GKIDS and Shout! Factory
Available to order on Amazon USA
Revisiting Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko (漁港の肉子ちゃん) is a pure joy, and to own it on home video only adds to the pleasure when considering the bonus material that’s included. Not only do we get to learn about the origins behind the production but also get to see those first reactions when it premiered in Japan. This behind the scenes look offers a look at the industry from the vocal talents perspective. This lengthy segment is one of six extras.
Because it clocks in at 72mins, I recommend making a separate night at watching this work after the film.
Other extras include:
- Film Completion Press Conference – Cast and crew take questions from the audience in a funny, relaxed discussion on 5/26/2021.
- Official Premiere Event
- Sanma Akashiya Birthday Event – From 7/4/2021
- Guest Speaker Event – Miu (Riho) Yoshioka and Shinobu Ôtake (Nikuko) share the stage answering questions.
- Three Trailers\
I saw this movie last year when the Vancouver Film Festival offered it and it made my list of top films to see. Honestly, one view was not enough to realise all that’s lovely about this heartwarming tale. Another watch was required, and not even the quick notes I made back then was enough. I simply had to wait for this GKIDS/Shout! Factory release.
Nikuko (Shinobu Ôtake) is the epitome of life. She’s high-spirited and her daughter Kikuko (Cocomi) is the opposite in Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko. It’s hilarious to think that there are some scenes that are directly taken from Studio Ghibli’s My Neighbour Totoro, but that’s part of this movie’s charm. The creative minds at STUDIO4ºC once worked for Miyazaki-san before striking out on their own.
I laughed at the bits where Nikuko is just like the big furry. But instead of copying from that classic film, they’ve gone for something else. They make her act like the fuzzball at times, but there’s more to this woman than meets the eye. She’s a caring mom, and although her kid doesn’t see it, she just wants what’s best for her, even if it means being overbearing.
Ayumu Watanabe crafted a movie that looks at the relationship between mother and daughter. Mom had a rough go at life. The fact she’s moved throughout Japan, from job to job, and life to life, meant she never had time to establish no roots when she was younger. They eventually settle in a tiny fishing village, and live in a house-boat. This high schooler faces all the clichés one would expect–rivals, boy troubles and fitting in. Those plot points don’t seem to matter much, as I can finally take my time in admiring the story in a careful study with the home video release.
The film is about observing what Kikuko will face next. She’s often embarrassed by the antics of her mom when they are out together, in public. The most hilarious has to be during family day, and Nikuko attempts a quick run and scavenger hunt. She’s lucky that there’s someone to help.
I found the rewatch simply inspiring. Although I’m curious in how much was trimmed from the two-volume manga to which this anime drew inspiration from, I don’t feel the need to seek them out. That’s mostly because there’s no English translation available, and its unlikely it’ll be picked up by any of the American publishers. There’s a market for it though. When the story is about family, and how these two stay together despite all that’s gone on, I couldn’t help but smile.
And by the end, these two are much closer than they ever were before.