In This Corner of the World

In This Corner of the World

(Kono sekai no katasumi ni)
(2016)

Anime feature adaptation of Fumiyo Kono's manga series which follows a young bride and her new family living near Hiroshima during World War II.... More

Suzu becomes essential to the running of her household, creatively preparing meals through tough wartime conditions while also carrying out the daily housework. In 1945, intense bombings by the US military finally reach Kure with devastating effect to the townsfolk and their way of life. Suzu's life is changed irrevocably, but through perseverance and courage, she manages to continue to live life to the fullest.Hide

  • Directed by Sunao Katabuchi ('Princess Arete', TV's 'Black Lagoon')

    Starring Yoshimasa Hosoya

    Written by Sunao Katabuchi (based on the manga of the same name by Fumiyo Kono)

    • Animated, Drama, War, Historical, World Cinema
    • 130mins
    • Rating: M Adult themes
    • Japanese with English subtitles
    • Japan

Flicks Review

Little-known Japanese animation studio MAPPA adds a sweet and respectful title to the enormous library of World War II cinema with this adaptation of Fumiyo Kono’s coming-of-age manga. It follows Suzu, a young woman living a quaint and carefree life in Hiroshima. That is, until she’s suddenly wedded to a guy she barely knows and dragged to live with this stranger’s family in neighbouring city Kure. Despite this, she carves her own sense of normality out of an unfair situation – a skill they all need when the war reaches their shores.... More

At a glance, it wouldn’t seem like a film this cutesy could speak so swiftly about the horrors of WWII from a civilian perspective. The sun-washed colour scheme gives the small town streets and green hill valleys a warm serenity while the childlike character designs instil the adults with innocence and vulnerability. This is very much to the film’s intent.

In This Corner of the World cherishes the little details that make up an ordinary life, from cooking rice to kissing one's husband for the first time. There’s nothing particularly worrisome on a day-to-day basis, so when the grand darkness of war threatens to swallow everything, it’s a nearly unrecognisable event. This is how the townspeople felt, told of the war but sheltered from its reality, and through its art direction and characters, the film does an excellent job relaying that separation.

Make no mistake though – In This Corner of the World isn’t the misery-fest of Studio Ghibli’s Grave of the Fireflies. It’s a celebration of those who continued everyday life over the sound of death knocking on the door. If there’s one shot that summarises the film, it’s that of smoke blooming from behind the hills while Suzu dutifully collects the washing off the line.Hide


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The Press Reviews

  • A gorgeously rendered and deeply personal portrayal of a young woman's life in the part of the world where history's greatest conflict reached a devastating conclusion. Full Review

  • The crowd-funded film's many charms spring as much from its tone of sorrow as from its lingering hope, ensuring the quiet, patient feature has a sizeable impact. Full Review

  • Confronting the horrors of history head-on can make for cinema that's impossible to shake, but Katabuchi's painterly, introspective film proves a sideways approach can be just as indelible. Full Review

  • The quietly revealing tale from the director Sunao Katabuchi follows the childhood and arranged marriage of Suzu, an "ordinary", but utterly resilient girl, who also has a talent for drawing. Full Review

  • An exquisite portrait of Hiroshima before the bomb that conjures a powerful sense of what - and who - was lost. Full Review

  • That's the beautiful idea – to depict the lives of ordinary people during an extraordinary time, rather than the actions of extraordinary people, like pilots and generals. Full Review

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