Sep 1, 2019
I was able to watch this movie in a special exhibition held here in Brazil. I had never heard of it, but since it revolved around kappas, I decided to check it out.
The story revolves around Sanpei, a young boy who lives in the countryside and really wishes to see his mom, who lives in Tokyo and who he hasn't seen in years. One day at school, the principal decides that he will take the students that win a minor swimming contest to Tokyo. Sanpei, who doesn't know how to swim, see in this an opportunity to be able to go to Tokyo and
find his mom. However, as he trains how to swim in a river, he ends up drowning. What could be the end ends up being a new beginning: Sanpei is saved by Gartaro, a kappa! Now Sanpei enters the world of kappa and other mythological creatures, all while he tries to see his mom again and learn things about his family that he previously didn't know.
This movie is made for children - and it's very well made at that -, but it can be extremely funny to whoever watches it. From a Shinigami who needs to kill people to provide for his family (and goes around holding a curriculum vitae) to Sanpei, who likes to take a dump in the middle of the grass on his way to school, this movie makes sure to show us many hilarious things from the beginning to the end. Sanpei has a sharp tongue, and the outcomes of the weird situations he got himself in are always unpredictable. You can really see it was a movie made in the 90s.
The characters are the best part of it, but there is some good music and somehow interesting story that you follow. It's a kid's movie through and through, but it is a funny one. It can be a little boring at times, but then it keeps you going because you see yourself wondering what's going to be next.
The movie touches on difficult subjects like family issues and death, but it never loses the sense of humour and the overall positive aura. It really took me back to my childhood, and I bet I'd loved this movie as a kid.
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