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
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:47 AM)
    I remember that same guy, during end of eva, pausing it over and over during that scene where asuka dies with all of those fast moving clips too.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:39 AM)
    I remember catching it also when I was young with a friend and we looked back on a fanservice scene with shinji and rei and he mentioned “You know if you think about it that scene is damn disturbing when you think she’s a clone of/modelled after you know who…”
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:36 AM)
    Before Eva, when I was 11 or so my image of a mech anime was Nadesico…then it was eva and then I was like…Whoah…whoah God halp! =O
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:34 AM)
    I suppose credit where I feel it due, the angel designs are excellent and I remember getting the shock of my life when shinji’s eva went nuts and then there was a bit with Bardiel infect Toji’s unit. I remember at least Masatos boyfriend being a likeable character.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:31 AM)
    I don’t think anyone was prepared for Eva, whether they liked the show or not, at 11 I can remember being horrified by end of eva and the series original ending as well as having my first moment of “Feck…theres a first…an anime that did something that scrambled my mind, I actually feel kind of thick now, this show is smarter than I am”.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:27 AM)
    It really wouldn’t have been that hard to put a satisfying ending to the original series, wrap up the threads nicely and put a pretty ribbon on the package to finish it off. But Anno and friends took a risk and went against the tide and end up becoming the trope-namer for the Gainax Endings. That took balls and made things unexpected and fresh, cuz god knows that ,good guys win the day ‘is tired and boring.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:26 AM)
    Requiem for a dream. I remember the guy who recommended that film saying to me “Even someone such as yourself who finds it hard to find/has high standards an emotionally investing film will get something out of requiem for a dream”
  • Bam
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:17 AM)
    @Emma: leaving a bad taste is pretty much the point of Eva, just as getting bummed out by Requiem For a Dream is the naturally intended effect. I don’t mind that you don’t enjoy Eva all that much Emma, l actually appreciate it over dishonest admiration. Just keep in mind that Eva deserves it’s special place in anime.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 01:32 AM)
    But Eva just left a bad taste in my mouth as a whole, I understand that Bam you are very passinette about it and thats fine, I wasn’t aiming to provoke. I just feel that its frustrating that like alot of certain anime, that I am not allowed to dislike it or have reason to.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 01:32 AM)
    If anything at least I found Ikuhara’s symbolism while obvious at least in utena and straightforward was at least visually interesting to look at.
    I love every David Lynch film and again I thought Lain was exceptional.

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