Posted by psgels on 3 August 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews




Mai Mai Miracle is a clear Ghibli-inspired film, and another one in the collection of slice of life movies about a young child. Not the most original concept perhaps, but it’s still a well executed and very detailed movie.

Especially the characterization here rocks. The kids here tend to act just like real children: the way they play around to their animation, this movie manages to capture this wonderfully. As it’s focused on kids who grow up in a rural town, this movie mostly follows their imagination and how they grow up together. There’s actually quite a bit of character-development in the movie, and it’s handled quite well and believably.

What sets this movie apart I think is that it manages to avoid the classical trope of these kinds of movies, where they use their first parts of slice of life, just to build up to the serious part at the end. Mai Mai Miracle does have a serious part at the end, but it does not feel like the entire movie is just trying to build up to that. Instead, it’s the combination of everything that happens in this movie that makes the characters what they are, and the movie does a great job in making all of the subplots and events important.

It’s a movie that’s wonderfully unambitious: its main purpose isn’t to show an as big drama as possible. It just wants to show the lives of a bunch of kids growing up together. The drama flows naturally and in no way tries too hard. It’s great for nostalgia, but this also doesn’t make it the most exciting movie.

Storytelling: 8/10 – Uneventful, but realistic and well balanced, making it more than just a Ghibli-wannabe.
Characters: 9/10 – Great characterization, realistic and believable characters, very good character-development for a movie.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Pretty good for movie standards. Detailed animation that captures the movement of the characters, very charming but subtle soundtrack.
Setting: 8/10 – Not the most important part of this movie, but it still made good use of the differences between rich and poor, and the rest of the setting.

Suggestions:
Arete Hime
My Neighbour Totoro
Whisper of the Heart

5 Responses

  1. Firechick says:

    WHAT!? This is out already!? I’ve wanted to see this movie! Is it subbed!? Where can I find it!?

  2. Ikari says:

    Psgels: glad you enjoyed the movie.

    Fire.. bleah: It’s been on DVD for a week or two. It’s also been shown at some festivals subbed. Does the dvd have subtitles? No. A german/french dvd has a slated august release.

  3. Azule says:

    Awwh, this looks like the perfect kinda film for me =p

    Wonder if it’ll get subbed. D:

  4. GPrieto says:

    Psgels: I’m glad you enjoyed the movie. It’s true that is not an exciting movie (from how many anime movies can you say that?), but is wonderful to see from time to time an unambitious movie like Mai Mai Miracle that at the end make you feel glad. For me it’s a good movie that I can share with my children.

  5. kero says:

    I just watched it in the ICA to it, I loved it!
    The kid that sat next to me really enjoyed it to, lovely to see the smile on his face :)

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  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 2. 2016 05:29 AM)
    Although it looks like Liden Films is working with a decent budget, the 3d models weren’t really that impressive. They’re actually pretty lucky to have Studio Millepensee on board as well; since their still frames and 2D in-betweens were actually really good.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 2. 2016 05:13 AM)
    The song from Gut’s nightmare sequence in the wagon was good tho. That might be the Harasawa insert track.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 2. 2016 05:11 AM)
    @Aidan: I already favorited their page. That’s incredibly. It’s like Kotaku hired a bunch of bronies to write reviews.
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Jul 2. 2016 05:05 AM)
    @Bam, don’t think it’s a parody. After all it’s the same site that posted this comedy gem of an article.
    http://kotaku.com/sword-art-online-is-the-smartest-anime-i-ve-seen-in-yea-5947171
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 2. 2016 04:59 AM)
    I really do hope that I’m wrong about all of this.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 2. 2016 04:57 AM)
    I’m starting to question Miura, and wondering how much of the genius of it was the 97 series director Naohito Takahashi, I mean I did watch the series before reading the manga. His choices are starting to make sense: leaving Puck out, ending the show right at the eclipse. He knew Miura will never finish it, and that is the high point of the whole story.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 2. 2016 04:52 AM)
    @Aidan: this article has to be a parody. I refuse to believe otherwise.
    The original’s pilot was disjointed and messy, but it kept the dark atmosphere and the somber tone. It still captured your attention and got you to watch the second episode, which was the real hook. This upbeatness … it’s just wrong.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Jul 2. 2016 04:51 AM)
    @Bam: Ah, I’m am slightly high at the moment and it makes me giddy/shit post.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 2. 2016 04:48 AM)
    @Kaiser: might be a “bab” but I am far from innocent.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Jul 2. 2016 04:46 AM)
    And hearing the characters voiced in Japanese, it reminds me just how the dub for Berserk sat much better for me.

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