This heartwarming and unexpectedly mature story concerns a young girl named Hiromi Nozawa and her dog, Junkers (pronounced Yoon-kers). Hiromi walks us through her childhood troubles of love, schooling, and family bonds. Her companion Junkers accompanies her on this adventure; however, Junkers is no ordinary dog—he can talk and grant 3 wishes.
Every now and then we come across an anime, that maybe nobody has ever heard of--but it really is a lot of fun to watch. Well "Junkers Come Here" is a perfect example of such a title.
This title does a great job of mixing drama and slice of life into one story, with a little bit of supernatural fun thrown in for good measure! The plot revolves around a young grade school girl named "Hiromi" and her dog "Junkers." Now Hiromi is the prime example of a bottled up child! Her parents are never around much, she doesn’t have many friends at school, and
worse, she has a crush on someone she knows she can never have. Though the beginning of the film deals pretty much in the daily life of a sixth grader, a big chunk of the plot revolves around Hiromi's inner turmoil in her life, and sticks very close to it’s "drama" aspects mid way through. So if you’re not into having a good number of sad moments to go with your movies, then you probably won’t care for this one. However if you do like them, then there is no better movie out there to pick up. Now that's not to say there are no happy parts to this title of course, because there are a good number of them. In fact for the first half hour or so of the movie, it gears strongly to an everyday slice of life theme, and at this point you may be unsure as to where the story is even going. As the plot progresses though you’ll see little threads be weaved together to make a truly engrossing storyline. Where not all is as it seems (ie Junkers). The finale to this movie is quite well done, and becomes quite magical near the end. It is so charming and well put together that I honestly felt I was watching a Miyazaki quality film. It's the kind of movie that you can tell was made with love, and the writers really went all out to make the story as believable as possible, without over doing it with the supernatural elements. And merge the two like bread and butter!
Well this is a movie that was made back in 1994, even so it doesn't look the highest of movie quality for even back then. The backgrounds look like an unfinished coloring book at times, and can come off as quite washed out. Where this movie really wins points on though, is with it's character animation and design! The character's themselves kind of look like a simplified version of "Kiki's Delivery Service." They are complimented with good emotional facial expressions, and move with very good fluidity! So if you can get past the sometimes bland looking backgrounds, you will enjoy the art style. I do have one question for the animators: was it REALLY necessary to draw Junker's groin area?! Ugh!
What caught my attention most with the soundtrack, was not the actual character voices (though they are very well done), but with the actual sound effects. They sounded so real; from the opening of doors, to footsteps going upstairs, to the sound of cars passing by. All of it sounds so crisp and realistic. And the character voice were very fitting to each of their roles! You get a nice lite hearted song towards the end that matches the movie to a "T." The weakest link in the audio was the actual background music, it sounds very "mid-chip." It sometimes felt like it was being played on a Casio Keyboard, which at times came off as odd.
The cast of characters they offer are so down to earth and real, that they perfectly bring the emotion they want you to feel. By the half way point I really cared for Hiromi, and wanted her to be happy in the end. Now at this point I feel I should talk about the "supernatural" elements to this. Enter Junkers the dog; oh but this is no ordinary dog mind you, for this dog can actually talk! In fact at the very beginning of the movie, you will see Junkers go into one of the men’s restroom, and actually use the urinal! O_o Now this actually turned out to be my biggest complaint with the movie, in that it was never actually explained as to just how Junkers could talk in the first place, nor does the plot actually revolve around him. At times he almost feels like a prop in the movie, and only seems to be there (most of the time anyway) as a comfort tool for Hiromi. I also felt the connection between them not of the highest caliber for a movie, but what they do have together is indeed quite strong and touching. Even the supporting cast is very likable, and I couldn't find one that came off as exaggerated or out of place.
This movie really was a well put together project, you get a good range of genres (slice of life, drama, supernatural, comedy), everything that makes a well put together movie. If the idea of a "lite hearted and cute Miyazaki style film" sounds wonderful to you, then I highly recommend checking this title out. The heavier drama moments might kill some of the enjoyment for some, and it won't appeal to everyone. It is however, a movie I feel everyone should at least try!
Junkers, Come Here encompasses everything that is great about animation.
The movie sticks close to the reality we know and avoids topical and epochal content while still using animation effectively to depict scenes that would otherwise be difficult, expensive, or uncanny in other media. While the story it tells is typical, the writing, soundwork, and pacing of the scenes demonstrate mastery of craft. While neither being a dramatic film nor a comedy, Junkers manages to constantly deliver scenes which are wholeheartedly funny, moving, and entertaining. The characters and story deliberately avoid feeling artificial, and even with the inclusion of a talking dog, the movie's universe feels
completely like our own.
Movie gems like this are the reason I keep watching anime. Rare is it to find a movie which can sincerely entertain me for every second of its runtime and leave me feeling good after reflecting on the experience.
This is an anime for all the latchkey kids out there. This is an anime for everyone that has sat alone at an empty table eating microwaved dinners night after lonesome night. This is an anime for all the people that grew up in broken families, where stony silences and frigid stares were the main means of communicating. And this, sadly, is an anime for me, someone who spent the majority of his childhood, desperately trying to reconcile two hostile parents that couldn't stand to be in the same room as one another. I too spent many late nights waiting to hear that car
pull into the driveway or that key rattle in the lock. It's the reason I was drawn to reviewing this anime, because the anime resonated with me on a personal level. I'm also reviewing this anime with the hope that my words will influence a few readers to give this film a chance. It's closing in on its 20th anniversary, it's won awards for best animated film, and yet still fewer than 1000 people have completed it on MAL.
Story: (8/10) Now I hope I didn't discourage anyone with my introduction. Even those that can't relate to the opening will still be touched by this remarkably poignant and moving film. Both slice of life and drama, this story tells the tale of a young girl named Hiromi and her pet dog, Junkers. With her grandmother recently deceased, her mother working deep into the night, her father constantly away on business, and a lack of friends at school, Hiromi finds herself struggling with loneliness and a feeling of abandonment. Junkers is her only constant companion, and we quickly learn that Junkers is no ordinary dog... Junkers can talk! When people hear talking dog, instantly they pigeon hole the film as a kiddy movie, but this film tackles serious and difficult issues. Divorce, abandonment, sacrifice, and being true to oneself are each explored in this surprisingly emotional story. Importantly though, the film manages to avoid falling into the trap of being melodramatic. The drama is never overblown to the point where it becomes unrealistic.
Characters: (9/10) Hiromi takes up the lion's-share of the screen time, and her character is more than up for the task. Her character is beautifully developed through out the film, and its very easy to empathize with her pain. Outwardly Hiromi struggles to convince the world that she's perfectly fine. She portrays a happy, confident, precocious girl to all who meet her. The truth behind the mask is that she's really breaking down inside, and the weight of wearing it day in and day out only makes her misery worse. Junkers is an interesting character as well. He plays the naive, well-meaning friend, but perhaps he's more than he seems... The parents aren't given enough screen time to really develop much, which is unfortunate, but fits into the theme of the absentee parents. I haven't mentioned the boarder that's living with them yet. His relationship with Hiromi becomes quite interesting, and he may be the second best character in the film. And last but not least is the housekeeper, who provides wonderful comic relief.
Animation: (6/10) Even if we give the film some leeway due to its age, the animation can only be described as average. The frames per second seem to be slightly on the low side, and some of the movements lack smoothness. The character models are simple, yet effective. The facial expressions work well to aid the story. The backgrounds and sets are very plain, but this isn't the type of film that requires beautiful and detailed artwork to carry it. The simple artwork lets the story and the characters become the stars of the film.
Sound: (8/10) The soundtrack for the film is decent, but not remarkable. I thought the voice acting was superb though. Hiromi's voice actor did a fabulous job, and was always able to convey her characters emotions to the viewer. I also really liked the maid's voice actor as well.
Overall: (8/10) Again, I couldn't recommend this film enough to anyone that enjoys a good drama or coming of age movie. After I watched this movie, I was really shocked it was as unpopular as it was. Do yourself a favor and give it a chance. I promise you won't be disappointed!
This heartwarming family film focuses on a young girl named Hiromi dealing with the complications within her family alongside her pet talking dog, Junkers. The film believably deals with the issues of divorce and parental absence that effect Hiromi in this film, issues that you wouldn't find touched upon in many family or children's films. Both of Hiromi's parents have areas of work that require them to have days to weeks at a time away from home and Hiromi is normally cared for by her tutor and family maid. While the young girl puts on the facade of not minding the work of her family,
her dog and tutor can tell that the distance with her parents hurts her emotionally and the movie creates a coming-of-age theme out of Hiromi's situation with her parents. Hiromi behaves believably for a girl of her age and gets enough fleshing-out where one can connect with the problems she faces throughout the movie.
At the same time though, the anime deals with the issues in enough of a light-hearted and mature way where the content won't alienate or insult the intelligence of its wide audience. The anime mixes in its fun moments and jokes involving Hiromi and Junkers' interactions with one another to lighten the mood at points and has some magical elements thanks to Junkers that contribute to the anime's heartwarming moments. The combination of fun and serious elements give Junkers Come Here its strong charm and excellent quality for a family anime film that some could mistaken for a Studio Ghibli film with the similar themes and animation style from the studio's films used for this movie.
Speaking of animation, the backgrounds to Junkers Come Here used a soft pastel-like drawing style that are beautiful to look at, are well detailed and add to the film's gentle mood. Character designs are a bit on the simple side, but are drawn to make the characters look lifelike and not feature the big-eye or ridiculous hair styles and colors found within many popular and well-known anime titles. The soundtrack mostly consists of light and whimsical music pieces that do their part in enhancing both the fun and serious moments found throughout the film.
Overall, Junkers Come Here made for quite the engaging and touching anime family film offering a nice balance of fun and serious moments in the exploration of Hiromi's family issues and the girl learning to be honest with her family in expressing her feelings on the dilemma. It is definitely worth adding to your collection and even a film worth showing to your children if you have any.