Posted by psgels on 16 July 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews




Rintarou. He’s one of my favourite movie directors, only surpassed by Satoshi Kon (and perhaps Hayao Miyazaki, but that’s more because Hayao Miyazaki is incredibly consistent, while Rintarou most definitely isn’t). Yona Yona Penguin was his latest work, so I’ve been wanting to check it out for a long time, but it just didn’t show up anywhere. After watching it, I can sort of understand why: it’s a kids’ movie that’s completely different from any other series he has directed or worked on, and entirely in 3D CG. I really liked it, though.

Now, Yona Yona Penguin is neither nowhere near Rintarou’s best nor his worst work. It is merely a whimsical really young kids adventure: the main character is around six or seven years old, and the entire movie has this mentality. It doesn’t try to be anything other than that (a mistake that actually a number of other movies of this genre did make, like Haruka and the magic mirror for example), and just focuses on delivering a heartfelt and adorable adventure. And succeeds.

Let me get this out of the way here: Yona Yona Penguin is absolutely adorable. The main character runs, jumps and dances around the entire movie in a penguin coat. The soundtrack is as whimsical as the premise of this movie and only makes her even more fun to watch. She’s really just an innocent child who likes to play around, yet also is serious enough to know when not to goof off and continue on with the plot of the movie. A plot that seems simple at first, but becomes surprisingly heartfelt after a while due to a number of simple but interesting twists.

Rintarou’s experience also really helps during the finale of this movie. I mean, you shouldn’t expect anything as amazing as Metropolis or anything, but nevertheless the climax of this movie is beautiful wonderfully atmospheric. This is something where a lot of other movies don’t know how to deliver, but here it’s the highlight of the entire movie.

It’s a kids’ movie, but if you’re looking for something really innocent, then this fits the bill. Just know that it’s entirely based on kids’ logic: it’s not supposed to be logical…

Storytelling: 9/10 – Ah, why not? This has a childish innocence that a lot of other kids’ movies and series lack, and even during the dramatic parts, it never lets go of this innocence.
Characters: 8/10 – They’re kids, and the characters feel like kids. At first they’re simple, but the movie gives main cast some surprising depth.
Production-Values: 8/10 – 3D CG entirely, which doesn’t look as good as regular 2D animation, but it still has a number of gorgeous scenes. The soundtrack is also really excellent.
Setting: 8/10 – Actually a ton of creativity went into this, from the backgrounds to the world it’s set in. It’s imaginative, yet retains its simplicity.

Suggestions:
Andersen Monogatari
Swan Lake
Metropolis

2 Responses

  1. tomphile says:

    It’s nice to see something besides pure anime on this blog.

    So, if it’s not the best and not the worst, is this mediocre in terms of what the producer can create?

  2. psgels psgels says:

    If it was created by any random new director, it would have been a very good movie. “Mediocre” is a bit of a negative word, but for Rintarou’s standards it’s pretty much middle of the road.

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  • Emma
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 01:59 AM)
    @Realist: I don’t believe I am familiar with that manga, love tyrant.
    @Wyatt: Been there, done that.
    @Realist: Luring the viewer into a false sense of security with a happy, deceptive start if done right can work.
    @Realist: Ergo proxy was atmospheric, creepy, well plotted, violent and well drawn and I still love the cyberpunk feel, the ending and silly episode however were a letdown.
  • ninjarealist
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 01:30 AM)
    @AidanAK47 @Emma What’s y’alls opinions on “Love Tyrant”?
  • ninjarealist
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 01:07 AM)
    @WyattX Ergo Proxy is sort of like that. It starts out really dark and the most light-hearted episodes come later on in the series. But it’s by no means a straight trajectory from dark to light. I for one am a sucker for shows that start out light and get dark and am glad it is trending right now. This has been a breakout season for that type of show.
  • WyattX
    (Wednesday, Nov 26. 2014 07:34 PM)
    Just watch it for how fracking trashy it is. “It’s so bad, it’s good” is a huge understatement. Go through the series in order for the full effect you’ll get when you watch the OVAs. Just pure gold.
  • WyattX
    (Wednesday, Nov 26. 2014 07:23 PM)
    I recommend you watch Princess Lover then watch the OVAs. The series itself is relatively normal (although crap) but the OVA are hentai. You get to see the hilarious jump from non-h to hentai as the main character turns into a hungry sex addict and tries to get into the heroine’s pants every five seconds when he HAD acted like a gentleman the entire series. LOL
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Nov 26. 2014 01:02 PM)
    Generally later on when alot of comedies need to wrap things up they try to force in a plot so they can get some kind of ending. I know, agree its generally terrible, some of the drama later in toradora for example made me want to detusk a walrus in frustration.
  • WyattX
    (Wednesday, Nov 26. 2014 09:27 AM)
    What is it with light comedies trying to turn melodramatic as the series gets stretched out? What if we did the reverse? Let’s say theoretically that it happened to Tsubasa Chronicle. It would start out melodramatic as usual, then devolve into a simple, light slapstick comedy and forget about the story. People would lose their minds.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Nov 26. 2014 07:44 AM)
    Here I take a second look at time of eve/eve no jiken: http://emma-hime.deviantart.com/art/Review-Time-of-eve-496663893
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Nov 26. 2014 03:06 AM)
    I’m not sure whether to watch the sequel or not.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Nov 26. 2014 03:04 AM)
    @Aidan: I try to avoid watching films where I can.
    Although you’ve got me to look back on my own review of guardians of the galaxy, the words I use in it don’t reflect the 4 out of 5 I gave it .

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