I've finally managed to write the second part of what I'm planning on making three-part series. Finally, I bring you a post all about Mamoru Hosoda and some of his films. Be sure to check out my previous post about Makoto Shinkai and his films here and keep an eye out for my post all about Hayao Miyazaki (though I know we're all already well associated with his films).
When I was thirteen a fellow anime fan at my school recommended that I watch The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. At the time, I agreed to 'check it out' and I presumed it would be a rather enjoyable film but that would be the end of it. But let me tell you, that one film (that I now cherish and will happily recommend to anyone, anime fan or not) began my love for Mamoru Hosoda and his creative, exciting and adventurous films.
|The Girl Who Leapt Through Time: scenery|
Like Makoto Shinkai, Mamoru Hosoda is one of Japans most popular film directors today. His animation has attracted people all around the world and he continues to provide us with a range of colourful and adventurous tales that leave all of us feeling at least a little inspired. If you think you've never watched a Mamoru Hosoda film before, think again. As well as his very own films, he has directed Digimon Adventure (1999), Digimon: The Movie- Eight Years Ago (2000) , Digimon Adventure: Our Water Game (2000), Digimon: The Movie- Four Years Later (2000) One Piece: Baron Omatsuri and the Secret Island (2005) and a large range of short films and anime episodes, along with various anime openings. As well as his directing jobs, Hosoda's art may also be recognisable as he was the key animator for Dragon Ball: The Path to Power (1996), Dragon Ball Z: Broly- The Legendary Super Saiyan (1993), Dragon Ball Z: Broly- Second Coming (1994), Galaxy Express 999 ~Eternal Fantasy~ (1998), YuYu Hakusho The Movie: Poltergeist Report (1994) and my personal favourite, Sailor Moon Super S: The Movie (1995).
|The Girl Who Leapt Through Time: Chiaki & Makoto|
Like I mentioned earlier, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time was my first Mamoru Hosoda film and it continues to be my all time favourite. Hosoda's adaption is loosely based upon Yasutaka Tsutsui's 1967 novel of the same name. We follow the story of base-ball loving, high school student, Makoto Konno, who mysteriously gains the power to travel through time or 'time leap'. Makoto learns that she can use this power to fix and improve seemingly everyday problems and at first nothing seems astray. That is until she discovers that not everything in her high-school life is as it first seems. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time never fails to make me both laugh until I feel my abs coming out of hibernation and cry until my eyes are drier than the sahara desert and whilst it may not be as emotional an experience for you as it was (and continues to be) for me, I have no doubt that many of you will enjoy this film just as much.
As soon as I managed to get over the practically hysterical emotional episode I endured after watching The Girl Who Leapt Through Time for the first time (slight exaggeration, but you get my point) I made my way online to learn more about Mamoru Hosoda and his films. At this point in time, I learnt that not only had he been a director for the beloved first season of Digimon but he also had a new film coming out later that very same year, Summer Wars (I can't believe it's been six years since I first made this 'discovery' of mine). Needless to say, when Summer Wars became available for me to watch, I pounced on it and immediately settled down to enjoy what is now arguably one of Hosoda's most popular films.
Summer Wars is the story about a timid, socially awkward eleventh-grade math genius named Kenji Koiso and his journey to Ueda after being asked to accompany a twelfth-grade student, Natsuki Shinohara for her grandmother's ninetieth birthday. As we expect, things don't quite go to plan and Kenji is framed for the hacking of the virtual world relied on by nearly everyone in Japan. Kenji, along with the help of Natsuki and her family, must find a way to not only clear his name, but repair what has already been damaged before the callous artificial intelligence, Love Machine, makes matters worse for everyone.
|Wolf Children: Yuki, Ame and Hana|
Wolf Children is the story of Hana, a normal college student studying and slowly learning how to live life as a young adult. Not everything goes to plan however, when she falls for a man we simply know as 'The Wolfman' and they end up having two half werewolf children together, shortly before 'The Wolfman' is killed. Left to her own devices and with little information or experience on parenting normal children, let alone children with werewolf DNA, Hana is at a loss on how to raise her children without the help of their father and we follow the small family's story as they learn and advance together.
I don't know why, but I never really felt overly emotional in any film where parental issues are concerned. It's not like I'm completely oblivious to how emotionally and physically exhausting being a parent would be (I think I've always been way too aware of the difficulties of parenthood, hence my usual "don't touch or come near me" stance towards children under the age of twelve) but nevertheless, I found myself undeniably sobbing over Wolf Children. I'm not sure why, this story obviously isn't super realistic or anything (wolf children, anyone?) but I think Hosoda really captured the struggles of a single parent in a constantly changing society. I know, I know, that sounds super serious and depressing but this film is simply a must watch, anime fan or not.
I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed writing it! I'm positive that if you haven't had the chance to watch some (or all) of these films already, you will enjoy them just as much as I did! I at least hope you do, anyway. Be sure to keep a look out for Mamoru Hosoda's next film, The Boy and the Beast, set to be released later this year!
Thank you for reading, love from Maddie ╰(*´︶`*)╯♡