Posted by psgels on 27 February 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews



In 1977, the people from Sanrio came together and determined that kids’ movies overall were a bit too happy and cheerful. So, with some excellent writers and one heck of a catchy theme song, they created Chirin no Suzu. A story that does exactly the opposite of what the cover seems to suggest.

Believe me, this movie is dark. It’s still aimed at children, but unlike the vast majority of the other movies of this genre, it refuses to dumb itself down for its audience. It starts out as your general lamb versus wolf story, but quickly steps away from all other stories that follow the same trope. It’s packed with mature life lessons and morals that other kids’ movies usually just gloss over, or refuse to even mention.

Let me tell you what makes this such a great movie, though: it’s a movie entirely dedicated to character development. It’s a character study, and a wonderful one. The movie is only forty minutes long, but it’s entirely dedicated to the lead character, Chirin, learning new things and changing significantly because of this.

It does have some flaws though. The only available version seems to be an English dub. Most of the voices are very good (especially the voice of the wolf is awesome), though the voice for the little lead sheep can be very hammy. This does lead to a number of very melodramatic scenes that really could have been done more subtle.

Now, the character designs are very simple. At first sight they may not look like much, but the inbetween animation is actually very good here. It’s very smooth, especially for an anime. Overall, if you don’t mind the melodrama and are looking for an old, yet different movie, this is a very interesting one to watch.

Storytelling: 8/10 – Dark and very violent for a kids’ movie, but packs a great story with many morals and life lessons. At times it’s overdramatic, though.
Characters: 9/10 – Great character development that is really well used.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Okay, so it looks dated, but the inbetween animation still is very good and the soundtrack is excellent as well.
Setting: 8/10 – Not the main focus of this movie at all, but doesn’t get in the way of what’s important.

Suggestions:
A Tree of Palme
The Dog of Flanders
Oseam

12 Responses

  1. darkerthanblackswordsman says:

    Actually, bakabt.com has an original japanese audio version. After reading this review I immediately started to download :-)

  2. Firechick says:

    Yay! You reviewed it! I love this movie! It’s one of my favorites of all time (right next to Dog of Flanders, which still surpasses it)! The darkest thing I’ve ever seen (next to Madoka Magica)! I’m glad you liked it!

  3. brianwuzhere says:

    @Firechick, and there is my motivation for watching this.

  4. Puran says:

    Sooo, it’s like the complete opposite of Welcome to the Space Show? :P

  5. Firechick says:

    @Puran: OH yeah.

  6. Sapphire says:

    I found an English dub version on isohunt, but it has only 10 seeds and 0 leechers :( Does anyone know of a better version? Not raw, because I don’t understand Japanese.

  7. darkerthanblackswordsman says:

    @Sapphire: See the very first comment :-)

  8. Keros says:

    I love this movie, if you can, try to watch it in the Japanese. I know the Japanese version does exist. The English dub actually added extra narration and sound effects that were really unnecessary.

  9. Sapphire says:

    @darkerthanblackswordsman: When you said “original japanese audio version” I thought you meant a raw version. I’m downloading from bakabt now, thanks! ^^

  10. Rena says:

    Oh wow this brings back memories haha I watched this when I was young in chinese dub… and yes it was pretty scary when you’re watching this as a kid.

  11. kuromitsu says:

    Wow! Your review piqued my interest in this movie so I watched it (thank god for bakabt!) and just… wow. Even though I expected it to be darker and heavier than your typical children’s show, it still caught me off guard. It’s a very good character study(well, it’s a bit anvilicious but that comes with the intended audience), and I really like the way it handled Chirin’s and Woo’s character, their relationship, and their eventual fate. Cautionary tale, indeed.

    It’s amusing to compare this to Arashi no yoru ni, which is yet another story about a wolf and a sheep, albeit very different from this one…

  12. kuromitsu says:

    Forgot to add – I loved the way Woo was animated. I don’t know who did his animation but it was excellent.

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  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 05:18 AM)
    Oh, awesome, dark horse is releasing volume 10 of black lagoon in April, its been nearly five years since the last complete volume…
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 03:56 AM)
    @Aidan: I think theres something seriously wrong when theres the actually possibility of there being a good PA works anime but we all have our opinions =P
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 03:13 AM)
    @Raggers, I will go into detail when I review it. But I think something is seriously wrong when I get a far more satisfying ending out of shirobako than Death parade.
    Looking forward to writing a review of shirobako too.
  • Raggers
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 02:56 AM)
    @Aidan: it wasn’t bad though. I think it suffered from too high expectations and lack of focus (or overreaching).
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 02:29 AM)
    Well. Death parades ending was quite underwhelming.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Mar 28. 2015 11:21 PM)
    Waiting between releases for this will be a good thing, its the sort of manga you pick up and put down, then go back to with breaks in between.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Mar 28. 2015 11:13 PM)
    13 volumes into dorohedero, I’ve found it good enough to buy now that I’ve caught up with the official English releases. While the plot meaders and is kind of messy, isn’t up to much, I love how crazy the gory action is, the gritty artstyle/world and the black comedy more than well make up for it. It works best when focused on those masked gangster magician guys and also the main character, the others are only alright.
  • Raggers
    (Saturday, Mar 28. 2015 02:19 AM)
    @Aidan: true, but I don’t think the level is anywhere close to a true shounen. And once the basic rules are established it’s strategising and straight out fighting.
    I’d be more inclined to call it seinen with shounen elements than actually shounen.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 09:59 PM)
    Good all action finale to cap off Garo there, went out with a bang, though thing is I have no idea where their going to go with this when the movie, second season comes along, this seems like a pretty good point to finish.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 05:35 PM)
    I think that just about all the manga serialized in ultra jump feel less seinen than those serialized in other seinen magazines.

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