Posted by psgels on 25 August 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews



Okay, time for me to review another really obscure movie that I stumbled upon a few weeks ago. Chocchan’s story is an adaptation of an autobiographical story of a mother during the second World War. Unfortunately, the only version that I could find was a Finnish sub, of all things, so unless you happen to know Finnish or Japanese, don’t bother to ask where to get it. If however, you do get the chance to watch this movie and don’t mind a quiet and slow-paced story, then I really recommend it.

The thing with this movie is that it’s wonderfully down to earth. Even though it plays during the very dark World War II, it never forgets its main focus: the characters. A lot of horrible and depressing things happen throughout the movie, but it never attempts to do things over-theatrical. This is a movie full of subtle details in the characters’ developments.

It’s also one of the few movies I’ve seen to pull off some actual credible and believable character-development. It shows the life of the main characters, starting right from the moment she gets engaged until more than ten years later, when she bore her fourth child. there are numerous time-skips throughout the movie that also allow her children to be developed this way. Seriously, in anime it’s very rare to see a mother or parent with this much depth; let alone in a movie.

The downside to this movie is its music. Whereas the storytelling is full of subtlety, the music isn’t. The story is supposed to be subtle, but a lot of the most dramatic moments lose their touch when an incredibly loud set of violins thunder through the speakers, overpowering just about everything else. A soundtrack often does wonders in enriching a story, but this is one of those few anime that would have been better without any music at all.

Nevertheless, this series really succeeds in creating a cast of “real” and likable characters and does a really good job at showing the struggles of a mother during the second World War, not knowing whatever happened to her husband who was recruited by the army. It deals with heavy themes and struggles, and yet it’s well acted without crossing the borders into melodrama. Especially if you’re a fan of the World Masterpiece Theatre, you’re bound to like this little movie.

Storytelling: 9/10
Characters: 9/10
Production-Values: 7/10
Setting: 8/10

3 Responses

  1. Tuuli says:

    Hmm, well I would understand it if I could even see it. :P
    Maybe I will watch this someday if I can find it somewhere…

  2. psgels psgels says:

    If you’re interested in a torrent:

    http://tokyotosho.info/details.php?id=231448

    I’m not sure whether it still has seeders, though.

  3. Reltair says:

    I don’t get around much to watching these older movies, but this looks really interesting.

    I love seeing anime that focuses on character growth and development. It makes you feel like you are a part of the character’s life and watching over them.

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  • Emma
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 07:06 PM)
    @Vincent: I wasn’t a fan of the manga, there are far too many shoujo fantasy/action series out there and thats one of the weaker ones, the characters aren’t up to much beyond the villain, its too predictable and the art lets it down in the action scenes. Apparently it becomes a reverse harem later to.
  • Vincent
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 06:36 PM)
    Is Akatsuki no Yona that good? I tried watching the first episode and couldn’t finish it. The premise is generic and seems like a ripoff of every historical K-drama ever made.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 05:18 PM)
    Almost forgot to recommend this one: http://mangafox.me/manga/apocalypse_meow/
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 02:15 PM)
    show might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but its a detailed look into anime production that’s pretty damn rare, especially in english.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 02:09 PM)
    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1287579779/art-of-making-santa-company-a-complete-guide btw, if anyone’s interested in animation, this might be of interest.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 01:23 PM)
    oh ok. that explains it lol. quite…brilliant,
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 01:21 PM)
    wait what. why is a love hotel so close to an amusement park. jesus, the permits they must’ve paid.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 01:21 PM)
    @Bagel: My brother and his friends don’t allow me to mention that film, it is a dirty word.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 01:20 PM)
    especially that earthbending. i will never forget how off-sync that earthbending was with the effects.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 01:19 PM)
    @Emma oh it better. The Last Airbender would’ve been watchable if it at least had the action to warrant it. But those sorry excuses of martial arts…it was like watching a parody movie.

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