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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  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 04:58 PM)
    @Bam, Extra Credits made a video praising Dark souls 2’s difficultly system. Never have I disagreed with them more.
    @Ninja, I read the beginning chapters of Love Tyrant but it was just too slapstick for my taste.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:52 PM)
    @Realist: I also noticed in that story arc with the talking cats, it mentioned cats of ulthar, which was also mentioned in a HP Lovecraft story.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:20 PM)
    We have reached the moment of truth and what we waited for in space brothers manga. The next chapters cannot come fast enough.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:16 PM)
    @Realist: Like that skull head guy a bit.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:15 PM)
    Apparently in bloodbourne they are upping the violence…I think.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:13 PM)
    @Bam: Scott Snyder at least…is one of them.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:11 PM)
    @Realist: I read that mahou tsukai no yome manga you mentioned, the two available volumes. After a few chapters I started getting more into it, but I’ll need more time/updates, looks like its doing a decent enough job setting up a fairly readable plot.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:10 PM)
    @Emma: also isn’t American Vampire written by two guys?
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:10 PM)
    @Emma: not only Amira but also Kaiser and Favaro’s dialogue and characterization was pretty weak. Their feud and reconciliation was forced as he’ll, and I just hate it when powerful demons uncharacteristically waste too much time talking to humans they could, and should, easily defeat.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:07 PM)
    @k-off: the series has some sombre and unconventional stories, it’s just that the story is told indirectly thru lore and subtlety. Demon’s Souls had a decent amount of narrative to the whole affair, albeit short and told mostly thru items and NPC encounters. But unfortunately the series moved forward on from cryptic to straight minimal storytelling. DS2 feels lazy although it has a few cool narratives, like Luciatel, but you have to play your cards right to even get to see that.

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