A letter to momo could be a spiritual successor of studio Ghibli

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Last updated on October 6th, 2019

Jefferson, the boy behind my favorite fashion blog always announces his weekly date night on Facebook. This ultimately inspired me to do the same. Not sharing any pictures but to have a regular date night with my girl doing some fun stuff together, making it a tad special. When you’re already living with someone for a couple of years you take too much for granted or rather don’t take notice of the nice things anymore. You can’t celebrate each day, that’s true but taking some time out each week to get back to the roots by doing something nice and together is a beautiful tradition.

You probably know that I’m very much into Japanese food and cooking so when we’re not going out I always try to make something myself. Yes, I’m the one who is cooking. We loved eating tonkatsu when we were visiting Tokyo but I rarely make it at home because of all the hassle with deep-frying stuff. But for date night, it’s ok. So I bought some cutlets, cabbage made a homemade miso dip and wanted to combine dinner with a movie. An anime to be precise. I’m always wondering why few films manage to touch me in the same way as a good anime can. But I’ll leave these thoughts for an extra post.

What I chose was A letter to momo (ももへの手紙) which has just been released on Blu-Ray in Germany. I already said it a couple of times but Anime on Blu-Ray are a must. And A letter to mono was no exception. Hiroyuki Okiura (the guy behind Jin-Roh) hasn’t made any films in the last decade. Which is a bit sad because I would love to see more of his more subtle and sensitive side.

The 11year old girl Momo moved together with her mother from Tokyo to a small remote island named Shio. She just lost her father who died in a work-related accident and is trying to cope with her emotions. Just before leaving and having an argument with his daughter, the father tried to write a letter to his child. But he didn’t write much except for ももへ.

What makes this anime so interesting is the way you learn about the characters and their way to process the recent changes in their lives. You have to think about these things yourself. About how the mother is feeling what she’s experiencing and especially the drama for mono itself. You only see how the young girl is behaving with the other children in her new town and can imagine what she’s going through. But A letter to momo is a children’s movie in a certain sense and primarily a very positive one.

Hearing some strange sounds from the attic Momo goes to discover a group of Imps and is always trying to hush up their existence. You have to know, these guys like to steal a lot. A letter to momo is a slice-of-life movie and a very beautiful one. With long shots gorgeous, really gorgeous backgrounds and a positive message. I love it when you watch a film and can interpret it in different ways. A little what Woody Allen suggested in Melinda & Melinda when you see the same story as a Drama and a Comedy. Momo’s story is a comedy in a certain sense but can be seen differently when you’re paying attention. Or rather when you want to interpret her behavior differently.

A letter to momo was a great experience but not a good choice when you’re in search of some Anime to learn Japanese with. The accents were heavy and I’m not even talking about the Japanese ghosts. Apart from that, no Japanese subtitles were featured on the German vanilla disc. It’s a little sad because I bet the original Japanese Blu-Ray had some extra content at least. But I won’t complain at least we get some pearls like this one over here from time to time.


Let me know your thoughts about the movie. Have you already seen it?

Images via critic.de & vuaban

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