In this Corner of the World is animated by studio MAPPA and I had the pleasure to see this in the theater all by myself. Which I guess I should be happy since nobody can see tear slowly fall down my face and not have other people cry next to me. That being said most of the anime movies I have seen in theaters are usually crowded, with me seeing Fairy Tail second movie because of my sister and that was pack. So sort of sad that this movie did not get the same amount of attention that Fairy Tail did XD (also the Fairy Tail movie was alright). Also, I bought the blu-ray and saw that it had a digital copy, but sadly not Vudu. Also, screw you Vudu I want to watch Coco in Spanish. Now back on topic to the review of this wonderful movie.
The movie takes place in Japan before, during and after WWII as it follows a girl who just got into an arranged marriage and sent to a new family. She tries her best to adapt to her new lifestyle while also adapting to the restriction due to the ongoing war, from small ration, military police, air raids and of course the Nuclear bomb and the after effect. The movie manages to be a great heartwarming history movie that will break your heart with a sledgehammer. Half the movie is a slice of life of the main lead trying to get used to her new family, as she slowly feels like she is a part of the family. It was fun trying to see her try her best to do her duty as a wife since her mother in law is not able to do the housework. It takes the audience back to 1944 and sees how they live and see their culture. One thing I do feel is refreshing is the fact that this does have arranged marriage and does not treat it as a horrible thing. Which don’t get me wrong I know why they do that because it is a great way to create conflict and there is some regret that the main character feels about the arranged marriage, but she is happy with her new life with her husband. She just treated as a normal thing, because it is a normal custom and try her best to adjust to the situation.That being said the movie can get a bit boring since it is a 2-hour movie and over half of it is a slice of life of a girl trying to get used to the new place and get along with her new family. That being is still an enjoyable time getting to know the characters. Plus this is taking place during WWII, so of course, there are lots of challenges she must face and the movie does a good job showing how they try to smile through it all. That being said when the air raids and the nuclear bomb come, prepared to have your heart shattered. They create a loving family only to put them through a really scary and rough time with tragedies. One of the things I found clever with the movie was the fact they kept showing the different date and having them countdown which created anxiety knowing all the things that were about to happen. Also, they did a great job at showing the aftermath and mixed emotion of the war ending. With people either being glad or upset that all their losses were for nothing and their patriotism to Japan is betrayed. Again really refreshing since I am used to seeing WWII movies from the western perspective. Is always nice to see a movie like this showing different perspective like Grave of the Fireflies. With the movie in the end showing that whatever tragedy and hardship people face they will rebuild them self and keep going. Giving us a really heartfelt, and heart-crushing story of WWII in Japan.
The characters are what made the movie so effective with the main character, Suzu, being somewhat an airhead and constantly daydreaming and forgetting things. She manages to always bring a smile to my face with the animation helping out her facial expression. Is nice to see her trying her best to feel useful at the house and get along with her sister in law who is a bit mean to her, but eventually warm up to her. All the characters manage to be likable and feel like a family. All comforting each other and making fun of each other in hard times. They try their best to be happy even in hardship where food ration is running low or when literal bombs are being drop. The husband is likable also, but to be honest a bit forgettable as he isn’t in the movie that much once I think about it. I mean there some great character interaction with the main character, but that probably more because how great the main character is. Granted it makes sense since he is off helping out the army most of the time along with all the other male characters. That being said the main cast manage to be really likable, which just make the scene where they are suffering tragedy all the more painful as they ponder over their regrets and guilt. With the only thing they can do is not to imagine the what if, but keep going. And screw you movie for that, I don’t like to get the feels, even though I honestly been reviewing a bunch of tearjerking movie for some reason.
The animation was great, with Studio Mappa doing a great job with the colors that seem to be bright and colorful, helping with the warm feeling, before they crush it. Also really do love the hand painted background that is well done and help with the atmosphere. That being said one of the unique things about the movie is the fact that the main character loves to daydream in scenes where she would see the world in the way she would draw it, making for some creative and beautiful looking scenes. That being said there are only a few of them in the movie which is a shame. Granted it makes sense since she can’t draw that much during this difficult time when they have a hard time getting food, and toilet papers, never mind drawing tools. So she doesn’t draw much and her creative vision are few in between, but they are used effectively to show her regrets and possible future. Also, the designs of the character are great with cute and depressing reaction and expression that is simple but effective. That being said the movie does start out in 1933 showing Suzu as a kid than go to her as an adult, and if it wasn’t for the fact they gave the date of the time skip, I would have thought she was still a little kid. I mean even the movie had one scene where they made fun of how she was probably mistaken as a little kid. A small nitpick that did bother me a bit, but I got used to it very quickly. Overall the animation manages to be great. Also, the soundtrack was decent with it capturing the beauty of the animation and the events happening with them being very soothing. That being said I can’t help that the music try too hard in the end to make the movie end XD. I mean granted the movie was really long and it almost felt like it will never end, so there a part of me that was glad to hear the music at the end since my phone was dying (it died at the end when I got out of the theater :-( ). That being said it did take me out of the movie a bit, but that just a small nitpick as the music was decent overall.
The movie manages to be a great history movie of Japan during WWII. It manages to have a likable cast with great animation. It might be a bit boring in the first half and a bit too long, but it manages to give a compelling story where you connect with the characters, only to get your heart broken. With a powerful message of moving forward even in difficult times.This movie gets a B+
Available on Netflix
Similar movies:Grave of the Firefly, The Wind Rises and Wolf Children. (Originally part of Janimation Month in Comic Vine)
Old Man Dream: ...later titles in the Macross franchise can finally come stateside with all involved parties finally coming to a truce over how to handle things with the Macross trademark and all later anime in the franchise associated with it.
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Master Menos: F for Respects. DMX did all his work while suffering from a drug addiction, and I almost never knew until a point. I hope his next life treats him far better.
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Taka: No worries, health, family, school, and work take priorities first.
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