I would write something about its vivid portrayal of life in the early Shwa era obsessed with immersive animated detail and focused on the mundane but director Sunao Katabuchi has made his apparent approach explicit in an interview: Manga artist Ms. Kouno researched everything about that era and was able to create an accurate account of what life was like back then. This was necessary because what we have come to understand about that time has changed over the years. For the anime we did the same type of research for the same reasons. It was very important for us to recreate what people looked like at the time. The important part of In This Corner of the World was to portray everyday life. When we spoke to the elderly who lived during the war they will tell us about the air raids and the hardest times. However when it came to their everyday lives they didnt feel like that information had any value. Our generation hasnt had the opportunity to talk with them about their everyday lives during the war. I felt that those experiences are invaluable. We observe war and the Japanese Empires last days through the lens of suburban civilian life. Hiroshima is within reach but just hidden from view over a mountain range. Battleships such as the iconic Yamato can be seen treading water in the bay. The boys are sent to war and like the Yamato itself never return. The girls pick up the pieces of their shattered families amidst the hastening tempo of air raids that presage the ultimate doom. Kono Sekai no Katasumi ni is often criticized for its verbatim portrayal of its time period. Modern audiences expect modernity superimposed over their historical dramas as a way to right the wrongs of the past. But theres no assertion of feminism or an explicit statement of the wrongs of the Japanese Empire though I believe an implicit case for both is sufficiently made within the films narrow scope. Instead Kono Sekai is a time capsule unconcerned with our desire for historical power fantasies. Helplessness is the core of its experiential being as it likely was. Yes the women do as they are told wedded off to unfamiliar families severed from dreams of what could have been. Though the film is hardly without moments of happiness and beauty the war eventually encompasses all. They scrape by in loss of limb loved ones livelihoods and eventually the culturally provided rationale for all their sacrifices: the dream of the Japanese Empire. Evangelion creator and nationalist Hideaki Anno whose works portray the Japanese spirit overcoming American oppression Shin Godzilla Gunbuster criticized the protagonist: What a woman doing nothing. I wanted to strangle her. Unfortunately theres no superrobot to climb into. No way to make history as we prefer it to be. No way to give meaning to loss. History just is. Audiences will be able to experience the world and society that once existed in a very raw way. Id like to think that In This Corner of the World is like a time machine where you can experience life and a culture of a different time.
90 /100
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