Foxes Ken and Chin become the proud parents of cubs, Koro and Kan, who enjoy a carefree life on the northern Japanese island of Chironup. They befriend a fisherman and his wife but are forced to run for their lives when soldiers on a military exercise decide to take home some fox pelts as souvenirs. A sweet little film that obliquely symbolizes the plight of Japan's aboriginal Ainu people and the northern islands that have been contested with Russia since they were occupied by Stalin's soldiers in 1945.
The year is 1945, soon the allied forces will defeat, at that time, Nazi-Germany and soon Japan will surrender after being bombed by two nuclear warheads by the United States of America, WWII will then be over and will go as the largest and most deadliest war in history.
Probably not the best time for 2 foxes to dream about an happy and carefree life with offspring on one of Japanese northern islands.
This is where this movie takes place.
The plot is fairly easy to follow and kept rather simple too. Though it nevertheless is nothing for an emotional person, be ready to have your tissues ready
-you have been warned.
This review will be full of spoilers, so be sure to watch it first before reading this review to the end!
The movie starts with a male fox rescuing a female fox that was attacked by a bear and needed help. The two foxes can run away and come to like each other.
Then there is a little time-skip and we see their offspring, a boy and a girl.
They play around in the wood while doing various other things, until the female baby fox eventually gets separated from her parents when an eagle attempts to attack the two baby foxes.
The female baby fox meets an old woman with her husband. As they were currently praying for their lost daughter as the baby fox appears, they believe that it is a reincarnation of her daughter. Hence they take the fax with them and let her spend a few days with them, feeding her food, bathing her among many other things.
After a storm destroys the little house of the elderly couple, they let the baby fox return to its parents, which are eagerly waiting for their baby to return. This peaceful atmosphere however won't last until long, a ship with soldiers is arriving at the island. They want to prepare themselves for upcoming battles, and warn the couple that the war is soon to approach their island.
They want to hunt foxes in order to make scarves out of their fur. paying the predication of the couple no mind, that they would be no foxes on this island, the soldiers begin to place traps and search the island for the foxes.
The soon will find and shot the male baby fox, whereas the male fox will try to lure them away from his 'wife' and their female baby fox, which just happened to get caught in the bear trap the soldiers laid out.
He will soon get shot too, leaving his 'wife' with their 'daughter' alone.
They will eventually get away from the soldiers, though getting weaker from to day, the mother will eventually be too exhausted to get enough food and water for the both of them to survive.
They shall not survive the approaching winter, nor meet again with the elderly couple in the following spring.
From where the bear trap was set the couple, upon their return to the island in the following spring, so called "fox-cherry blossoms" will have grew, leading the elderly couple to where the bell ,which they attached to the female baby fox when it was living with them, lays on the ground next to the trap.
After this we see a kind of recap-esque sequence of the whole story though this time with an happy ending.
As already said, the story is kept rather simple, though nevertheless isn't just sheer garbage either. In my opinion it shows, in a very amazing [I could not find the right word for what I originally wanted to say, so I opted for 'amazing'] approach of how the second world war influenced some animals, as well as for the people living on an nearly uninhabited island.
This movie certainly is not be for everyone and that for the mixed reason there are.
One might be that the story seems to be more focused for children.
Another one would be that it is very hard to find the full version of this movie (though it is available on YouTube, even though without subtitles -lucky me to get a version with subtitles, right?).
Another reason for not picking up this movie would be the next aspect of this review, the animation. If we keep in mind that it was made and released in 1987, the animation clearly is not bad, it is about average in my opinion. Though the fact that it is only available in 360p, as well as its unpopularity is another factor to not watch this movie- if you ever stumbled onto this page and saw it for your first time in your life that is.
As for the sound, it was average too. There were scenes with next to no music, and mediocre sounds for the environment, whereas there were some scenes with beautiful songs, especially the beginning and ending of this movie.
The characters were kept, just like the story, quite simple. Though it was enough for what this movie, at least in my humble opinion, wanted to convey. Also if we have a look at its airing date again, it is average-esque, even if it is a little bit worse than that in my opinion, hence the score for it.
Finally coming to my enjoyment, it was about average. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would, whereas I got a little bit disappointed, as for what I was told this movie would actually be. It was a great watch nevertheless.
All the aforementioned points and aspect make me come to the score of 5 (4.6 to be exact) out of 10 possible points.
If there should be any questions for this review, or questions and/or aspects that I left unanswered, feel free to drop me a message, and I will respond to it in a timely manner -if it is in an adequately manner, that is.
This marks the end of my little review about Chironup no Kitsune, I hope my grammar was not that awful, and I hope you could enjoy the movie!