After the death of his mother, Tenzin decided to leave town to live with his father in the Tibetan grasslands. Life is tough at first, until one day the young man witnesses a fight between Tibetan guard dogs and a dog with golden hairs outside the pack.
The story of the Tibetan "big ferocious dog", is a touching little ditty about a boy relocating to Tibet to live with his father after his mother has died. Here he forges multiple relationships; the central relationship being one with a golden furred Tibetan 'Mastiff'. As the story is slow moving, I would spoil the joy of watching this movie if I explained the story any further.
Animation in this anime is pretty good. Movements of animals, movement of humans, is very fluid and manages to be very impressive. Artwork of landscapes is- while being a hyperbole in the fact that it's more productive and green
than actual Tibetan landscapes, still very well done. The actual dogs, and wolves, are drawn well and hold a constantly strong relationship to how they actually look. Horses, however, are slightly less lively, and their use indeed simply portrays them as objects in a film where a dog is excessively humanised. One limitation of the animation is that it did not convey the terrain, topography, of the landscapes well at all. Character design stays fairly accurate, and the actual designs of architecture and other such cultural traits as clothes is also pretty dedicated. The film absolutely wants the viewer to bask in the Tibetan-ness.
Sound is pretty standard fair. A little confusion with voice actors may be felt at the start, and this may be a critical point. This film is in Mandarin. Eh? you say. I agree. An anime made by Madhouse for the Chinese market you'd say? And then you also notice the different Chinese characteristics and mannerisms expressed throughout the film. Notice I said the film wants the viewer to bask in the Tibetan-ness? This Tibetan-ness, is China's portrayal of Tibet. So certainly nothing political, nothing too aspirational, and the Chinese mannerisms are portrayed instead of Tibetan ones to an extent. This process of production has led the film down a confused path- we could expect the same kind of result if Clint Eastwood had of directed White Sun of the Desert for instance. A major point in this is the Mandarin. Which Tibetans don't speak- languages is a hard thing in Tibet, the language most likely to be used in a film would be Dzongkha, a unifier as per the three seperate 'dialects' (actually completely different but classes as the same thing by China) of official Tibetan. Some anime fans may find Mandarin jarring. However, at least body language stays to an extent Japanese.
Voice acting I have a little more difficulty commenting on; I don't watch too many productions in Mandarin (or Cantonese for that matter), yet certainly the quality seemed good. The emotions were very obvious in the voice acting, if that's ham acting or good acting I can't quite say. The dogs sounded a little odd, but nothing unreasonable. Background music was pretty unnoticeable, it blended in well with the climaxes and so forth, so it was quite successful.
The characters are developed, as the film moves quite slowly, we get a good picture of our cast. Drama of small events would be a major characteristic of The Story of a Tibetan Dog, so this may be kept in mind. It's a film that's really aimed at young teens, so the story is a mix of shounen and shoujo, a tasteful Ghibli like film that can be enjoyed by people of all ages despite its apparent immaturity.
It's a really well made anime, despite its perhaps trivial faults. A nice film to watch with the family if they don't mind subtitles. Definitely the best anime I've seen in Mandarin to date.
A new take on the classic "boy and dog" relationship. This is a must see for any animal lover or for anyone looking for a beautiful story. If you're not already, you'll fall in love with the Tibetan Mastiff.
For anime the setting is original as takes place in the mountains of Tibet. The PLOT is engaging as it follows a young boy who moves to the Tibetan countryside following the death of his mother. As he struggles to fit in to his new way of life and the relationship with his father he befriends a mountain dog. ART, The landscapes of Tibet are beautifully
draw while the CHARACTERS are distinctive and origina and provide an insight in to Tibetan lifel. OVERALL I really enjoyed this film and would recommend it to anyone.