Aug 13, 2019
We’re back today with another favorite genre of the podcast: Japanese animation. I’ll admit, while watching today’s film, I wasn’t sure why anyone would want to watch the struggles of wartime life, but I also found myself captivated by the story and the animation. For a few other films in this genre, check out Keith Lyons’ review for “Mirai” (Episode #408), my review for “Godzilla: The Planet Eater” (Episode #377) along with the other two films in the trilogy, and the classic “Fist of the North Star” (Episode #243).
Before the review, we’ll have a promo from our friends at Massive Late Fee. Check out their recent episode discussing “Once Upon A Time in Hollywood”. You can find them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram @MassiveLateFee. And for the record, we still haven’t forgiven them for what they did to the One Movie Punch Secret Podcasting Island Base. You can find out about that with their review for “The Lonely Island Presents: The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience” (Episode #521).
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Here we go!
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JOSEPH: “Without further ado, today’s movie is “In This Corner Of The World”, or in the Japanese as Ko.. Kono...”
JOSEPH: “Kono Se... Sekai...”
EILEEN: “Kono Sekai No Katasumi Ni”
JOSEPH: “Yeah, that one!”
EILEEN: “Why don’t you leave it to someone who is learning Japanese?”
JOSEPH: “You know what, maybe you should handle this one. It’s about time you learned the ropes around the One Movie Punch Secret Volcano Lair. If you need any help, I’ve written over 500 reviews.”
EILEEN: “Nah, I’m good!”
JOSEPH: “All right. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you... One Movie Spawn! What’s the worst that could happen?”
I’m Eileen Dobzynski, aka One Movie Spawn, child of One Movie Punch and One Movie Spouse. And I’m here to let you know that this podcast is mine. ALL MINE! And your former hosts will no longer be joining us.
EILEEN: *Evil Laugh*
JOSEPH: “What’s going on here?!”
EILEEN: “Nothing! Just doing the review. One Movie Spawn things. You know.”
JOSEPH: “Okay, just checking.”
EILEEN: “Now that we’re back in business, let’s begin with today’s review.”
Today’s movie is “In This Corner Of The World”, the Japanese
animated film directed by Sunao Katabuchi, and written in
collaboration with Chie Uratani, based on the manga of the same
name by Fumiyo Kono. The film follows Suzu (Non), a young woman in
World War II era Japan, dealing with cultural gender roles, Allied
bombings, and the horrific aftermath of the war, in Hiroshima and
“In This Corner Of the World” was originally released on November 12th, 2016 in Japan by Animatsu Entertainment, and then distributed to North America by Shout! Factory and Funimation. An extended version will debut this year in December.
A little bit about me. I am a big fan of Japanese animation, and I am currently learning Japanese. I’m also a history fanatic, so today’s film combined a lot of my passions. I originally saw this movie when I was 13, close to when it came out. And I wouldn’t say that I’m not affected by strong themes, but I am definitely more aware of them compared to other people my age. I’ve seen a lot of gory movies with my father, like “The Belko Experiment”, “Deadpool”, and “Deadpool 2” (Episode #114).
“In This Corner of the World” is beautifully told in the Seinen animation style, normally for an audience of young men, ages 15-24, and generally for violent themes. The movie is certainly graphic and violent in its own way, but the story focuses on a young woman living a mostly homebound life during wartime. I re-watched the film with my dad, and although he was like, “Oh, I’ve seen a lot of depressing shit before”, he was definitely shocked with the turn that this film took. I agree with the PG-13 rating, but knowing the film deals with very real events makes it even more difficult to watch.
In addition to the Seinen animation style, “In This Corner of the World” also dips into abstracted animation styles. Sometimes the abstractions seem off-topic, with a few side stories set between major events. A few of those abstractions are truly fantastic, although it seems like Suzu might be tripping on magic mushrooms. But we know that these abstractions are really Suzu trying to cope with the hardships and trauma she faces throughout the film. The powerful story and artistic ambition helped the film win Best Animation Film and Best Music Score at the 2017 Japanese Academy Awards. It also was a nominee and winner for many film festivals, including Edinburgh International Film Festival, Kinematic Jupo Awards, and the Los Angeles Film Festival.
The animation may be fantastic at times, but I can assure you that what Suzu faced was nothing fictitious for the Japanese civilians of World War II. The film unveils the tragedies the citizens faced, first with fire bombings, then with Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It does not belittle what Japan or their allies did during the war, but civilians are not always responsible for what their country does. This film’s constant battle with loss shows the citizen’s struggle with being trapped by decisions made by those in power. When you hear people say that the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were justified, have them watch this film. If nothing else, it will give them a perspective of the civilians who suffered when leaders go to war.
“In This Corner of the World” (2016) is a Japanese animated historical drama that’ll make you laugh, smile, and cry all in one sitting. Its themes of loss, and parallels to current times, give us another perspective of World War II. This film is a must watch for fans of historical dramas, anime, or anyone wanting to expand their palates.
Rotten Tomatoes: 97% (CERTIFIED FRESH)
One Movie Punch: 9.0/10
“In This Corner Of The World” (2016) is rated PG-13 and is currently playing on Netflix and Hoopla.
Also, I made a Twitter.
You can follow me @onemoviespawn to hear how I will take over the podcast.
EILEEN: “I mean be a loving and supportive daughter."
JOSEPH: “Are you done yet?”
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Hope to see you soon!
One Movie Spawn signing out.