Mamoru Hosoda Movie Marathon

Favourite Hosoda Film

  • Total voters


One Piece: Baron Omatsuri and the Serect Island
Well this film is fantastic. For whats supposed to be a filler film it gets to the real heart of One Piece more than any other film. It's all about friendship and what it means. What you will and won't do for friends. What can and won't will break a friendship. Ultimately what does trust actually mean. God its awesome.

The art also elevates its. Its proper early Hosoda animation and is glorious because of it. It just sucks you in to everything. Also he nails every character. If you're a One Piece fan everyone is point and true to the character you know.

In short this is an excellent movie. And for me his 3rd best after Girl and Summer. Seeing Belle tomorrow...hope its excellent!


The 4th film by Studio Chizuru and the third written solely by Hosoda. There are a few inspirations that he drew upon including, again, family with the theme of loss of the mother from the family dynamic which was part of the make up of the inspiration behind Wolf Children (just reading up on Belle and found out WC was partially a tribute to his mother, also a single mother, who had died after Summer Wars) and The Boy and the Beast, and also how sometimes it can lead to child abuse (he did a lot research with agencies that deal with it), but also lack of confidence in one's self in public compared to in private after noticing that his daughter lack of confidence at school despite how bubbly she was at home. And the good and the bad ways that the Internet and Social Media can help/hinder this.

Also a big inspiration for the film was, of course, Beauty and the Beast. He saw the Disney animated version on tape because he was too poor to go to the cinema as he was just starting out at Toei and it inspired him to remain in animation despite being depressed at the poor working and living conditions he found himself in. He then watched the "Work in Progress" edition and describes it as a "excellent resource" for him as a young animator at the time.

Music plays a big part in the film and Hosoda had envisioned it as a pure musical, but as Japan doesn't have much of a history in making musicals (in film form at least) it was decided to pull it back a bit. Hosoda and Lead Composer, Taisei Iwasaki, used different composers, including Ludvig Forssell and Yuta Bandoh, to work on different elements of the story. For the lead role Hosoda searched for a singer who could act rather than the other way round and picked the relatively unknown, Kaho Nakamura, who wrote the lyrics after basic directions from Hosoda and the music was then composed around them. Forssell then helped Iwasaki to translate the lyrics for the English version.

Forssell wasn't the only foreigner working on the film. Others included British Architect Eric Wong who designed the look of U, South Korean Jin Kim, who has worked on a number of Disney films, designed the look of Belle, and Irish pair Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart from Cartoon Saloon worked on background art for fantasy scenes in U.

I couldn't find to much on the why, but the real world setting of Suzu's home is Asoo in Kochi prefecture, I guess it adds to the theme of isolation that she's put herself in after her mum died and has a convenient river nearby and her school is in Kochi City.
The bridge that features in the film is linked on Google Maps below.
Asoo Submersible Bridge

It was released in Japan on the 16th of July, 2021 and took ¥6.6b at the box office making it the third highest grossing film in Japan of the year only beaten by a Detective Conan film and the 4th rebuild film in some little franchise where teenagers have to get in their robots to fight aliens, or something along those lines 😜


Wow, that took me ages. I think I'll leave my expanded thoughts on the film itself till later, but for now I will say it's visually and audibly stunning, but the story especially towards the end suffers from some of the same problems I had with B&B and Mirai.
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Well that was awesome. Easily his best film since Summer Wars. It looked stunning, had a great story (definitely teared up a bit towards the end), some great songs and I really liked the characters in it. My only criticism being that there were maybe a few too many characters with several not really adding much but the flip side is that it all felt very real and lived in. Also the dub was properly amazing and they dubbed all the songs which I very much appreciated.

Suzo's personal story so well told. The tragedy with her mother leading to her losing her singing voice was so sad. The world of U giving her an outlet again was so nice (and nice to see a film emphasise the positive aspects of the Internet and technology). At no point was U the enemy only the way people behaved in it.

I was expecting the kids dad to be the Gaston-type ego driven super hero guy in U so surprised that never happened or that we ever found out who he really was. The love story sub plots with the friends I really enjoyed. I liked how every real person in Suzo's real life turned out to be super supportive and the drama beforehand was more a symptom of her trauma than an actual reflection of who they were. The text back and forth with her dad in the final act was so lovely and cathartic and a really good way to start mending the bridge between them. And also very symbolic of her reintegration into the real world (again with the use of technology in a positive way).

All in all loved this film and so happy to see Hosoda back at the top of his game! Definitely go and see it if you can.

My Hosoda listing:
  1. Summer Wars
  2. Girl Who Leapt Through Time
  3. Belle (possibly move this to 2 on a rewatch but it didn't make me cry as much as GWLTT)
  4. One Piece
  5. Boy And The Beast
  6. Wolf Chrildren
  7. I want to pretend Mirai doesn't exist

João Gomes

Vampire Ninja

jk this is actually about Mirai, which should actually be called Kakou, because more of it takes place there than in the future amirite guise

I enjoyed this, but I have a hard time seeing how people who have no interest in kids or have none could ever find this fun. It also falls into the trap of being based on almost caricatural parents that neglect the oldest kid like he's yesterday's news. Like, that's not how it works lol

I'm not gonna stop giving love and affection just because there's a new baby in the house - always hated that stereotype. Also, what the hell were they thinking choosing a grown up voice actress for Kun? It really ruins the idea that he's a child.

Anyway, great post as always @D1tchd1gger and I'm not surprised they got a real architect to design the house because it was lovely and I thought of Tadao Ando almost immediately - its very reminiscent of his style - concrete blocks, wood, big windows to get a lot of natural lighting, nature integration. I'd love to own it!

Back to my enjoyment of the movie, I liked the idea of interacting with your family members in the past and there were some sweet scenes. I completely side with Kun - If my parents treated me like their second rate kid, I wouldn't be too happy either.

It felt like a movie about not much at all and I enjoyed it for that. I admire Hosoda sticking to stuff that speaks to his heart and I think his kids will love this when they grow up. It's a very beautiful homage in that sense.