Yobi, the Five Tailed Fox (Yeu woo bi) Reviews
That being said, neither one was terrible. They were great starting points for Korean anime. Especially since it's only just making its debut in the West. The strongest thing going for them is the animation and artwork. Most notably Sky Blue. Yobi is no exception. At times it feels like a Japanese anime and at times it doesn't. The movement is much more fluid than most Japanese anime films, but it falls short of all the Ghibli films and the works of Katsuhiro Otomo. The lip syncing is also better than most Japanese anime. Rather than having the lips move up and down and occasionally moving inwards, on mostly close-up shots this film sets the records straight. The lips of the characters move and correspond to the exact sound and syllable of the Korean language. The shadow textures and use of CG is also very well done. Unlike Sky Blue, this film isn't nearly as liberal with CG rendered environments and backgrounds. The only scene I can recall that uses CG is the part where Yobi saves the bus from crashing after it gets a flat tire. Like Japan, Korea's animation does seem to be on a tighter budget and it does go to show in most of their films.
The story is much stronger in this film and the characters seem more developed and three dimensional. This film is directed by Seong-kang Lee, the same director of My Beautiful Girl, Mari. Mari is the most widely distributed and popular Korean anime film in North America. The film wasn't bad, but it's not one for the impatient, since it is very slow at developing its story and characters. Both are children's films and I am not a fan of children's entertainment. This film is much better in terms of pacing and character development. Kids would probably come to appreciate this film more for that fact and its humor. This film has the same amount of humor as My Neighbor, Totoro, which was the first anime film that got me into the medium and became obsessed with as a kid.
Like My Beautiful Girl, Mari, this film focuses on the relationship between a human and a seemingly mythological being. In this case, Guem-Ie and Yobi. Unlike with Mari the relationship is actually more captivating and is very well paced. The one fault of this film is that, while it accomplishes what the other films were trying to do it still seems a little uneven in terms of plot. The first half of the film feels more like a humorous rescue the friend who's caught by one of the kids in the orphanage mission, then it goes to the romantic relationship of Yobi and Guem-Ie, and then it goes to a more environmental approach where she's trying to escape a hunter and his ruthless attack dogs with the help of Guem-Ie. These are not major spoilers, by the way. Korean anime does seem like it's trying to copy the Japanese formula by combining multiple genres and diversifying its content, but it doesn't do it especially well. But hey, it's in its heyday so what have you to expect?
In conclusion, this film is a very strong film. It's perhaps the strongest Korean anime film since Ark and Sky Blue. It's a wonderful film for people of all ages. I'm not bashing the Korean anime genre, nor am I playing favorites with Korean and Japanese anime. Admittedly, Korean anime has a lot going for it and Yobi, The Five Tailed Fox goes to prove it. If Seong-kang Lee continues to make films of this quality, then not only will he popularize Korean anime in the West, but he would rank up with Miyazaki, Takahata, or Kon as one of the masters of anime. This film is very obscure, but if you are able to find it, keep it, share it, and help to promote the Korean anime genre.
this animation is one of the best I've seen lately. and with a bright ending.. something easy to watch and it's made really beautiful :)