The Girl from the Other Side: Siúil, a Rún (とつくにの少女) is a tale that deals with several themes. One is about a battle between man versus himself. Another is concerning redemption. There’s a curse affecting nearly everyone and a blight destroying a kingdom.
Anyone infected turns into a shadow of their former selves and when a lone individual (later named Teacher) finds a young girl (named Shiva) abandoned in the woods, he can’t leave her alone. Strangely, she doesn’t succumb to the darkness as others have. This tale takes on a tone which deserves more films to fully explore, explain and resolve–or I can read the finished manga.
My preferences is with the former since the artistic design is rapturous and Rie Takahashi, the voice of the young child is so cute! Even if I was to look at the printed version, I’ll have her voice stuck in my head.
The world is called The Outside. A long time ago, humans lived in peace. It’s a Spanish mediaeval world when considering the military sports a familiar looking helmet. As for what else exists, this movie is keeping a secret. All we know so far is that many villages have become abandoned, and the survivors are living behind closed walls. They dare not venture into the woods, or leave the safety of the castles they’re hiding in.
The darkness is all consuming. The woods is as foreboding as a Brothers Grimm tale, and as for whether all its denizens are all evil, I’m glad not everyone is. The creatures, however, may well be the eyes and ears of an evil force that wants to consume the souls of the living. As for why that’s important, we don’t quite know.
The individual whom we meet with no alliegence is Teacher. He’s is a neutral force, an individual who has lost his identity. He’s almost like Vampire Hunter D, trapped between worlds. He can survive within the forest in his quiet abode neatly tucked away from all prying eyes. But one night, while foraging for his next meal, he finds that young girl named Shiva still asleep and seemingly abandoned. Without hesitation, he takes her in and helps keep her occupied. He’ll sometimes play games with her. Perhaps this individual may well regain his humanity given how close these two become during the course of the film
The story doesn’t try to resolve the greater mystery, and why people are afraid of this curse. When considering how one victim has fallen to it, I liken this movie to The Girl With All the Gifts.
What’s presented is a meditative journey and it’s only a beginning to dealing with a world that’s against them both. One is abandoned and the other is avoiding destiny. Shiva and Teacher’s adventure is dreamlike, and the later act left me breathless.
I’ll have to pick up the eleven volume The Girl from the Other Side books (Amazon USA Link) so I can find out how Shiva and Teacher manages to survive this world. The author Nagabe created a very mysterious world that I want to learn more of, and this anime is leaving me begging for more. Hopefully, this realm can return to what it once was. Plus, I’d really like to know the face of Teacher before his transformation.
4 Stars out of 5