Monday, February 10, 2014

My neighbours, the Yamadas (Hôhokekyo tonari no Yamada-kun), a cute minimalistic family anime

DVD Cover When I first started watching the movie and I saw the way it was drawn - colored pencil style, I thought it is some sort of children thing and I would not like it. But the minimalistic animation works very well for this film, which shows the everyday life of a Japanese family. They are not very smart, good looking or have anything special. They are forgetful, self centered and lazy. But they have each other and they are happy. That's a beautiful message in a world dominated by heroes, celebrity and egotism.

One might not like one thing, that the story is merely descriptive. There is no "end" to it, just a funny enumeration of family moments. I enjoyed it, though. The speech at the beginning, from the woman advising the newly weds what life is and how they should spend it together is both funny, mostly true and descriptive of the rest of the film. The part with "life is hard when you are alone, but even two losers can go through life if they are together" cracked me up, as well as the part with "have children, it will help you appreciate your parents; they will come and take care of them for you from time to time".

The bottom line is that this is a movie that families should watch together. It would relieve the pressure of never appearing to make mistakes, trying to be a perfect whatever and missing the joy of life. Now, it's too late for my family, but this film may be a way to screw up your children less.

So, while this would not be for everyone, The Yamadas is one of those Studio Ghibli. animes that makes you have warm feelings.