Mamoru Hosoda Movie Marathon

Favourite Hosoda Film


  • Total voters
    19

D1tchd1gger

Akatsuki
In the count down to the release of Belle in cinemas on the 4th of February (official website) it's as good a time as any to watch his previous films.
Belle is Hosoda's 7th feature length film as director and the 5th as writer/director. This thread will be dedicated to the 6 non-franchise films.

Mamoru Hosoda was born on the 19th of September 1967 in Kamiichi, Toyama prefecture. Inspiration for becoming an animator came from The Castle of Cagliostro released in 1979 and after leaving school he went to the Kanazawa College of Art. After graduation he applied to Studio Ghibli, but was unsuccessful. Instead he landed an animation job at Toei Animation in 1991 where he worked on 3x3 Eyes, Sailor Moon, and Dragon Ball Z among others and also worked on Revolutionary Girl Utena at J.C. Staff under the name Katsuyo Hashimoto.
After 8 years he was given his first overall directorial roles with short films for Digimon and Gegege no Kitaro.

The success of Digimon: The Movie brought him to the attention of Toshio Suzuki at Studio Ghibli who were wanting to find new blood to take the burden off Hayao Miyazaki and so Hosoda was brought in to direct Howl's Moving Castle in late 2001. Unfortunately for Hosoda they wanted him to direct it as similar to Miyazaki as possible, whereas he wanted to make it his own way. These creative differences meant that he left in the Summer of the following year.

After returning to Toei and working on more TV series he eventually made his feature length debut with the 6th One Piece movie Baron Omatsuri and the Secret of the Island in 2005. In this period he directed the OP for Samurai Champloo for Manglobe, again under the name Katsuyo Hashimoto, it was here he met the producer Yuichiro Saito.


In 2005 Hosoda joined Madhouse and together with Saito made The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006) and Summer Wars (2009). In 2011 they formed a new animation studio called Studio Chizu and have since made 4 films: Wolf Children (2012), The Boy and the Beast (2015), Mirai (2018) and Belle (2021). I'll expand on each when we reach them.

Wikipedia: Mamoru Hosoda - Wikipedia
MAL: Mamoru Hosoda

The following is a suggested time scale for watching the movies between now and the release of Belle, but feel free to skip any of them or even watch at your own leisure.

FILM​
DATES​
STREAMING​
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time​
11/1-14/1​
Summer Wars​
15/1-18/1​
Wolf Children​
19/1-23/1​
The Boy and the Beast​
24/1-28/1​
Amazon*​
Mirai​
29/1-1/2​
Amazon*​
Belle​
4/2​
N/A​
*rental, not Prime

Physical releases are available for the first 3 via Funimation UK, StudioCanal for The Boy and the Beast and Anime Limited for Mirai (and presumably Belle at some point)

For some added fun I thought I'd add a poll. Anyone can vote whether joining in or not, one vote per person, but you can change your vote and I've left it open ended, so anyone can vote once they've got round to watching them.
 
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D1tchd1gger

Akatsuki
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
A bit of background here, but also contains what could be construed as small spoilers for the film. Spoilers for the book will be hidden:
This was the first Hosoda film not from a franchise, although it was a loose adaptation of the book by the same name, released in 1967, written by Yasutaka Tsutsui who also wrote Paprika, the anime of which, also produced by Madhouse, was released in the same year as TGWLTT! This was actually the 3rd feature length film based off the book the first 2 being live action straight adaptations (1983, 1997) and there would be a 4th (3rd live action) film in 2010 in which the daughter of the original character is the protagonist, played by the same actor, Riisa Naka, who voiced Makoto in the anime! The anime version was written by Satoko Okudera (who would go on to co-write Summer Wars and Wolf Children) and places the niece of the original character as the main protagonist. I never realised this until reading the Wiki though, the Aunt does say she too used to travel through time, but gives such a spurious example I wrote it off as her making fun of Makoto a little when watching previously. There's a shot later on where the camera zooms in on a photo of her with 2 boys, these are the other 2 characters from the book. Next to the photo is some lavender. In the book she can travel through time because she inhales a drug made by one of the boys who is the time traveller and it smells like lavender. She seems to use the power for much more serious stuff than Makoto, warning of a house burning down and a traffic accident. Eventually the time traveller has to go home, but first he erases the memories of the other 2. The smell of lavender brings back a vague recollection of the boy for the girl who fell in love with him.
The film received a very small theatrical release and received little in the way of advertising in comparison to other anime films and ended up making ¥300m at the Japanese box office, but it did go on to win the inaugural Best Animation Award at the Japanese Academy Awards.

'Time waits for no one'
On to my impressions of the film itself. I watched it in English, the last time I saw it was with the Japanese commentary, which wasn't very insightful.
It is an interesting take on the old "with great power comes great responsibility" as Makoto wastes the power on "fixing" minor problems resulting in bad things happening to other people when she could have easily just accepted the original outcome in terms of the accidents or been more honest when Chiaki confronts her especially the second time about being able to time leap as she had realised she was down to her last leap by then. The false ending where Chiaki explains everything and then says he has to leave would probably have been a better ending as she would have truly learned her lesson, but it didn't make that much sense. Sure Chiaki would be in trouble with his people, but he can't get home to be told off unless they somehow realise and are able to bring him home. The true ending is still bittersweet, but Makoto gets to say a proper goodbye, although equally she could have just kept her mouth shut and Chiaki wouldn't have to leave having, to his mind, not given his secret away!
There were a few inconsistencies with how the leaps worked as well, some times she would appear in the past and then go back to the present, like the first time with the pudding, but other times seemed to remain in the past till she caught up with the present.
Having said all that I still enjoy this film, the characters are very good, even Makoto despite being a bit selfish sometimes does try to properly fix things later and the running away from awkward situations could be taken as teenage awkwardness at not wanting to face how things would change between the friends.
The art and animation was pretty good although from memory they definitely improve in later films.
 

WMD

Mad Scientist
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

This is a great film. I've watched it so many times over the years but it's been a while since I last watched. I think it might also have been the first film to make me cry.

It's just a wonderfully told story. The way her meddling has consequences for others is so well done. And in the end she runs out of time to fix things. Its truly shocking when shes running down the hill knowing what's about to happen to Kosuke and nothing can be done. The Chiaki reveal also really got me the first time I watched it though it always amuses me on subsequent watches just how loudly the film actually telegraphs that its him who knows the truth.

The way it closes out at the end is magnificent with one last chance at a do over to make sure things end well...or at least ok. God this film is great.

Also during the end credits, with the still frames, it really jumped out just how expressive the character animation was in this film. Almost more like a crazy shonen comedy bit rather than an emotional rollercoaster of a teen drama.
 

Lordhippos

Thousand Master
I've not rewatched it here as I saw it some months ago now, in truth I can only remember bits of it, but I do recall that I liked it and thought it was nicely produced, with an interesting story.

At the time I will echo that I thought the same as you @D1tchd1gger - she had this power to change things but was using it for mediocre stuff that didn't matter. To me I see this as a little naive, but to her perhaps it was impetuousness instead. She didn't seem like the smartest character in terms of intellect, so I put it down to her just doing what she thought best at the time without her really thinking things through.

Of the 3 Hosoda films I've tried, I think this was my fav one so far.
 

Geriatric hedgehog

Thousand Master
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

Been wanting to re-watch this for some time so a very handy excuse to do so here. Also loving the schedule guys, it really helps to stay in the game by having a few days for each movie.

I enjoyed the background life that was lovingly demonstrated, for example in the short montage showing various students' after-school activities near the start before Makoto's visit to the lab. Likewise the backgrounds were effectively used to inject humour as well, including the spinning oaf that went flying into our characters, but my favourite and funniest being the three girls' embarrassed running & hiding on being caught spying on Kousuke.

I for one didn't pick up at all on Chiaki's feelings for Makoto until his confession. I didn't feel they were made overt at all, but thought that was intended as such to put us in Makoto's shoes to be just as shocked at the confession perhaps. Makoto's past experiences' montage near the end nicely demonstrated their budding relationship, as whilst the friendship in the group was clearly portrayed, these two's romantic feelings weren't really in my opinion.

I thought the desire to remain frozen at that perfect time period in one's life was captured beautifully, with our protagonist fighting hard to maintain the status quo of her friendship circle. It's a subject often covered in anime that an old geezer like me enjoys to use to vicariously relive a past imperfect youth and we all probably have points in our lives where we wish we could abide within forever before relationships stretched and fizzled away as friends and family move on and away.

Another aspect that was a great touch for me was the reference to & cameo of the story and characters from the original source novel, as for one unfamiliar with that it had a touch of magical mystery, for want of a better description. Reminded me of my second favourite horror game on the PS1, Parasite Eve, and how that was a continuation of a story from it's source novel. In both cases my interest was piqued to maybe someday try to track down the source novels.

The bugbears I had were regarding the plot, such as Chiaki's motivation for his travels which fell pretty flat for me but maybe I'm just a philistine when it comes to art and only happy to appreciate it from the comfort of my couch... I would have liked a bit more focus on the central romance and while their parting was beautifully put together with that great sunset background scene, Chiaki's promise to hurry to the future where he'd be waiting resulted in a groan and eeeeeeehhhhhh??? from me. Okay maybe I just didn't like Chiaki - the walking, talking plot-hole, as much as the others. I should go join those three girls on the bench waving the flag for Kousuke...

All in all an enjoyable movie within the time-travel romance genre.


It is an interesting take on the old "with great power comes great responsibility" as Makoto wastes the power on "fixing" minor problems resulting in bad things happening to other people
I liked this take on it and in particular how the characters who were aware of the time-leaping phenomenon, Chiaki & the Aunt, were both actually relieved that Makoto was using her powers for trivial matters as the negative consequences were correspondingly relatively trivial. My assumption was that from the Aunt's and either Chiaki's or the people from his time's experience, the more serious a matter being changed by time-leaping the more serious the negative consequences were elsewhere to achieve a balance, and hence their relief on seeing Makoto's small-time antics. In fact I wonder if the use of time-leaping for major changes is what lead to distaster in the future and the ability's strict regulation then.
 

D1tchd1gger

Akatsuki
Summer Wars
This was the first Hosoda film with an original story, although it used a lot of the plot from the Digimon Movie: Our War Game!! also directed by Hosoda. And seems like he went back to the well for Belle, certainly the setting of a digital world.
LOL, watched this video after the film. Some of it is beat for beat!

It was co-written by Satoko Okudera (screenplay) and Hosoda (story). The location of Ueda was chosen as it was relatively close to Hosoda's home city of Toyama and the family in the story were based on a prominent clan from the Prefecture of Nagano where Ueda is located. The large size of the family was influenced by a visit Hosoda made to see his, then, fiancé's family which was much larger than his own family.

Due to the success of The Girl Who Leapt Through Time there was much more advertising of the film including the first 5 minutes being released online and a manga adaptation that started serialising the month before the premiere of the film in August, 2009.
The film made c. $17.5m (c.¥2bn using today's exchange rate) in Japan and like TGWLTT won the Best Animation Award at the Japanese Academy Awards.

Shall. We. Play. A. Game. Koi-Koi!
I remember not getting on with this on the first watch and certainly didn't like it as much as TGWLTT, but I think it's grown on me in this 3rd watch. The theme of family is well done, showing the power of pulling together in hard times, but also some of the various ways families argue. Kenji's speech about it being nice to sit down and eat with family was quite moving and I think echo what Hosoda experienced when meeting his in-laws having read a few interviews.

To the other point of being careful with the Internet/technology/AI it's, obviously, not the first piece of media to tackle the issue, but until the end was a lot more grounded with the various systems going wrong rather than jumping straight to nuclear war! I will say that it was odd that their mobiles kept working, it would have made the scene with the matriarch using a landline a bit more impactful. If I was a mischievous AI the first thing I would take down would be telecommunications, although as I was writing that the thought popped into my head that maybe it needed them to be kept open to access the accounts it had hacked into. Plus having a newscast give us a bit of exposition is useful for filmmakers. I also liked the metaphor of the baseball team struggling, but getting the come back win.
The defeating of the AI was a little silly and it was really convenient that the members of the family all worked in different fields that just so happens to coincide with what they needed. Of course, as a non-Japanese, the Hanafuda game made no sense whatsoever, seems it's sort of like poker: Koi-Koi.
The art and animation were a step up from TGWLTT and you can tell they used different designers for the different worlds.
There was an unfortunate line in the dub. When Kenji was panicking Kazuma says "stopping spazzing out", whereas the sub says "I said calm down"

Additional trivia
The answer to the cypher that Kenji (almost) solved was 2 references:
The Magic Words are Squeamish Ossifrage
And
To know, is to know that you know nothing. That is the meaning of true knowledge.
Is a quote attributed to Socrates by Plato.
 

WMD

Mad Scientist
Summer Wars

This is one of my all time favourite movies (and easily Hosoda's best). I love every second of it. The first time I watched it I was completely transfixed; I'd never seen anything like it! I love the use montages in this film. The montage of Granny getting on the phone and getting goings sorted is probably my all time favourite montage. It moves the plot, develops the story and the world, and fundamentally informs us about Granny's character and the woman she is as the family matriarch.

The later montage where the women are preparing for the funeral and bemoaning the attitude of the guys while the guys are incredulous that the women don't understand the world needs to be saved is funny, heartbreaking and brilliant in how it casts no judgement on either side as both are right for feeling the way they do.

The way the virtual world is this wondrous but clinical beauty contrasts so well to the messier but scenically beautiful art of the real world. The use of CGI and hand drawn styles is so effective in making them both distinct and having the stakes in each feel weighty.

For such a large cast the various stories and characterisations are incredibly well handled. Kazuma being the real stand out. The moment where he feels he is the only one that could save everyone but is defeated is so emotional and a real gut punch. But also the main characters move from shy and awkward to determined and proactive is incredibly well done. As are Granny and Wabiskes stories. Their stand off where Granny wields the spear is and the carnage of the dinner table is just really well shot. And the part where Wabiske learns Granny died is great. The camera holding just below his eyes as he speaks so coldly only to pan up as he learns the truth and we see the shock and horror in his eyes is just great direction.

Even with Love Machine and its evolutions visually showing we need to fear it more and more are just great visual storytelling. When he bursts out of the trap and acquires the Oz wings and these crooked angel wings symbolising his stolen dominion over the virtual world is just really good stuff.

Also the way the TV adds meta commentary through the baseball b plot as well as seeding the final disaster of the satellite is incredibly cathartic and effiectint storytelling respectively.

Anyway this is probably my longest post on this forum so I'll draw a line here and end by saying I like this film. Its perfect.
 

João Gomes

Vampire Ninja
Lovely trivia I had no idea about @D1tchd1gger ! Thanks for the insight. That makes me admire it a lot more.

Enjoyed this a lot, I'd already watched it years ago but remembered nothing about it. I love when media takes an extravagant/complicated concept and uses it to tell a completely mundane story. That's not to say it's a boring story, I really enjoyed it and its simplicity and focus on characters. I think it reflects how things would go more or less if you gave limited time leaping abilities to a clueless teenager and no context as to their importance.

Contrary to our resident @Geriatric hedgehog , I enjoyed Chiaki and his relationship with Makoto. It helps that I love his character archetype, the seemingly impenetrable guy who looks menacing from the outside but is actually a lovely person. His thing with the painting made me think he had a strong emotional connection to it probably relating to close family, and that was enough for me. As for their feelings, I think in a circle of friends that's bound to end up happening sometimes, I've been there!

Just uh, beware walnuts, I guess is the main message here.

Don't know when I'll get to Summer Wars, I'm doing Utena and XIV got its grip on me again urgh

But I'm excited for it!
 

Lordhippos

Thousand Master
I'm hoping to swing back tomorrow and read the previous replies in a bit more detail, but for the moment I wanted to say that I couldn't finish Summer Wars when I tried it previously, which was a shame.

I realised it just wasn't grabbing me, and the stupidity of having important infrastructure connected to this network and vulnerable was a bit too far-fetched for me to believe as a key plot device.

This was the first Hosoda film I tried, I'm glad to say that the other other two I watched after - Girl Who Leapt Through Time and Wolf Children fared better in my view, and in the end I quite liked them both, with Girl being my favourite so far.

I'll see what I can drum up for Wolf Children in a couple of days :)

I aim to watch the last 2 films here as I've not seen them yet, so will join for those fully!
 

Lordhippos

Thousand Master
Alright, at risk of being decapitated by @João Gomes for double posting, I've sat down and read the last few posts. I wanted some logical separation from my previous post to show the time skip :p

It's amazing how polarising some things can be isn't it?

I see people praising Summer Wars and I couldn't get on with it, but as always tastes differ, and it's perfectly fine I think to not just like or dislike everything.

Wolf Children kicks off tomorrow so I'll be sure to come back within it's window and post some of my thoughts on what I can remember of it :)
 

Geriatric hedgehog

Thousand Master
Summer Wars

My second watch of this and I liked it even more this time. To begin with the world of Oz looks great (and makes me very excited for the more polished looking version in Belle whenever I eventually get to watch that) with the movie starting with my idea of a technicolour social-media-bureaucratic nightmare, and soon enough just turning into a plain old nightmare. That's what you get for leaving Alexa in charge of your lights, heating, wardrobe, bargain 40k nanny, etc etc. Whilst I enjoyed how the AI world was realised and laid out for human sensory input/interpretation, I felt the world-ending scenarios from it got silly and though in service of the plot, ultimately took the quality down a notch or two.

But the heart of the movie was in the big family and relationships within. That aspect for me was absolutely brilliant with all the trivial and life-changing, irritating and loving, squabbling and reconciliating, self-centred and selfless elements of the family beautifully displayed with each member having their own unique personalities on show. I was reminded of my relatively large family during childhood, probably one of the happiest times of my life before we moved away, with my teen self then also fitting very much in the protagonist's shoes where one could feel relatively lonely in a nuclear family setup without having that huge extended family support. All the characters & their interactions felt genuine and likely all informed through the director's personal experiences, as had been documented. Watching this I was also reminded of two recent very good movies featuring family themes with strong matriarch characters: The Farewell & Minari.

Whilst the impending disaster was too overhyped for me, it did allow the family members each to rally around in their own way like real troopers, which was nice to see. The baseball game being a mini-commentary on the mood shifts of the movie was a nice touch. As was the baseball star's mum loyalty in following his game come rain or shine. Again I loved how the backgrounds were given attention, especially at the start with multiple new family members entering the fray. The kids were quite funny and their naughty behaviours very accurate. I wondered if Hosoda had mistaken one of his in-law aunts for being a grandma as well, given how he is introduced as director in the opening credits right after that joke. And whilst the nosebleed trope normally does very little for me, the one here at the end was actually very, very sweet.

All in all I really enjoyed this one, so much so that I may have to rethink my vote after the next movie we have in line.


Anyway this is probably my longest post on this forum so I'll draw a line here and end by saying I like this film.
I've got to say that I felt the same about everything you've said. Literally the only thing I could do without is the epic armageddon proportions of the disaster heh.
Lovely trivia I had no idea about @D1tchd1gger ! Thanks for the insight. That makes me admire it a lot more.
I absolutely second that, thank you very much for the background info on both @D1tchd1gger (and in advance for the upcoming ones!), it really helps appreciate these works that much more.
Contrary to our resident @Geriatric hedgehog , I enjoyed Chiaki and his relationship with Makoto.
I wouldn't say I didn't enjoy their relationship, I just wish it was given a bit more development perhaps. Likewise I didn't dislike Chiaki (just preferred the others to him) and I do enjoy that archetype too, but I did struggle to fathom the logic and sincerity in some of his bold declarations heh.
I couldn't finish Summer Wars when I tried it previously, which was a shame.
It may grow on you with a second watch! On my first watch I found it a bit busy and probably found the AI world a bit distracting (& at times silly, though I can see the possibility of everything being linked in to social media just looking at things like Facebook & Amazon these days) from the family drama. On second watch it was a lot easier to focus on the family which is at heart of the movie and where it really shines.
 

WMD

Mad Scientist
Something to add to the discussion about Summer Wars. In 2009 when it came out the idea that facebook was actively pursuing to replace the internet and become the Oz we see in the film was entirely believable. In 05 when I joined Facebook it was public messages and photos. That's it. By 09 it was groups, games, adverts, DMs, videos. It was doing everything it could to make you spend as much time as possible on its platform and not doing anything else online. Oz is just the ultimate end point of that expansion, a Facebook without competition and left unchecked.

Oz is very much a cyberpunk dystopian setting. It looks perfect and ideal but is then shown to have cracks with dangerous societal consequences. The film is very much saying "don't let one social media become all this. It may seem convenient at first but it won't be."
 

João Gomes

Vampire Ninja
Alright, at risk of being decapitated by @João Gomes for double posting, I've sat down and read the last few posts. I wanted some logical separation from my previous post to show the time skip :p

It's amazing how polarising some things can be isn't it?

I see people praising Summer Wars and I couldn't get on with it, but as always tastes differ, and it's perfectly fine I think to not just like or dislike everything.

Wolf Children kicks off tomorrow so I'll be sure to come back within it's window and post some of my thoughts on what I can remember of it :)

Let me just check

my

notes


reaaaal


quick~~~


~~~~~


no beheadings scheduled today, you're good!

I'd actually watched it almost immediately after my last post, but I really didn't have much of value to add at all, so I didn't post anything. "It" being, of course

SUMMER WARS, if you'll excuse the melodrama.

I was extremely giddy to see the movie had an action director when the credits started at the beginning and there are a couple of noteworthy action scenes in there. Fun hand to hand choreography and good use of a setting where most anything should be possible, but without going into the deep end - like a certain mecha movieahemitstotallyeva that came out last summer.

I enjoyed it quite a bit, overall, the setting is dreamy (touring rural Japan is on my bucket list) and I liked the family dynamics and that most of them did something of importance. It kinda lost me here and there - I realize it may be a weird complaint, but the grandma calling everyone to cheer them on and it having any effect at all had me going "mmm... eeeeh".

Still, great looking, good vibes - and now I'm curious to watch Wolf Children or Les Enfants Loups because I only have it in French 😢

Kaze edition is nice, though. Juicy, explicit pics inside the spoiler🍑🍑🍆💦🔞🔥

20220119_101224.jpg20220119_101241.jpg20220119_101321.jpg20220119_101449.jpg

Be sure to like and subscribe and hit that bell notification so youanyway

Rigid slipcase, digipak with Blu-ray, DVD and bonus DVD, 4 postcards and - and I didn't know this was a thing - the book, written by Hosoda himself, 304 pages.

The Boy and the Beast edition I have also comes with the book. I'll show the whole thing when we get there.

My bad then, @Geriatric hedgehog misread your post about Girl! On the other hand, I think I agree a 100% with what you wrote in this one. Do include me in your newsletter!

Speaking about what @WMD wrote just now and having the benefit of hindsight - the truth ended up being even worse, somehow, if we're talking Facebook, which is one of the social media giants in our world. If not the app itself, which has lost importance for the younger generations, the group (meta?) which also has Instagram, undoubtedly.

And their influence is even more depressing - of course, the bottomline is cashmoney, always, but the lengths they'll go to get it, the misinformation echo chambers they're willing to promote and allow to fester, it's just depressing. It's sad.

And they didn't even need to have governments or businesses conducting their operations through them. Just show you what you want to see, reinforce it, show you a ton of ads, and reap the benefit times millions of people shrug
 

Geriatric hedgehog

Thousand Master
Wolf Schiildrren

I love this movie, it is just bursting with kindness & love and what better subject for such themes than a mother with an unquestioning, selfless and inexhaustible love for her little critters. Hana is such a sweet character and an absolute trooper, never ceasing to smile whatever the hardship or heartbreak. There is so much packed in with a very nice balance between the bad and good times, with the heart-wrenching agony of Hana at the quiet & unceremonious disposal of her love's remains at one point, to the family's euphoria at playing and wolf-skiing in the snow at another. Some visuals were strikingly beautiful, including to the milky way in motion during the parents' rendezvous at night (the uncredited planet very kindly sped up it's revolutions for our enjoyment), with the same scene soon after showing the stars vanishing as the sun rose. Another highlight was Yuki's transformation in between the curtains as they were being blown by the storm during her talk with Sohei. All these scenes were just beautiful. The villagers coming together to help the family out without being busybodies was lovely. @WMD mentioned the great montages in Summer Wars, and here we had the inevitable fast-forward one done masterfully well with the scenes oscillating between the children's states as they progressed in their classes. I loved the children's emotions and personalities which were beautifully animated, from their tantrums (well mainly Yuki's heh), exploring the world and people to the reversal of preferences between the human and wolf/nature worlds. I liked their weather-related naming - snow and rain have such a nice ring to them, though of course at the risk of people suspecting the father being Chris Martin. Big storm at the end to up the stakes but thankfully Noah's Ark was not required. I wasn't as convinced with Ame leaving home permanently, but I guess it was an appropriate metaphor for a child coming into their own, choosing a route in life and flying the roost.

I'm likely forgetting things as I feel there is so much more I could ramble on about. All these movies that we've seen could easily have been series or OVAs , they have so much packed in.

So, as much as I enjoyed Summer Wars, I have been pleasantly reminded that it will unquestionably remain second to Wolf Children on my Hosoda-favourites list. Gorgeous movie to uplift the spirits. And now I need to go and call my Mum.



Oz is just the ultimate end point of that expansion, a Facebook without competition and left unchecked. O is very much a cyberpunk dystopian setting. It looks perfect and ideal but is then shown to have cracks with dangerous societal consequences.
Very true, and I can certainly see that level of involvement in the day to day running of society the more social media swordartonlines it's way into society. Corporations already run all Western countries with the governments effectively being figureheads who want in (I mean, what greater honour could an ex-deputy pm have than to go work for Facebook - pillock), and the web-based ones are the most powerful.

Also just remembered one bit I forgot to mention about Summer Wars - the citizens of the world coming together and sacrificing their avatars to support the fight at the end was lovely and I wonder if it could have been the inspiration behind Nier: Automata's achingly beautiful credits of ending E.
Kaze edition is nice, though. Juicy, explicit pics inside the spoiler🍑🍑🍆💦🔞🔥
You dirty, dirty boy... Positively filthy you are! But that is no doubt a beautiful set indeed...now stop tempting me with your promiscuous continental editions!! I already bought the French Franxx CE that I'm yet to unpack, had been eyeing up the Shinsekai Yori one, and now this ... It looks like the recent Ghibli ones from studio canal. Very jealous. Should've bloody taken French at school after all.
Do include me in your newsletter!
Sad to report my brilliant plans to start just that on www.grumpymanyellsatcloud.com (inspiration right from this very forum of course) were scuppered thanks to some prude who thought it was an egregious, self-indulgent eyesore and monumental waste of time and crime against good taste/humanity, etc, etc. Actually I think I've just proved their point.
 

D1tchd1gger

Akatsuki
Wolf Children
The first film made by Studio Chizu, which Hosoda and Yuichiro Saito set up specifically for Hosoda to make the films he wanted. It was co-produced with Madhouse who both men had worked for.
The story was inspired by the people around Hosoda starting to have children and he noticed that they "shined" and he wanted to capture that. He chose the wolf part of the story to heighten how unusual it can feel to have to solve all the unknown problems parents face and so the audience could "all share an experience no one else had (in raising werewolf children)" It was co-written by Satoko Okudera and Hosoda, but this time Hosoda wrote more than just the story writing the first 2 drafts before Okudera wrote drafts 3 and 4 and then the final draft was put together from the previous 4. Okudera was a mother herself by this point so added her knowledge along with Hosoda's outside perspective of parenthood (his first hand experience would be used later as the basis for (EDIT: The Boy and the Beast and) Mirai).
The setting was inspired by the countryside around Hosoda's hometown of Kamiichi on the outskirts of Toyama. The house used as the model for Hana and the children's house was a disused house as the owner died 4 years previous to the production. It was to be demolished, but became a popular place to visit after the films release, so the relatives of the previous owner and volunteers fixed it up and opened it as a museum:
The film opened in Japan on the 21st of July, 2012 and made ¥4.2b at the box office, the 5th highest of the year. And for the third film running Hosoda's film won Best Animation Award at the Japan Academy Awards.

"I'm not crying, it's just the rain"
I love the opening with the romance of Hana and Ookami. A lot of it is wordless, but their expressions when thinking about one another are so telling and it's only 20 minutes from the start to his death! Some other romances that are whole films or series long haven't felt as moving as those 20 minutes.

As for the rest, I think I would only be repeating @Geriatric hedgehog in what he said in his post. The scenes that stick out the most are certainly the same. I'm trying to think of a scene that works so well as a montage of passing time as well as a little story of its own in how the children were coping with school as the back and forth between classrooms. Only the opening of Watchmen comes to mind at the moment.

On a personal note I think this speaks to me more than the other films because I too could change into a wolf and spent my youth up a mountain being the guardian of its environment also grew up in a single parent family, although I was older than Yuki and Ame when my parents split and my dad was still around to help out on occasion, but my mum went through a lot to raise us.
 
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Lordhippos

Thousand Master
Alright so Wolf Children, it's the second Hosoda film I watched after my own abortive attempt on Summer Wars.

I've read through your previous comments chaps prior to posting this, so my basic structure will be first of all what I thought of the film (based on what I can remember when I saw it probably 6 months ago), followed by some musings on what you guys have said.

On the whole I enjoyed the film and I think it did a really good job of showing just how hard it can be for a single parent to raise a family, especially so when they are a couple of wolf-rascals up to no good. My brother has two kids and they are definitely bundles of energy that can spontaneously cause havoc.

I think the mother truly just wanted the best for her children, and she was willing to sacrifice a hell of a lot of her own life to protect them and give them a better environment to grow up in. The villagers first of all kind of snubbed her as a city dweller, eventually begrudgingly admiring her tenacity, and that just goes to show that sometimes you need perseverance in the face of adversity.

My main negative point is that the whole story, whilst it was good, was also an abject lesson is how poor planning can lead to trouble. I don't remember her really being ready to have kids and settle down, so getting it on with a furry lead to the chaos that unfolded, and thus the entire plot could have been voided had a different path been taken near the start.

Some visuals were strikingly beautiful

I also thought that as well, I remember the bit with the snow and the river I think it was being one of my personal highlights on the visual front.

I wasn't as convinced with Ame leaving home permanently, but I guess it was an appropriate metaphor for a child coming into their own, choosing a route in life and flying the roost

This is an interesting take on the duality of their characters, I'm forgetting names a bit but based on what I've read from you both, Ame is the male and Yuki the female child right? If so then it was clear to me that Ame was accepting his wolf side and embracing his instincts (the very same instincts that got his dad killed!) and Yuki was rejecting her wolf side and instead preferring her mothers way of life and living with people.

The story was inspired by the people around Hosoda starting to have children and he noticed that they "shined" and he wanted to capture that. He chose the wolf part of the story to heighten how unusual it can feel to have to solve all the unknown problems parents face and so the audience could "all share an experience no one else had (in raising werewolf children)"

This opens a question from me, does the back story of a creation impact your perception of it?

There is a bit of a rabbit hole here, but bear with me. That snippet of information is really interesting, and indeed it does help to better understand the work and what it's trying to show.

Personally I will often separate the creation from the creator, because I feel like media should be able to stand on it's own without having to know what was going through the mind of the creators at the time, or why something was done in a certain way.

Information like that can serve to help enhance the overall creation, and I'd treat it as a bonus to know it, but I think Wolf Children stands quite well even if that's not known about.

I put this one behind Girl Who Leapt Through Time on my own ranking system, such as it is, partially because I had trouble sympathising with the situation where the mother wound up with two kids due to bad life choices! 🤣
 

Geriatric hedgehog

Thousand Master
I love the opening with the romance of Hana and Ookami. A lot of it is wordless, but their expressions when thinking about one another are so telling and it's only 20 minutes from the start to his death! Some other romances that are whole films or series long haven't felt as moving as those 20 minutes.
Spot on and whilst I didn't state this, I felt this first part of the movie was actually my favourite during the watch, with the romance being as potent as it it is understated at times.
I don't remember her really being ready to have kids and settle down, so getting it on with a furry lead to the chaos that unfolded, and thus the entire plot could have been voided had a different path been taken near the start.
You big meanie, you would leap through time (geddit) to erase the furry kids altogether!?! How rude...just kidding, but that is certainly the point in relation to the movie's plot. In all unsuspecting parents' defence, nothing can ever prepare you for being one and there's probably never the perfect time for becoming one, though no doubt there are likely easier times to pick to have them critters heh. And when you have a love story as sweet as the parents', kids are just part of the package, college and sensible life-planning be damned!
Personally I will often separate the creation from the creator, because I feel like media should be able to stand on it's own without having to know what was going through the mind of the creators at the time, or why something was done in a certain way.
Very interesting points here and I'll just parrot them in agreement. While I certainly agree that the works should be able to stand on their own, with the best ones certainly doing just that, I love the reflection the backstory's provide into the creators, their thought processes and emotions, and when relevant, the unifying threads, as is overtly the case with most of our Hosodathon being his journey through life experiences and evolving roles as a family member. I guess they can add rationale and gravitas to the works, whilst also being bonus extras, as you mentioned, when you're left craving more at the end.
 

João Gomes

Vampire Ninja
I AM STILL IN THIS RACE.

In today's episode of How I Met Your Father - Wolf's Rain Edition: Furry Bait; Rural Porn Part 1...

I'll just come right out and say it: the logistics and particulars of sex with an anthropomorphic wolf bothered me for longer than I would've liked, but I will always, ALWAYS, appreciate adult romance in anime, so I really enjoyed the beginning of the movie. Him going out to hunt something for dinner was funny and sweet.

The first birth happening at home on a snowy day gave me Clannad PTSD but I snapped right out of it with the river scene. Very raw, the close-up on the eye especially painful.

Still, the... ahem Wolf Children are so ADORABLE. Dude, Yuki is hilarious! Her disappearing from the frame a human to come back into it a wolf always made me snort lol The family, their personalities and dynamics are so lifelike, I love them all. Single parenting is super admirable and sad stuff happens but it's generally such a feel-good movie, it's almost therapeutic in a way. Yuki's energy and sense of humour reminds me of my own daughter, it's great.

RL gets in the way and so I can't finish watching this today but I just wanted to give signs of life! I have 45 minutes left, just after the new kid gets introduced at school. I know, half impressions is an asinine concept but here I am.

As soon as I'm done with this, I'll read everyone's posts!
 

D1tchd1gger

Akatsuki
The Boy and the Beast
This was the second film to be made by Hosoda at his own studio and a lot of the same creators that had worked on his previous films joined him. One that did not was Satoko Okudera and thus is the first film solely written by Hosoda. This time the personal experience he drew on was becoming a father with his son being born shortly after the release of Wolf Children:
“I’m just thinking as a parent, how is he going to grow up, how are we going to raise him? How is he going to relate to the world? Is he going to be able to find a soulmate or some ‘master’ from whom he can learn about life?”

Whilst an element of family life was again the theme the setting is much different rather than suburban or countryside this delved into the urban and fantasy. Of the settings Hosoda admitted that it was "just more fun to explore a fantasy world... it can be mysterious, and even questionable, but just being fantastical evokes imagination." and that he “felt very much like Shibuya has an alternative universe... The way the roads are built is sort of un-human… a perfect location to set up this alternative universe.”
Quotes from an interview with Andrew Osmond: https://blog.alltheanime.com/hosoda-in-wonderland/

There's a bibliography at the end of the credits with 2 books the first being Moby Dick which is obvious given it features prominently, but the other was 'The Moon Over the Mountain and Other Stories' by Atsushi Nakajima which is a collection of short stories set in ancient China, as far as I can gather from Google translate of the Wikipedia page and a few reviews most deal with war and politics, but there's one about mastering the bow, another about a man who transformed into a tiger and one titled Bull Man!

The film opened in Japan on the 11th of July 2015 and was the highest grossing film in Japan on its opening week and ended up taking ¥5.8b, the 4th highest grossing film of the year in Japan. Yet again it took Best Animation Award at the Japan Academy Awards.

'Grip the Sword Inside Your Heart'
The opening was cool setting up the overall plot of 2 rivals for the next leader and their relative strengths was explored further in their fight. In between those 2 scenes Ren's story was as tropey as they get in anime (missing dad, dead mother and being sent off unwillingly to relatives), but the part where he runs away was well directed, I liked the POV stuff.

In Jutengai the found family was interesting with Hyakushuubou being the more responsible character who probably taught Kyuta more, at least initially, than Kumatetsu who acted more like a kid himself than a responsible mentor. The montage of visiting different masters was interesting and could have easily been a film in its own right, a journey literally and figuratively, but as it was it felt a little short and then the montage of the two training and Kyuta getting taller was another cool time lapse montage.

Unfortunately from there the film seems to get distracted by a new idea every 10-15 minutes. Ren stumbles back to Tokyo and suddenly decides to become a student and then find his real dad and then ends up rejecting both sides, but it all feels a bit underdeveloped. I did like his interactions with Kaeda and it was good that Hosoda didn't go full romance with them, not only would have been a bit too similar to that of Wolf Children, but it would have been yet another distraction.

Back to Jutengai and it's finally time for the battle of succession and Kyuta arrives just in time to encourage Kumatetsu to victory, despite the fact that that last second of the count out seemed to last a minute! And then in surprise to absolutely no one in the audience, but apparently everyone in the film, Ichirouhiko is revealed to be a human, shock! With the same darkness his dad warned Kumatetsu about at beginning and we saw happen to Ren. It would have been a much better reveal if his human features had been completely covered somehow.

And now back to the real world for a large crashy-bashy showdown between Ichirouhiko and Ren which, despite looking nice, was a bit anti-climatic.

Overall there's some good stuff here and some funny moments, but it definitely could have done with a tighter script and that second pair of eyes that worked well with the previous 3 films. Art and animation wise there's definitely another step up with the backgrounds, especially in the Tokyo scenes, looking a lot more realistic than in previous films and some flashy cinematography, like the POV stuff. For some reason I gave this a 9 on first watch, I think it was due to the artistic side rather than the story. I knocked down to a 7. Still trying to decide whether to put Summer Wars up from 7 to 8, but either way this B&B is ranked last at the moment.
 
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