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
    (Monday, Nov 24. 2014 04:18 AM)
    God damn Kokkuri-san is so fucking good. Wish I had time to write my damn reviews.
  • Rinegar
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 04:43 PM)
    Hey, nice reviews, I began to make my own reviews as well, so check them out if you are interested! https://www.animetier.blogspot.com
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 03:40 PM)
    Okay, Cossette no shouzou rewatched now too. This was on the high end of Shinbou’s cinematography and pretty much the best he’s outputted even if it has its choppiness/stiltedness in parts. It remains a creepy, surreal, trippy and grim, forboding, gruesome and immersive atmospheric ghost story that feels like it could have gone on a bit long and bar the three main focused characters could have had a little bit more depth.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 12:16 PM)
    It was only really entertaining for how nuts it got.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 12:15 PM)
    Aku no hana’s manga never really felt like much more than “crazy shit happening and femdom” = guilty pleasure to me.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 12:07 PM)
    @Emma: Gankutsou was fine in my opinion tho, as it was so out there that I never saw it as a real attempt at adaptation.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 12:06 PM)
    I don’t have much exposure to Cumberbatch beyond seeing him talk on film programs and also his role in that Star Trek movie, kind of want to see him in imitation game.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 12:06 PM)
    @K-off: Don’t give ‘em ideas m8, that actually sounds like a pitch that they would pick up.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 12:04 PM)
    There is a shoujo manga adaptation/rework of King Richard, there is also a romeo and juliet anime, it was one of the worst thing Gonzo produced, still didn’t dislike it as much a gankutsuou though.
  • k-off
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 11:58 AM)
    @Bam He’d probably find some dumbass way to make it into shonen. Maybe Raskolnikov battles Alyona Ivanovna before he kills her.

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