Posted by psgels on 1 September 2007 with categories: Anime Reviews


Just like Oseam and Wonderful Days, My Beautiful Girl Mari, or Mari Iyagi is a Korean production. It came to me, recommended by Chris, and while it isn’t as emotionally strong and sad as Oseam, or as beautifully rendered as Wonderful Days, it still remains a nice watch. Mari Iyagi is more about nostalgia, about the final year of elementary school (or whatever school you’re on around the age of eleven. I’m still not sure how this is done in other countries), when the world still seems so simple.

This movie benefits greatly from its realism. This probably is the only anime that focuses on the culture of modern Korea, so it’s an interesting watch when compared to usual anime, who often take place in Japan. The differences are subtle, but they’re there. The characters also are drawn with a priority on realism, and not prettiness, so that we’re left with a bunch of real characters, and not a few future photo-models.

Still, there’s one major problem with Mari Iyagi. This may have been because I was tired when watching it, but it really feels like entire scenes have been lost on the cutting-room floor. Some scenes feel disjointed and confusing, and the fantasy-world where our main character is drawn in may be full of imagination, but it’s never really explained or really developed. Mari, even though her name appears in the title, gets hardly any development for herself. I’m also still not sure whether one minor character died near the ending or not…

Still, there’s one reason to keep watching this: the ending. Mari Iyagi is actually one of the few movies where the ending is part of its highlights. It keeps the same level of realism, where not everything can be resolved in a happy way, and life goes on, and it really feels like the entire movie comes together. Don’t expect any brilliant plot-twists, but it just “feels good”.

One Response

  1. Avatar Chris says:

    Glad you liked it, it’s one of my favorite Korean animations (my next reccomendation would have to be Doggie Poo, weird name, sweet and sad story) Although not as good as Wonderful Days, My Girl Mari does have some excellent graphics at the start of the movie you have to admit, the view of the bird flying through Seoul was just beautiful and the music with the scene was nice aswell.

    I also really loved the ending, it made the whole movie worthwhile (I agree the movie was quite confusing at times) and the ending song is one of my fvaoirte K-Pop songs too.

    Overall I thought despite its faults, the movie was heartwarming and touching.

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