Posted by psgels on 28 December 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews



Here’s one that surprisingly flew past the radar when it first aired. Furusato Japan (or Japan, My Homeland) really surprised me with what a powerful movie it turned out to be. Seriously, at first sight it’s just another one of those movies about grade schoolers, which starts out with slice of life and eventually introduce tragedy that the lead character has to cope with… and in a sense it is, and yet somehow this movie hit me more than most other movies with this premise.

I believe that the key is subtlety and realism. This is no story with the simple message of “war is bad, pity our lead character”, there is no evil bad guy running around, and neither is time wasted with a silly love triangle. There is no moe, no emo excessive crying. There is no unrealistic amount of tragedy, and the bad stuff that does happen is gripping, yet in no way exaggerated. This is a movie about the stuff that could have happened to anyone who grew up in japan in the 1950s.

This movie chronicles the lead character and the class he’s in, and it shows how they get shaped throughout the various events that happen in the movie. The development is realistic: the characters change, but only slightly and subtly. It’s a movie about forgiveness; about coming together and doing something instead of just letting time slip by.

The only part where this show isn’t realistic is when characters start singing. For some reason, every kid gets the voice of a fully trained professional singer. In real life, you’d hear them screaming at all sorts of pitches (I don’t want to know how horrible I sung during school musicals). However, in exchange the final parts of the movie are a joy to listen to. The finale in this movie is basically a long string of singing children. When you know the context that gets explained throughout the movie, it really turns into a powerful experience.

it’s really slice of life at its finest. This movie is so far away from anime cliches and stereotypes. The songs in this movie have great singers behind them. Its a really underrated gem.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Ah, the realism! The subtlety!
Characters: 8/10 – Simple characters that don’t try to pretend that they’re something they’re not.
Production-Values: 9/10 – Excellent songs.
Setting: 8/10 – Great depiction of Japan in 1956

5 Responses

  1. karry says:

    The fabled 85/100 strikes again !

  2. psgels psgels says:

    Lol. Where were you during my past four reviews?

  3. Gottis says:

    This looks really interesting. (of course I’m still trying to locate the Barefoot Gen movies. It was one of the very first manga I ever read, translated to Swedish. O.o;; )

  4. mei says:

    haha. i only stumbled upon this after i heard KOKIA’s theme for it. beautiful song, wonderfully told tale of how the kids especially coped with life in war times.
    thanks for the review, psgels.

  5. Wow, very interesting review. Slice of life is my favorite genre, so I will definitively check out this movie… but I hope to watch it once I become fluent in Japanese hehe

    Thanks for sharing! :D

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  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Feb 11. 2016 10:41 PM)
    @Wicked, think you hit the nail on the head there. The characters one of the main reasons I am not too gone on it.
  • wicked
    (Thursday, Feb 11. 2016 10:04 PM)
    Mob Psycho is well paced for a 10 minute show I think. It’s got a lot of these pseudo cliffhanger to play for jokes. The stories get better, it’s the characters that’s not as interesting as one punch man in my opinion
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Feb 11. 2016 08:46 PM)
    Hmm, haven’t read Mob Psycho 100 much(just checked what its art looks like) so can’t comment on that.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Feb 11. 2016 07:43 PM)
    @masky, it does have better art but a much weaker story. I get the feeling the Mob psycho anime will be a five minute show.
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Feb 11. 2016 07:17 PM)
    Dunno, Mob Psycho 100 does have better art than ONE’s OPMan. Its still rough, but yeah.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Feb 11. 2016 03:36 PM)
    @wicked, I wonder how that will work out, as ONE’s style is a bit of an acquired taste.
  • wicked
    (Thursday, Feb 11. 2016 12:59 AM)
    ah, they decided to go with ONE’s art style instead of really pretty it up with Mob Psycho 100
  • oldyang
    (Wednesday, Feb 10. 2016 06:36 PM)
    Ajin is interesting, but the character design is weird. Everyone looks lifeless and angry.
  • wicked
    (Wednesday, Feb 10. 2016 08:55 AM)
    it’d actually be a shame for them to make it into I Wanna Be the Strongest in the World, or worst
  • wicked
    (Wednesday, Feb 10. 2016 08:54 AM)
    @Aidan, Yeah that guy tries really hard to make it more than just fanservice though. I have a weird respect for people that can play ridiculous concepts straight.

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