Posted by psgels on 12 November 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews



Okay, to close off this mini-marathon I’ve been having the past week is Rail of the Star, a movie about the Japanese in Korea during and after WWII. It’s not just a movie about the horrors of war, but nationality is also a very huge theme. It again focuses on a young child as the lead character, called Chitose Kobayashi. Like most of the WWII movies I’ve reviewed in the past couple of days, it’s an autobiographical story. it’s not the best, but nevertheless worth the watch if you’re interested in the Second World War.

This movie is also structured in the way that the first half deals with slice of life, while the second half chronicles the characters during what probably was the hardest moments of their lives. In this movie, the second half clearly stands out as superior: the slice of life itself is decent, but it lacks soul. That soul appears during the second half of the movie.

The movie feels too short, though. It feels like the creators took too little time for this movie, and it could easily have been more than half an hour longer. The story feels incomplete, and there sometimes are huge holes in characters’ backgrounds. It’s a shame, really.

With movies, based on literary works, cuts have to be made; it’s impossible to put every single line of a novel inside a movie that only takes up 90 minutes. Its the task of the people who adapt these works to capture their spirit, while cutting the story down to its necessary time frame. Movies like The Diary of Anne Frank, Grave of the Fireflies, Ushiro no Shoumen Daare and Chocchan’s Story did this really well. Rail of the Star however, drops some points here, and is clearly inferior as an adaptation.

Of course, this is from the perspective of someone who hasn’t read these novels.

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

One Response

  1. Avatar maglor says:

    This movie does cast some light to why there still exist some tension between Korea and Japan. What makes things worse is that while Koreans are likely to say this movie doesn’t go far enough into Japanese Atrocities( Well, that’s not possible given the age of the main protagonist ), some in Japan and perhaps some in current ruling party in Korea will claim it goes too far and exaggerated things. Again and again, I wonder why Japan could not be more like Germany when it comes to post-WWII reconciliation.

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