Children who Chase Lost Voices or Journey to Agartha (Hoshi o Ou Kodomo in Japanese literally meaning Children Who Chase Stars) came out in 2011 in Japan. It is written, produced and directed by Makoto Shinkai. This is the same man that did Garden of Word. (which if you have not seen, go watch it) Actually any thing by Shinkai would be fine, I have never been disappointed with his movies.
While you are watching this movie you can tell that Shinkai is inspired by Hayao Miyazaki. He has even been called the next Miyazaki. Which is some thing I can get behind. I am a huge fan of Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli. The only problem with a lot of Studio Ghibli movies is they do tend to drag in parts, but that is more of cultural thing then anything else. Where Miyazaki is making movies for a Japanese audience Shinkai is making movies for a more international audience or for every one.
An other very Studio Ghibli thing is the food. There are always great food shots in Ghibli movies. Even though you don’t get food porn to the extent of Ghibli in this movie. There is defiantly an homage to food through out it. I totally want to try an make those sandwiches from the beginning now. Also, it is one of the most beautiful animations I have seen in a long time. The scenery alone won me over. Then it just kept getting better.
Children who Chase Lost Voices deals with pretty heavy topics. It fallows the journey of accepting death trough the eyes of a young teenager. (On a side note here, this is one of he few animes that the main female lead actually looks her age and is proportioned correctly.) Even though it deals with death and acceptance and loss, I didn’t feel down after I watched it. It was an odd feel of sadness and happiness all at once. When a movie is able to that you know it’s great. Being able in invoke emotion means it’s a good movie, being able to invoke more then one makes it great.
The main idea in this movie is you have to accept death as a part of life. It is completely fine to morn and be sad about your loss but you have to move on or it will consume you. Morisaki is the main example of that. He never accepts that his wife is dead. He wa
nts her back so bad that he’s willing to die him self and sacrifice Asuna to do it. In the end, he realizes how much this has destroyed him and he now has to live with the consequences. Then we have Asuna who doesn’t want or isn’t ready to accept the death of Shun, but in the end she knows she has to because it’s part of life.She could have easily become like Morisaki but decides not to.
I can not recommend this movie enough. Honestly anything from Makoto Shinkai I recommend. It’s such a good message and so many people hold on to thing or people after they are gone. Do that destroys them and makes it so they can’t move on to the next phase of their life. Change and loss are a part of life and you have to accept that.
Join me next week when I will be watching Boy and the Beast.
Do you have something you want me to watch? Let me know down in the comments.
Photo Credit:Children Who Chase Lost Voices, Makoto Shinkai, CoMix Wave Films, Inc., Media Factory