Original Title: Momo e no Tegami / A letter to Momo
Produced by: Production I. G., Pierrot
Date of release: 2011
My rating: 4/5
Clinging to an unfinished letter written by her recently deceased father, young Momo moves with her mother from bustling Tokyo to the remote Japanese island of Shio. Upon their arrival, she begins to explore her new habitat, meeting local children and learning their routines and customs. However, it’s not long before several bizarre occurrences crop up around the previously tranquil island. Orchards are found ransacked, prized trinkets start disappearing and, worst of all, each morning after her mother leaves for work, Momo hears strange mumblings coming from the attic of their home. Annoyed by these creepy goings-on and her mother’s refusal to believe them, Momo embarks on a strange and supernatural adventure to discover the source of the mischief, which leads her to a trio of troublesome imps: the flatulent lizard Kawa, the childlike Mame and their hulking ogre leader Iwa. Momo also learns that her visit to the island is in some way connected to her father’s mysterious letter.
Original title: Kimi no na wa / Your Name
Produced by: Comix Wave films
Date of release: 2016
My rating: 2.75/5
From director Makoto Shinkai, the innovative mind behind Voices of a Distant Star and 5 Centimeters Per Second, comes a beautiful masterpiece about time, the thread of fate, and the hearts of two young souls. The day the stars fell, two lives changed forever. High-schoolers Mitsuha and Taki are complete strangers living separate lives. But one night, they suddenly switch places. Mitsuha wakes up in Taki’s body, and he in hers. This bizarre occurrence continues to happen randomly, and the two must adjust their lives around each other. Yet, somehow, it works. They build a connection and communicate by leaving notes, messages, and more importantly, an imprint. When a dazzling comet lights up the night’s sky, something shifts, and they seek each other out wanting something more – a chance to finally meet. But try as they might, something more daunting than distance prevents them. Is the string of fate between Mitsuha and Taki strong enough to bring them together, or will forces outside their control leave them forever separated?
I watched these two movies recently, so I decided to do a mash-up review. As you can see from my rating, I’ve loved A Letter to Momo, and I like it Your Name, but not so much.
But Your Name is famous, and Momo is totally underrated.
Let me explain: the great strength of A Letter to Momo is the story, the animation and visual effects are more classics. It’s a story who I can relate much more than Your Name, there is a lot of emotions going through, from the sadness of the beginning, when Momo’s father died, to the anger for the troubles due to the demons, and finally to the fun and the friendship between the three demons and Momo.
It’s a little too long however, but the ending is really emotional and satisfying.
The strength of Your Name is visual: the plot is a little too romantic and “weird” to me, even if I had appreciated the plot twist. But oh my… the scenes of the night sky, with the cometh, the classic Japanese village with their summer festival and traditions, in contrast with Taki’s life in a modern city. Every scene is a masterpiece, with the colours, the music, the particular shot. You really a big TV with a high resolution to better see this movie!
I appreciated both of this movies, and I will recommend both: A Letter to Momo if you want a “classic” movie full of human emotions and Japanese mythology; Your Name if you prefer a more romantic story with a touch of angst.
Both of the movies are available on Netflix.