Before I start, I must admit that I’m a little bit excited to get back to writing and reviewing anime again after such an extended period of hiatus. I immediately took advantage of the intense traffic jam that I got stuck in last week by finally watching Makoto Shinkai’s Hoshi wo Ou Kodomo/Children Who Chase Lost Voices.
For beginners, Makoto Shinkai is known in the anime movie world by producing absolutely stunning visuals and heart-wrenching stories. In this production, Makoto Shinkai instead focused on “acceptance” and created a Ghibli-like movie with the presence of multiple monster-like creatures (known in-movie as the Quetzal Coatl).
The story starts with a girl named Asuna meeting a young boy named Shin on the mountains, where she always spends her free time. With a kiss, Asuna had developed a yearning for Shin after finding out that he ‘died’ on the mountains later on. So, her adventure begins in search for the truth behind some mysterious events surrounding him.
The movie has a nice pace at the start but it got even more interesting as the story progresses. To be honest – I was expecting the story along the lines of his previous three major productions, and although this one is a bit different, it is nothing short of a masterpiece.
The theme of the movie is “traveling to know the meaning of goodbye’ and the path Shinkai-san took on this one is very imaginative and superb. Though I personally haven’t had such experience, the emotions of every scene can be clearly felt (what more if you’ve actually had trouble of accepting goodbyes). It’s very hard to provide more information on the story without giving anything away, so I suggest you watch the movie instead.
Visuals. Needless to say, it was another perfect 10/10. I hope the following screenshots from my phone give it justice:
I still can’t comment on the seiyuu after all these years because to me, they’re all perfect, really! ^_^ The characters though are very believable they blend seamlessly to the plot.
And finally, the icing on the cake, the almost obligatory music portion where he chose “Hello, Goodbye & Hello” by Anri Kumaki. Just like “One More Time, One More Chance” on Byousoku 5 centimeters, it seems that the movie is an animated visual of the song! Is Shinkai-san using songs as an inspiration? No one knows, but this is another great pairing!
In my books, this is a solid 8.7/10. I just felt it to be a little dragging at times but Shinkai-san is on the right path. Not constricting himself to the same ‘genre’ over and over again, this is a great, fresh movie from him. Now, please excuse me while I flip the internet over and under for Kotonoha no Niwa HD. 🙂