Sad day in Ghibli history:
Nationwide box office
1 . Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
2 . Pocket Monsters Best Wish/Victini’s Black Hero (Double Feature)
3 . Kokuriko Saka kara
4 . Andalusia Revenge of the Goddess
5 . ＳＵＰＥＲ ８
6 . Some Pirate of the Caribbean thing
7 . Full Metal Alchemist
8 . Ogawa no Hotori
9 . I Am Number 4
10 . Anpanman
My review of the movie. I’m not going to spoil it this time, I didn’t understand parts of the dialogue anyway. The artwork is really nice. The Quartier Latin is on par with the magic and attention to detail of Spirited Away, but in a realistic high school setting and not a fantasy world. You’re guaranteed to love the scenes of cooking breakfast, riding bicycles down the hill into the fish market, hopping onto fishing boats, etc. Many scenes focus carefully on the technics of an era before computers and machines: the cooking of rice in a wooden basin, the hand-lettering and hand-mimeographing of a student newspaper (the first time I’d ever seen that), and so forth. These scenes are set up mindfully to put the focus of the viewer’s attention clearly on the device that the characters are focusing on. This is an accomplishment in directing, and I guess Miyazaki’s son should take credit for that.
The writing, however, needs work. The one-shot shoujo manga has some… interesting… plot elements that don’t make sense when translated to a major, big- screen anime. The viewer ends up going home thinking, “Why exactly was this story turned into a film?” It doesn’t really seem to have any message that applies to our lives. However, it works as a nostalgic portrait of student life in 1960s. Perhaps that portrait was all the director was aiming for when he chose this manga, but my girlfriend and I were caught a little off guard by the unexpected resolution to one of the major plot issues, and the other one seemed like a formulaic Korean-style drama that belonged on the small screen, not the big one.
The character animation starts out inoffensive but by the end you might notice that the mouths and noses are somewhat sloppy, and the baby faces feel more like K-On than Nausicaa. I hope Ghibli doesn’t turn into a moé blob studio.
Oh yeah, and little kids will not understand this film. It’s all about romance, rebuilding after the war, and family ties; a charming story, but quite complicated. They would walk out of the theater confused as hell. That’s a decent reason why Pokemon would triumph at the box office.