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?