for a long time. However, what I can say about WW2 anime films, it is a classic. To make it a simpler review, I’ll answer the 2 questions above.

First, I was shocked when the winners for Japan Academy announced, this one defeated Kimi no na wa!!! What the? But Kimi no na wa won best screenplay. I think it’s a consolation prize. However, after watching it, yes, I can say two important things that this film did have than the competition. Although I’ll give Kimi no wa just a slight edge in terms as a better film. But for an anime film, if you judge it as an animation film, its different.

First advantage was the depth of this anime film. In Kimi no na wa, yes, I love the romantic aspect of it very well. It’s the driving force of the film plus the Radwimps song. However, this film shows more than early marriage love, it’s shows the life in those days. Its like Grave of the fireflies but with lesser painful and sober scenes. It has very fun moments, and yes, very heart wrenching moments, especially when the war scenes coming in. Especially the scene where Harumi suddenly died. That was a shock plus painful. Even it was tone down, but they shown it just right and pinch in my heart. That’s only one example, I have a lot of scenes to say but please watch it. The film has an incredible cast, from Suzu’s parents plus her host family, then Shusaku, Keiko, Harumi and oh Lin or Rin. The latter part, has also a sad story. The screenplay was fantastic despite the confusing pace.. There were times I had fun, and yes, at the middle part was really painful but I liked how it end. My expectation towards the ending was kinda sad, but I love how they finished it and fun as well despite what happened to Suzu.

The main character Suzu, wow, she’s a heroine, a different one. Despite her naive personality but what I liked about her, she was growing in the course of the film plus at the end, she is very endearing and yes, lovely despite what happened to her. Don’t forget the dialogue was simple yet very moving. I like how Keiko and Suzu talking to each other. Weird right? Sister in law and the wife. =) Yes, give credit to Keiko here, if you thought Suzu was unlucky, how about Keiko? Geez, but very strong woman indeed!

The next advantage of this film over Kimi no na wa was simply the animation. I agreed with Anno-san, and other great japanese animators that to have anime moving forward, they need to think of ways to present anime these times. They are really good for what, decades now? But let’s accept it, it’s facing not only stagnation but also personnel to do anime. Anime facing stagnation because it’s the same style all over, nothing new plus using more of 3D or CGI than hand drawing has bad effects in the japanese animation. It’s like 70% style over 30% substance or worse. Personnel? Well, chinese or korean someday can do these animation, they just need to fix their stories or make original stories. Even the west or europeans as inspired by Japanese anime, have the talent, its only a matter of time.

No offense to Kimi no na wa, but it has the same style but they gave more effort that’s why is different. This anime film, is way different. Wow, the manga drawings translated into film, is nothing short of fantastic! I thought at first, oh that’s nice, they used a different style. When I researched the source material, they just put it on screen! Wow, that’s what we need. Tale of Princess Kaguya did also like this plus other anime films so I believe, this film won over Kimi no na wa. The film could have been violent or might go to grave of the fireflies route but no. I like how they present violence of war into a lighter tone. One great example, the scene which Suzu was farming and all of the sudden there was an air raid! The explosions became paint pastel and its like a painting. I was thinking Suzu was painting that time (as she is a great making drawings) but no, it’s a real thing and it’s happening! It was a pulsating moment and how they did present this in the same form of the manga, very impressive. I hope it can get more notice.

I want to Japanese anime still dominate, and I hope they’ll release not only orignal stories or source but also just make anime more fluid and substantial. They don’t need to prove like they did drawings or designs better but they just need to make other styles of Japanese anime. These kind of anime film shows hope for them. Damn, let’s simply say look back at the 80’s or 90’s anime.. Why made anime great? Look at those old series. I know its business or profit or less operating expenses strategy but yeah, is it a better quality? Better product?

Sorry I went overboard, but I almost forgot the second main question. I thought Non as a voice actress done a very good job in this film. It’s a good build up for her after the ruckus she made, which still puzzles me and everyone.. There were times at the film, the face of Suzu looks like Non. Not bad! Non’s voice mannerisms still shown but it fits with Suzu. Can Non have a career in voice acting? Yes for sure, she can change her voice or voice style for sure. But please, yes as a fan, can you get back in TV or Eiga? Onegai!!! I already accepted the name Non even Nounen Rena was way better. =(

I suggest if you have a chance, please watch this film, don’t worry, it’s unlike Barefoot Gen or Grave of the fireflies style of painful or hope ends story.. This one has that same vibe but its complete and fun yet melodramatic. I agree with the spinoff sequel, but I don’t know which story they will take.. Keiko’s story was very well explained already. Lin’s story, its very painful and sad but I think they can make it happier if they can explain she is alive. That will be awesome! Besides, Suzu and Keiko stories ended happy. I hope Lin’s story has the same. If not, well, still make it happy despite the sad end.

Oh why In this Corner of the World? Its a very sweet line said in the movie. You’ll find out!

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