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REVIEW: Okko's Inn




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zrdb



Joined: 16 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2019 4:44 pm Reply with quote
I saw this a while ago and greatly enjoyed it. It's a kid's film at heart but adults can really relate to it, and as mentioned in the review the dub was excellent. I kinda thought the tragedy at the beginning of the film would be pretty intense for children under the age of say-6 but with a parent's guidance it could be handled.
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jymmy



Joined: 11 Nov 2011
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2019 7:24 pm Reply with quote
The Wakaokami film was lovely and one of the best movies of 2018 for me after Liz and the Yuasa movies. I wasn't familiar with the series before the TV anime came out that same year and, while that was fine, I didn't think it was anything amazing, while the movie had much more thoughtful direction and pacing and it engaged more directly with Okko's grieving after the loss of her parents, creating a very well-rounded emotional arc. The scene late in the movie where spoiler[she encounters the driver of the truck which killed them hit me like a punch to the gut and her distress when she can no longer see Uribou or Miyo to comfort her was equally hard to watch].

The movie I think was made more for people who'd grown up with the books, and I definitely saw a lot of adults in the theatre when I watched it. More than a few of us had tears as we left, and I imagine nostalgia had a fair bit to do with it on the other adults' part.

I bought the Japanese Blu-ray, but I've been able to read the subtitle and dubtitle tracks from the GKids release and they seem serviceable enough and accurate, though not an excellent example of editing or scriptwriting. Of the two, the English dub script sounds more consistently like English. I haven't read the original books at all, but I did decide to buy and read the novelisation of the film, which was quite good (though I wouldn't recommend it in place of the film, especially as the Blu-ray comes with captions for the hard of hearing; it also has an audio track with narration for the visually impaired, which confused me at first when I tried to watch with the default stereo track).
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 25, 2019 1:24 am Reply with quote
Quote:
More subtly, Okko's Inn floats the question of whether the supernatural characters are actually “there”, or just representations of Okko's fantasies and feelings. (The in-film “evidence” of the ghosts' existence can be rationalized.)

Her parents were clearly her own visualizations, but I don't see how many of the incidents in the movie could be rationalized away. E.g., spoiler[the moustache Miyo drew on her face, the fact that she knew before she was told that Matsuki had a sister who'd died and recognized Miyo in her painting, as well as Uribo in his photos, the oni eating all the food, finding the oni's bell in the first place,] etc.

Anyway, I'm a sucker for any media where someone can see ghosts, etc., that no one else sees. Not sure what that says about me. >.> But this was an enjoyable entry in the genre.
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andyos
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Joined: 27 Oct 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 25, 2019 3:54 am Reply with quote
Gina wrote

Quote:
Her parents were clearly her own visualizations, but I don't see how many of the incidents in the movie could be rationalized away.


But given that the parent scenes are imaginary, is it so much of a stretch to wonder if all these other details might be Okko's imagination too? Maybe they're embellished memories - maybe she's the kind of girl who remembers non-magic events, playing them back in her head and adding in loads of colourful magic details herself, even down to 'recognising' a boy in an old photo.

That's a Satoshi Kon-ish reading, but I did think the film was hinting at that kind of interpretation via the detail with the watch straps which look like the ghosts, which I mention in the review.
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Gina Szanboti



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 25, 2019 5:31 am Reply with quote
Well, that could be if she's the storyteller, but this isn't told only through her eyes/memory as far as I can tell. Was it? Did I miss a detail that this was all her recounting her childhood?

Other people saw the ink moustache and reacted to it. There were scenes of the ghosts and oni from their pov, talking when she was not there. Unless an anime is very, very clever (and usually darker psychologically than this), that's usually a clue that it's not just in the character's head. I don't think this anime is that clever. Smile And for me, spoiler[Miyo's presence and the timing of it in relation to when Okko would have known about her really nails it that she's there and not an imaginary helper.] That's some serious retconning for Okko to be doing if this is how she remembers things that didn't happen.

I assumed her plush dooblies were made by her after she met them. I'm pretty sure I've seen other characters in anime who whipped up charms of their friends as a bonding thing. But ymmv! I just naturally gravitate to a Natsume-esque interpretation. Wink
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andyos
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Joined: 27 Oct 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 25, 2019 6:19 am Reply with quote
Thanks for your reply, and good point about Miyo. Yes, as you say, that would have taken some serious retconning on Okko's part. I don't think it's inconceivable, and I still think the film deliberately floats the question of "are the ghosts real?" via the watch straps... but I concede that by the end it's hard to sustain that interpretation. No, there's no in-film clue that Okko is recounting the story 'as she sees it,' afaics.

I've seen similar arguments re Totoro, where I'd be on the other side - I find it very hard to read the Totoro as just the two girls' shared imaginations. But it's always yvmv, as you say!
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 25, 2019 6:50 am Reply with quote
Monster kind of played the same "is it supernatural or isn't it" game, and I know many people who are adamant that there's no woo-woo shenanigans going on. I think Urasawa deliberately left enough wiggle room for people to see it either way, though he certainly set the tone for it with the opening Revelation quote, and a number of occurrences in the story!

I'd never heard of Okko's Inn until this review (for some reason the short-form tv series wasn't mentioned in the Preview Guide either, so I guess it wasn't licensed?) and I enjoyed watching it, so thanks for the review!
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FireChick



Joined: 26 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 25, 2019 7:55 pm Reply with quote
I love this movie! I saw the TV series beforehand, but it was painfully generic, bogged down with so much filler, indecisive in how it wanted the episodes to play out, and played things too safe. This movie pretty much fixes every flaw the series had and more, with some exceptions. Please buy the DVD for this if you can. It's so good! I wouldn't consider it the best kids movie ever, as I can think of many more I like better, but it's still a damn good film in its own right.
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