Friday, August 2, 2013

Film Review: Children Who Chase Lost Voices (2011)

Children Who Chase Lost Voices (Review)
Japan/2011
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

Since her father passed away, and with her mother working longs shifts as a nurse, Asuna has been taking care of herself - spending he lonesome days cocking, cleaning, studying, and listening to music at her hideout. One day, while walking to her hideout, Asuna encounters a mysterious beast and is saved by a mysterious boy named Shun. She eventually finds herself in traveling to a world called Agartha on a trip to say farewell.

Children Who Chase Lost Voices is an incredible adventure. Featuring a deep meaning and amazing action sequences, Children Who Chase Lost Voices takes us on an unforgettable adventure. Following Asuna and her companions, we witness the true meaning of life and death, and a genuine "farewell". Along the way, using swords and firearms, are adventurers fight mystical beasts and dangerous skeptics. The scale of the adventure is grand, traveling from the normal world into an underworld - on land and on water. Much of the first half covers character development and introduces the concept of a world under our world, or simply the underworld, and its capabilities. The emotional adventure leads up to a suspenseful and emotional endig, albeit slightly unfulfilling.

The adventure is thrilling and memorable - it's fun yet meaningful. The thrills come from amazing, creative beasts, or guardians, that often attack; as well as from the lush world filled with harmony, but threatened by the topsiders (Asuna and friends). Themes such as life, death, loneliness, attachment, and detachment are covered throughout the adventure; also some subtle symbolism open for interpretation. In fact, one of the main goals for one of the protagonists is to resurrect his wife -- at any costs. The concept, the creatures, the themes all seem very familiar, but they are executed masterfully and make for an incredibly entertaining and deeply compelling story.

The Japanese voice acting is fantastic. The pure emotion is capture perfectly, accurately creating everything from excitement to sadness. The animation is superb, with vivid colors, creative creature and world design, and smooth movement. The music is also perfect for the film as it creates a sense of adventure while featuring emotional depth; the music feels exciting, adventurous, epic, sad, and so on, at all of the right times. The story is told properly, despite a few cliché approaches, and it delivers an important message.

Overall, Children Who Chase Lost Voices is a superb adventure film; the action will have you at the edge of your seat with its exhilarating adventure, and the emotional depth will have you going from excited to the brink of tears. It is a magnificent anime and, despite some strong violence, can be enjoyed by the entire family. I strongly recommend Children Who Chase Lost Voices.

Score: 9/10
Parental Guide: Some strong fantasy violence and gore (usually involving mystical creatures.)

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