This past week I watched two Japanese animated movies, both of which are currently available for limited release and in select theaters. The first one I watched was Only Yesterday. It was originally released in 1991, but has finally made a North American debut in honor of its 25th anniversary. The film’s main character Taeko is voiced by Daisy Ridley (aka Rey from Star Wars: The Force Awakens). On a trip to visit family in the countryside, Taeko finds herself reminiscing about her childhood, particularly her 5th grade self. This wonderful production by Studio Ghibli and directed by Isao Takahata has a nice mix of humor and stirring emotions. It is currently showing in the US and Canada until late April. Visit the movie’s website to check locations.
The Boy and the Beast, directed by Mamoru Hosoda, follows a young orphaned boy named Ren. One night while wandering around, he stumbles into an alternate world inhabited by beasts. One of them, a bear named Kumatetsu, takes Ren (evenually named Kyuta in the beast world) to become his apprentice. They form a father/son bond during Kyuta’s training and he evolves into a strong and brave individual. His skills are put to the test in order to defeat the darkness that has taken over an unlikely enemy. I enjoyed the animation style of the movie and the various characters.
Check here for showtimes and theater locations for this film.