Posted 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.

Leave a Reply

Shoutbox

Name:
Email:
For:  
Mail will not be published
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 10:46 AM)
    heh, have to admit, I don’t think highly of the twists that have been happening in Naruto, but the new designs look awesome in action.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 10:30 AM)
    anyways, Shaft’s pretty much built on that “stagnating” style, it’d be like telling Apple to stop being UI-focused and open their walled garden up and be more like Android. Change is only desired when you don’t like something.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 10:24 AM)
    oh, when I said “more or less the same,” I meant that it’s easy to tell when they did something because you can recognize their trademarks from other works.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 10:22 AM)
    You’re not going to see any sudden, steep climbs of improvement, they’re already past that stage and into the subtleties of mastery.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 10:22 AM)
    They all have a style that’s more or less the same. It improves, but it’s only noticeable if you follow them closely. We’re talking about pros that are getting better at what they do, not just in purely visual means, but output efficiency, layout design, frame rate control, etc, while still trying to keep two subjects happy: their dedicated audience and themselves.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 10:19 AM)
    and I still don’t understand “stagnating.” It still sounds like “more of the same old, just in different strokes” which would refer to progressing consistency. Hiroyuki Imaishi, Mitsuo Iso, Masaaki Yuasa, Yo Yoshinari, Masahiro Ando, hell, let’s even throw in Shinichiro Watanabe.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 10:17 AM)
    even without the edits, they employ a nice modern style, focusing on sharp, sleek designs with lots of symmetry and emphasis on form. “detail” is exactly what I think when I see their architecture and environments just spiraling with mathematical forms and stylized lighting.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 10:09 AM)
    @K-Off as for Shaft’s backgrounds, Rebellion is enough to blow any viewer’s mind, new or veteran. Their TV series undergo tons of BD edits (as sites like Sankaku Complex will lovingly detail with hundreds of screenshot comparisons). Granted many of them can seem insignificant, but that’s attention to detail, no mistake, even if it’s unnecessary attention lol.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 10:04 AM)
    In either case, South Korea doesn’t have strong enough support for the animation industry to launch series of their own (else they’d probably go through everything Naver has). Not much point when dramas and games are more popular, thus draw in more money, and people can get their anime fix from Japan. Although with more global successes, it seems like there’s some rumbling in the industry, but likely most of these series are going to be like weekend morning offerings in the US.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 10:01 AM)
    Although that could also be because of the shifting to digital procurement of media.

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

Clipboard07

Ping Pong – 02

Yes, I know that more people here were involved in making this series beyond Masaaki Yuasa. It’s written by the creator of Tekkon Kinkreet, Taiyo Mashimoto. That guy is awesome. And the combination between those two makes this series even better. Because here’s the thing: anime is significantly different from manga or light novels. Beyond […]

Clipboard02

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure – Stardust Crusaders – 02

We can never quite get rid of magic fights at a school, now can we, Jojo. Ah well, I forgive it this time, just due to how hilarious it looks seeing these ridiculously bulky men walk around pretending to be high school students. It’s just so over the top, and yet Jojo sets itself apart […]

Clipboard01

Mushishi Season 2 – 02

Oh yes. This is it. This is what storytelling should be about: telling real stories about real people, all with their own problems that need to be overcome. And this show does that time and time again in just one episode. I still can’t believe how authentic this series is. The thing is, when I […]

Clipboard02

Mushishi – Tokubetsu-hen

Mushishi holds a really special place in my heart. Back in November 2005, when I started up this blog, Mushishi was one of the first shows I picked up to cover weekly. At first I didn’t think much behind it: it just looked interesting and I wanted to cover it, but as it went on […]

Seasonal Anime Podcast – First Impressions – 2013 Fall Anime Season

Hey everyone, I participated in a podcast again, together with Deadlights (Deadlight’s Anime Blog) Flawfinder (Standing on my Neck) and Slashe (Behind the Nihon Review) with two new members, Landon (Mecha Guignol) and Tom (Nigorimasen) Today we talked about the past Fall season. You can find the link here, enjoy: http://deadlightanime.blogspot.nl/2013/10/seasonal-anime-podcast-first_12.html

Clipboard07

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure Review – 89/100

There are a lot of ways to adapt something. Shounen battle series tend to very quickly fall into a very dull variation of that: really slow pacing that goes on forever with long boring drawn out battles that all look like each other. David Production looked at them, and just said “we can do better!” […]

Clipboard06

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure – 26

Oh Jojo. What an ending. I did not expect what would happen here at all. Perhaps the ending was not as impressive as with Psycho Pass or From the New World, but still this is every way in which a shounen series should end. You hear that, other shounen series? Watch this for how endings […]

Clipboard05

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure – 25

Okay, so I thought that this was the final episode so I was ready to go all out. And then at the end of this episode there was this “To be continued”-message. Yeah, I was confused. But boy, am I glad, because it means that there will be one more episode of Jojo. They managed […]

Clipboard06

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure – 23 & 24

And here are the penultimate episodes of Jojo. And seriously, I loved the fights here. The creators really went to the extreme, while keeping true to their philosophy of putting huge over the top powers on one hand, and really delicate things on the other. One one hand you have Stroheim yelling like crazy, while […]

Latest Reviews

Clipboard03

Kick Heart

Okay, so I didn’t want to exit 2013 without having seen Masaaki Yuasa’s Kick Heart. It’s only twelve minutes anyway, and I consider him to be one of the best anime directors out there. The story here is pretty silly and mostly serves as a backdrop, so I mostly want to talk about the nature […]

Clipboard01

Kyousogiga Review – 90/100

Everyone’s taste is different, and that’s a wonderful thing because that allows us to have so many different forms of media that all aim toward their own niche. My blog is obviously written from the perspective of my own taste, and even when a show doesn’t cater to it (which is nearly always), I love […]

Clipboard04

Ore no Nounai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Lovecome o Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru Review – 80/100

Noucome! You do not want to know how long I have been waiting for a series like this. More than half a decade, at the very least. Finally a series comes along and puts the incredibly overused harem genre in its place. And it actually does it well. Thank you! So to elaborate: the harem […]

Clipboard01

Pokemon: The Origin Review – 75/100

Normally I try to avoid spoilers with these reviews, but screw it, it’s Pokemon. Pokemon The Origin is a bomb of nostalgia. If you haven’t played Pokemon Red, Blue or Green, then you will not enjoy this one slight bit. This really is made as pure undilluted fanservice for the fans of the first games. […]

Clipboard08

Tamayura – More Aggressive Review – 75/100

I’m not going to dedicate a post for my impression for the final three episodes of this series. It was just too boring to write much about. I guess that that gives a pretty accurate indication of what I think about this series. Right at the start of Tamayura’s second season, I asked one question: […]

Clipboard04

Silver Spoon Review – 86/100

When Noitamina started airing two series per season, it was amazing. It’s a timeslot that on average tends to be aimed at a much older audience than usual, and having two series with the same mentality definitely helped to bring more diversity to anime overall. Unfortunately it’s a schedule that could not be kept up […]

Clipboard07

Yondemasuyo, Azazel-San Z Review – 82,5/100

Reviewing a comedy sequel usually is quite simple: in most cases it just drops the bomb and runs out of inspiration, and in rare cases it actually manages to stay hilarious. The tricky thing with these kinds of series is that you need to remain funny, and you need to have the inspiration for that. […]

Clipboard05

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet Review – 81/100

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet tells the storyline of a planet that is completely submerged, with only giant ships residing on the surface, while one of those ships gets visited by this guy and his AI-mecha from this very technologically advanced civilization. Yes, this show is about world building. What this show managed to do […]

Clipboard01

Yahari Ore no Seishun no Love Come wa Machigatteiru Review – 82,5/100

I like surprises, like when a series comes that just turns out to be good against my expectations. Yahari Blahblah from the outside had all the signs to turn into yet another one of those high school comedies: snarky male lead, pointlessly long title that fails at being witty, various other cliched side-characters. And they […]