Jul 31, 2019
Kaze no Matasaburou was one of 2016's young animator training projects. We've looked at these training projects before with 2014's Harmonie & 2015's Aki no Kanade. This one is a bit of a weird example because both of those projects had recognisable studios backing them. This one has the studio listed as Buemon. And, as far as I can tell, they just help other studios with CG scenes sometimes.
Basically, our story involves a girl moving out to the country where her classroom only has one other human and a bunch of animals. She meets a literal wind God and picks up a very special feather.
Probably the one he uses for kinky foot stuff.
The biggest issue with the story telling is that the world building is kind of awkward. The idea of humans going to school with various creatures is a good one for a children's film, but then they throw in things that don't make a lot of sense. Our heroine, Takada, for example, seems startled by the fact that her class has talking animals in it and freaks out when a friendly worm tries to say hi. Which doesn't make a lot of sense in a world where talking animals is just an ordinary occurrence.
I also question how the carnivorous animals like cats and bears can get along with prey animals. Does the deer hold a grudge over the time the bear's family ate her dad, or is that just an expected circumstance? But this is a children's film so I can let that part slide.
I will say that the film does have a certain charm to it. It's ultimately an entertaining little story about a girl adjusting to a new school and having a magical experience in the process.
This is one of those kid's works where the characters are completely basic. Which isn't an inherently bad thing, but it does mean the appeal is pretty limited. The best I can say for them is that some of their interactions are pretty endearing.
The art style is interesting. It looks a bit like an animated picture book. Which I can give them credit for. It's a pretty good style for this type of story even if it doesn't look amazing.
The acting and music are both passable. This is one of those cases where the simplicity of the characters results in the actors not having anything to really work with. So, they do a decent job but it's not all that good. The music is pretty forgettable. It's not bad, but not good either. It just doesn't leave an impression.
There is none to be found. Which makes sense since only two students share a species and they aren't the same gender.
Areas of Improvement:
Have characters react in a way that's more genuine to the world. Being startled by talking animals doesn't work in a world where that's normal. Nor does being scared of worms when worms are just ordinary citizens.
Give Takada more to do with her magic feather. We only get to see her use this thing once to dispel some fog. I get that it's a very short film, but you could work something else out.
Give a reason for Takada to leave the feather. In the end, she leaves to return to the city and abandons the feather. Why would you leave behind a magic feather? I get that it only summons gusts of wind, but still.
Kaze no Matasaburou is okay. It's not really good, but it was entertaining enough for a quick viewing. If you have a youngster to entertain for twenty minutes or you're just curious, go ahead and give it a watch. I give it a 6/10.
What did you think of this review?