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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  • k-off
    (Friday, Oct 31. 2014 01:41 AM)
    I see Ojojojo being mentioned, it was written/drawn by the same person who wrote Danna ga Nani o Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken. I haven’t read either, but the anime for the latter is rather “meh.”
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Oct 31. 2014 01:06 AM)
    @Emma, I haven’t given my thoughts on Bahamut or Psycho pass because I have been putting them off. Mainly cause I have been playing bravely default.
    Oh you are bound to like that authors other works too. They are equally dark. Mayonaka no X Giten for example is one I avoided because of the description but I read it and DAMN it’s not what I expected at all. In a good way.
  • Vincent
    (Friday, Oct 31. 2014 01:05 AM)
    W/ Psycho Pass, I think it’s a show best left without any reading into. Especially this second season.
  • ninjarealist
    (Friday, Oct 31. 2014 12:59 AM)
    @Mikey Yeah that’s fair. I have found the implementation of her character to be aggravating as well.
  • Mikey
    (Friday, Oct 31. 2014 12:56 AM)
    @Ninja I know. That doesn’t make her any less aggravating.
  • ninjarealist
    (Friday, Oct 31. 2014 12:53 AM)
    @Mikey She was a minor character in the original series and at the end of Season 1 she was shown to be the new MWPSB inspector under Akane. So her role and characterization were not entirely a choice made by the new staff.
  • Mikey
    (Friday, Oct 31. 2014 12:48 AM)
    Psycho Pass S2 4: I am enjoying this show (Though not as much as Season 1, but dammit! Who the hell thought Mika was a good idea. If ever there were more an annoying character in a good series…
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Oct 30. 2014 11:50 PM)
    Ah bloody maiden was the name of the manga I was thinking of.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Oct 30. 2014 11:49 PM)
    @Relist: I read up to the part with the psychic girl I believe.
  • ninjarealist
    (Thursday, Oct 30. 2014 11:26 PM)
    @Emma Cage of Eden is not worth finishing. There’s some really good material towards the beginning of the manga but it just gets worse and worse as it goes along. I mean I enjoyed most of the manga because I thought the author was going somewhere with it, but nope. It was actually all just nonsense.

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