Tag Archives: Coming of Age

Life on the Penguin Highway is Never Sane

4 Aug

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Distributor: Shout! Factory
Release Date: August 6, 2019

The anime adaptation of Tomohiko Morimi’s novel, Penguin Highway, is coming to home video! Those who have not seen this anime last year at Fantasia 2018 either had to wait for a local (film festival) screening or this Tuesday. Life is certainly a highway for young Aoyama (Kana Kita), a 4th grader with an IQ of about 105. He aspires to be a scientist, and hopes to visit the moon one day. But first, he has to answer the question of why penguins–who typically prefer cold arctic conditions–are in a sleepy suburb of humid Japan.

He meets a young woman whom he calls Lady (Yuu Aoi) who works at his dentist’s office, and they form an unlikely friendship. Life at school is rough. He’s rather stuffy since everyone identifies him as a nerd. As a result, he’s constantly teased and bullied. He can stand up for himself but he is stronger when his two friends are there to help. Ultimately, the narrative does not differ from, for example, Trollhunters. His just-as-nerdy pal, Uchida (Rie Kugimiya) tries but Hamamoto (Megumi Han) ends up being more handy. The threesome eventually even has the bully team up to deal with a mysterious orb found in a meadow nestled deep in a forest. Just what it is, nobody knows.

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[Fantasia 2019] Akane’s in Wonderland, A Movie Review

17 Jul

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Akane’s (Mayu Matsuoka) life may seem boring, if not downright depressing in Keiichi Hara‘s The Wonderland (バースデー・ワンダーランド). Her birthday is coming up and she should be happy. When she’s asked to visit Aunt Chii (Anne Watanabe) on the other side of town just to pick up her own celebratory gift, it’s a safe bet her world is going to be turned upside down. The tones this film borrows from Lewis Carroll’s work cannot go unnoticed.

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Stay Awhile at Okko’s Inn, Everybody is Welcome!

29 Jun

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Release Date: July 2, 2019
GKIDs & Shout! Factory

Plenty of memories exists in Okko’s Inn, the animated adaptation of the novel 若おかみは小学生!This anime offers a lot of interpersonal drama for the titular character and it often comes across in a slice of life style narrative than anything else.

She is an innkeeper in training. At a young age, she has a lot to deal with. After a car accident which killed her parents, to which she miraculously survived, she is off to live with grandma and play with ghosts. These spirits are friendly, if not a little mischievous.

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