Posted on 7/11/11 01:41 PM
Remember when I reviewed My Neighbor Totoro, and how I said it was mainly for children? Well, this film by Mr. Miyazaki is definitely not for children. Why? Well, I don't thing that aspects such as bloody violence, scary images, foul language, suggestive themes and former brothel prostitutes are a part of any child's recommended dose of movie viewing. Don't get me wrong when I say these words though, cause this film is absolutely amazing. Any of you, even the one's who turn their head up at the sight of an anime film, would love watching this. It's a period film set in the Muromachi period of Japan's history, most likely in the 1500s (yes, I did my research). But there's a twist. The story has many fantastic and surreal elements to it, such as talking animals, forest spirits, curses, demons and gods. What's more is that it, just like Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, has an environmental theme at its center. When I first rented this film I wasn't expecting it to be so adult oriented, until I saw that the rating was PG-13. While watching it I kept thinking, "well this isn't for kids at all. I like it." It soon rose to the ranks of my second favorite anime ever made, and I don't even like most anime. What's that? What's my first? Well you'll see soon enough.
The film may be animated but in terms of correlation it's a lot like the Seven Samurai equivalent of animated films, and that's no joke. The plot is very well told by the screenplay that Miyazaki himself wrote. There aren't too many plot lines, and the story is made even more interesting with the addition of the phantasmagoric elements that were put in. The voice acting, though criticized by some, is considered to be one of the best out there. I especially liked the voice acting of the gods that were a part of the film. The film has amazing scenes of action, but it doesn't overdo it in the slightest. This way you are left staying in your seat waiting for what will happen next, as it not only paces itself well but also leaves lots of room for other important facets such as character/story development and atmospheric articulation. Last but not least is the story, which touches on the protection of the environment and the creatures that inhabit it. I doubt any of you don't care about the environment, but I care about it very much. The story touches on the conflicts that humans and nature will have, and on the skirmishes that seem to follow those conflicts at every turn. It also touches on the aspect of resolving the conflicts peacefully and on the importance of working to find a middle ground so that an amicable solution can be met. Gee, I wish Congress would act that way. The bottom line is that even though this film is an anime, it seems more like a film that someone who likes watching Kurosawa films would enjoy. I enjoyed it and I'm sure you will as well (or already do). Just don't show it around your little sister or anything. She'll have nightmares.