Amazing fantasy anime that shows why Studio 4°C is still the greatest animation studio in the world. The art style and animation are absolutely insane, the craft and creativity is unparalleled and the finale is grotesque, in the best sense of the world. A truly wonderful film that every animation fan should watch.
The good stuff
Watanabe's latest film is more limited in scope and ambition, but his core qualities are still there. In a small seaside town, Nikuko and her daughter Kikuko are trying to get by. Nikuko is quite the character, but a happy and caring mother, Kikuko is hitting puberty and is starting to deal with the weight of adulthood. The beautiful animation, the lovely setting and pleasant soundtrack all add to the sweet and wholesome atmosphere that make this film an easy favorite. It's a pretty safe film for Studio 4°C, but one of the better ones in its genre.