My friend and I went to a special showing (only two nights here!) of Okko’s Inn, a Japanese anime directed by Kitaro Kosaka (formerly of Studio Ghibli). The film was awesome! Both my friend and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
********* SPOILER ALERT *********
I had a special interest in the animation and character style, but the story itself blew me away. It was funny, sad, smart, uplifting, and engaging. I especially loved when the character Matsuki would pull out quotes from historical figures. Hilarious! 😆
There were so many elements of the film that I found interesting: the onsen town setting, kaiseki food, the supernatural, and traditional rituals. And the animation was so well-done. The scene where Okko slips on the tatami was great! If you’ve ever felt how slick a tatami mat can be, you’ll know what I mean. It was captured perfectly.
I also liked the fact that there were no overt antagonists in the story. I was expecting Okko’s grandmother or Matsuki to play that role. Although Matsuki started as a rival, she had noble intentions and wasn’t inherently nasty. The lack of any enemies reminded me of Kiki’s Delivery Service or My Neighbor Totoro in that respect. I really appreciate stories like that, especially if they can keep you engaged.
I enjoyed Okko’s Inn even more than some Ghibli movies, like Ponyo, Kaguya, and Arrietty. When I left the theater after seeing those, I felt that I had watched good movies but wasn’t overly excited, but after Okko’s Inn ended, I was pretty stoked, and thought that I’ll definitely need to own the Blu-ray version!
If you didn’t see Okko’s Inn during the special engagement, look for it on video later. It’ll be well worth your time.
Today I did a lot of work in the backyard, then relaxed in the afternoon and evening, indulging in three movies. Unicorn Store was just okay. It was amusing but really forgettable. I also watched a documentary called A Suitable Girl, which follows three young Indian women, and their arranged marriages, and the circumstances surrounding them. It was fascinating! I really liked it.
But the standout movie for me was the Bollywood blockbuster Chennai Express. I haven’t seen many Bollywood movies, so I cannot compare this to others, but I was thoroughly entertained. It was hilarious, and the costumes and scenery were beautiful! I loved the music and dancing… super! The story itself wasn’t very original, but everything else was great. I had a smile on my face the whole time. Recommended! (find it on Netflix)
Somedays I just want to sit in front of the tv and watch some movies, and that’s just what I did today. Three movies!
First up, I joined Koa in watching Ant-Man and the Wasp, which was surprisingly funny. It didn’t seem very cinematic, but I enjoyed it. We also watched Star Wars: The Last Jedi again, which, upon a third viewing, wasn’t as bad as I thought it was. Still, not great, but I enjoyed the jokes more.
Next up was the third and final movie in the Chihayafuru series, Chihayafuru: Musubi はやふる 結び. It was fantastic! I am a big fan of the Chihayafuru live-action movies (or maybe just Hirose Suzu?) and am looking forward to diving into the anime and manga. The third movie was better than the second one, but maybe not as good as the first. I do like how the characters have grown, and enjoy Matsuoka Maya’s characterization of The Queen. She’s scary and hilarious. So fun!
This afternoon I watched The 8-Year Engagement 8年越しの花嫁 奇跡の実話 starring one of my favorite actresses, Tao Tsuchiya. I enjoyed it a lot, but I was a little disappointed that it wasn’t as much of a tear-jerker as I thought it would be. But the acting by both Tsuchiya and Sato Takeru was good enough to get them nominated for the Japan Academy awards for best actress and actor.
Later that evening, I made gyoza and spinach, while Bay prepared poké bowls using poké from Costco. It was delicious! Always try to eat well. 😊
Today was a full day of screentime for me, starting off by joining Koa while he rewatched the excellent Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and then I caught the ending of the silly G-Force movie. After that, Koa went over to a friend’s house to hang out and I had the big tv all to myself. I watched The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, which is a story I am familiar with since I am also reading the book. The story is a glimpse into lives so different from mine, and heartbreaking, inspirational, and ultimately uplifting. A really good film, and recommended!
After that, I switched gears and watched Ip Man, which is a 2008 Hong Kong martial arts film starring Donnie Yen. The fighting scenes were pretty great, although there wasn’t much to the plot. It’s based on a true story, though, so that added a bit of weight to the film. I’m not sure if it was enough to motivate me to watch the sequels, but who knows?
To conclude my day of screentime, I finished The Lost Temple of Ssis’sythyss (The Dungeoneers Book 3) by Jeffery Russell. I thoroughly enjoyed the previous two Dungeoneers books and the third book did not disappoint! It actually takes place before the other two which was cool because you get to see how some of the main characters from the first books actually meet.