Initially, the commercials were what got me interested in going to see the film. The film just looked intriguing, funny, and semi-strange…what more could you want out of a movie 😀 .
Honestly I was a bit apprehensive going to see this film because I knew there would be no English translations of the film. So if the film were boring it would be an ￥1800 ticket to dullsville. I honestly tried to lower my expectations and just tried to think of it as a learning experience. I even went to the theater with a pencil and paper to write down words I didn’t know. Surely the study element would give me something to focus on whether the film was good or not. At 6:05 I went to my assigned Movix seat and the lights dimmed at 6:10. For this particular film even all of the previews were for Japanese movies, which really wasn’t helping to build my confidence any.
I watched the film from the opening scene on the ferry until the very last shot. What did I think? It’s one of the best anime films I’ve seen in a long time. I was really feeling it, and so too was the rest of the audience. There was a beautiful Japanese woman sitting a couple of seats down, and I could see she was in tears at the end of it. I would classify myself as a moderate crier, but I honestly didn’t feel the urge to cry because I was so amazed at how well it made. I guess my amazement eclipsed my emtions. I can understand why the young woman cried, though, because it was a moving film, not Hotaru no Haka moving, but moving nonetheless.
Animation on the other hand, that is a completely different story. I don’t think any country in the world has a better handle on how animation works than Japan. That’s part of the reason why so many people have an interest in Japanese anime because it truly exhibits mastery of an art form. There are some brilliant animation directors in Japan who are as adept at storytelling with pencils, ink, paint, and stills as any American director behind a camera. Yes, America has some great cartoons, but I haven’t seen anything that even comes close to what some of the Japanese animation studios have been able to achieve.
Watching Momo heno Tegami lets you see Japanese animation at it’s finest. Even if you can’t appreciate the story, just seeing how intricately-done the scenes are, how well the artists capture human expression, Japanese mannerisms, and their own culture makes you respect the film from the opening scene. I happened to really enjoy the story, despite the gaps in my Japanese comprehension. When you couple a good story with how masterfully the animation medium was used to pull it off…it blew me away.
I don’t if you’ll agree with me on this one. I’m no movie critic, but if the Japan Guy were a site for Japanese movie critiques, this one would get five stars from me.
If you want to check out more on this film, please go to their website: momo-letter.jp
P.S.-Have you seen Momo heno Tegami? If so I REALLY want to hear what you thought of it.
P.P.S.- If you haven’t seen it, please know that it’s all in Japanese, but don’t let that stop you, I still think it’s a movie worth seeing.