この世界の片隅に - In This Corner of the World Review
Kono Sekai no Katasumi ni (In this Corner of the World) is a animated wartime drama film co-written and directed by Sunao Katabuchi, animator Hidenori Matsubara and music by Kotringo. The film is based on the manga of the same name by Fumiyo Kono.
The Story/The Direction:
The story takes places in the 1930's and 1940's in Hiroshima and Kure in Japan. The majority of the film takes place in 1944 and 1945 but what makes this film different from other war films is that it shows you life before the terrible event. Katabuchi shows you a countryside that has a nostalgic feel. Due to the somewhat smudged lens and the date countdown, each scene is like a journal entry or memory of the people of Japan.
The hand drawn animation adds to that memory aspect as well. The water color look adds this heartwarming effect to this land that'll make the viewer fall in love with this land before the August 6, 1945 event. When it actually happens, you feel for everyone living there. The sound was very good and each bomb dropped is heard by the audience from their powerful impact and damage. In addition to great sound, the film is delightful to look at. It mixes dark and light scenes very well. That and a very good blend of happy and ominous music, the filmreally puts you in this world that these characters are living in.
Suzu Urano is the main protagonist of the film. She is an artistic, kind, young woman who moves to Kure, a small town just out side of Hiroshima due to an arranged marriage. We see her grow up from a child to a married woman taking care of the house and elders as was expected of married Japanese women during that era. What Suzu adds to the story is a sense of innocence. She is just an ordinary woman living in the country side of Japan. You see her gathering rice, washing and seeing clothes, and cooking. She loves to draw and paint and when bombs and guns are being dropped or shot into the sky, it looks like paint blots on a canvas.
The viewer is seeing these things happen through Suzu's eyes and the innocence that is felt throughout the film is due to her. It makes the viewer feel for her as it simplifies the terribleness of war to a view point of a child. This allows for some fantastic and surreal animation. Her character goes through scenes where you don't know if it's a dream or not. This is an interesting take on how to view this event especially with survivors were minimal to begin with and the ones that did are now passing away due to age. This is why films like this need to be made, to ensure future generations know what happened on August 6, 1945. Other characters are done well in that you get to know who each one is. Each character has a simple yet distinct design and this allows for attachment to them as the horrific event approaches.
The main flaw with this film is that moves slow early on. The pacing is not consistent. Years can be skipped but then day after day scenes are shown. Also some minor characters are introduced but then disregarded later on. There's also a mix of "typical"anime type humor that for me didn't work with the topic. I understand is trying to make the story more light-hearted which is hard to do with a dark event like this. However, I feel the humor did take away from the film a little bit.
The somewhat slow part of the film is worth it to make it to the end. I believe that was done so that the protagonist becomes more relatable, especially for American viewers. When the air raids happened, it was truly terrifying and the film really shows what a war can do to simple civilians like Suzu. The last bit of the film is absolutely harrowing and it'll make the effects of an atomic bomb feel real to you without even showing it to you. If you're able to, I'd see this great film in theatres with subtitles instead of a dub over.
Rating: 4.0/5.0 bowties
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