Posted by psgels on 8 November 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews



Before I start, I’d like to note that this is actually my 500th anime review I’ve written for this site. Gosh, time sure goes fast.

Anyway, for this review I wanted to do something special, and therefore decided to pick out a very unknown movie, watch it and hopefully give a bit of attention to a nearly forgotten gem. Thankfully, I was right in picking out Ushiro no Shoumen Dare. While not the best of the WWII movie genre, it’s a very charming and bittersweet story about a little girl, and her experiences during the war.

What I like about this movie is how down to earth it is: it doesn’t try to be overdramatic, or show as much death and destruction as possible. Instead, it focuses on the lead character, her life and her family. The major part of the airtime is mostly spent on slice of life, while the final parts of the movie show how the lead character survived through the war, and the few years after that.

The slice of life is really good. The lead character really is just like a bratty little girl, who just has fun and cries a lot when something goes wrong. A lot of details has gone into just the every day lives, and one particular thing that this movie likes to do is show off various nursery rhymes that were popular in those days. It’s an interesting watch for anyone who’s interested in the Japanese culture around these days, and it makes sure that the characters are all fleshed out well enough, when the darker parts of the story arrive, resulting in a bunch of bittersweet scenes.

The flaws in this movie simply stem from the fact that it really kept it down to the basics: While I very much assume that a lot of people have had to go through what the lead character has gone through, it does have this air of “been there, done that”. The dramatic parts of the movie, while sad, are also one-sided. When you compare this to other similar movies like Chochhan’s story, which was much more balanced and interesting, I just can’t label it among the best ones of the genre.

Nevertheless though, if you’re into this genre of realistic war stories, then it’s definitely worth the watch. At the moment it’s pretty difficult to track this movie down, but if you happen to find it, why not give it a chance?

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

2 Responses

  1. lostty says:

    Congrats on the 500th anime review! That really is incredible

  2. Vampire says:

    i want to know whT IS THE NAME OF THE SINGER THAT SANG THE ENDING SONG !!

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  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 05:20 PM)
    I agree with the cons of Eva, as well as its strengths. Same with Fate. Being pessimistic is a stance, not inherently a flaw. The setting of Eva predicates that tone. If anything I have a bias towards Berserk, and that’s mostly all out of nostalgia.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 05:16 PM)
    Also what ladies? Even the “gentlemen” part is stretching it. It’s very easy for someone who didn’t follow anime 20 years ago to criticize one of its most historic moments. At least this Tenka Seiha fella doesn’t talk smack about what he doesn’t really understand.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 05:06 PM)
    Being bias is not admitting to reasonable faults, not agreeing to them. Trying to exclude the historic significance of a show is not a calm rebuttal, but a desperate attempt to undermine. What is bias is defending Shirou’s childish idealism. Even Nasu realizes how ridiculous that sounds, and makes a point to counter it with one of his own characters. Although by the end he gives in and then pulls a Deus Ex Machina by reviving Archer one last time to tie up loose ends.
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 04:14 PM)
    You are the one whose not calm. Minute I say one negative thing about your precious EVA and you get riled up. And I don’t even hate the show, I just don’t think it’s the pinnacle of the medium.
    Ladies and gentlemen, presented below is the purest form of complete total blind Bias.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 04:02 PM)
    Now if someone wants to have a calm discussion about it I’m more than willing to partake. But if you hate the show then that’s fine, just let it be.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 04:00 PM)
    That’s the end of my rant. I know I won’t change any minds that have already been set, but K-off wanted to know what I found appealing about the series, and I gave my honest opinion.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 03:32 PM)
    An anime original that wasn’t an adaptation of some manga, LN or VN gave it a certain charm and unpredictability, which is absolutely a welcomed addition. Now I’m not gonna deny its plateura of problems, but it’s hard to sit back and hear people call Casablanca shit because it doesn’t have the flair and optimism of Age of Ultron.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 03:29 PM)
    Misanthropy in anime is old, cliched and boring. But that wasn’t the case when Eva did it. Plus it features characters like Misato and Kaji that are very hopeful for the future, going as far as planning to filter the ocean and regrow vegetation for society. There is definitely a bigger focus on misery, but as explained that was a mirror to Anno’s deteriorating mental health, which in itself added an angle of intrigue to the show.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 03:22 PM)
    Now does it look old? Does it seem overdone and unoriginal? Absolutely. But that’s no th fault of the series for not accounting for viewers who are watching it 20 years later, after getting exposed first to all the stuff that have heavily borrowed from it.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 03:19 PM)
    It also perfectly explained what the instrumentality looked like for people that were in the process of assimilation, so it was a fitting end; albeit admittedly a weird one. Episodes 25 and 26 just chose to show the stream of consciousness of how the process was perceived by someone inside the sea of LCL. It made sense if you cared to pay attention along the way, so to call it completely nonsensical is unfair and entirely reliant on personal misinterpretation.

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