A high-school girl named Makoto acquires the power to travel back in time, and decides to use it for her own personal benefits. Little does she know that she is affecting the lives of others just as much as she is her own.
Told in three interconnected segments, we follow a young man named Takaki through his life as cruel winters, cold technology, and finally, adult obligations and responsibility converge to test the delicate petals of love.
On a journey to find the cure for a Tatarigami's curse, Ashitaka finds himself in the middle of a war between the forest gods and Tatara, a mining colony. In this quest he also meets San, the Mononoke Hime.
The latest feature film from award-winning Japanese director Mamoru Hosoda (Summer Wars, Wolf Children): When Kyuta, a young orphan living on the streets of Shibuya, stumbles into a fantastic world of beasts, he's taken in by Kumatetsu, a gruff, rough-around-the-edges warrior beast who's been searching for the perfect apprentice. Despite their constant bickering, Kyuta and Kumatetsu begin training together and slowly form a bond as surrogate father and son. But when a deep darkness threatens to throw the human and beast worlds into chaos, the strong bond between this unlikely family will be put to ultimate test-a final showdown that will only be won if the two can finally work together using all of their combined strength and courage.
Based on his wonderful films Wolf Children, The Girl Who Stepped Through Time, and Summer Wars, I've been thinking of Mamoru Hosoda as the heir apparent to Hayao Miyazaki, not because they're that stylistically similar but because both make beautiful, very human movies that give me joy. But The Boy and the Beast isn't anywhere near the level of his previous films.
In premise alone, this film is far less interesting, falling into the clichéd reluctant-master-rebellious-student rut. Teacher teaches student, student teaches teacher, helpful sidekicks comment on the action, and it's all leading to the big fight.
None of which is particularly bad, and the movie is perfectly enjoyable, but towards the end things go off the rails as a new storyline is awkwardly tossed in and a lot of new information is offered far too late in the game. It feels like two or three bits of movies were poorly welded together.
Whether the reviews on IMDb are positive or negative, reviewers declare this beautifully animated, but while the animation is fine, there was little in it that was exceptional.
Since Hosada's One Piece debut, every movie he has made was more wonderful than the one that preceded it. I can only hope that this is a stumble, not a fall, and that his next movie will be a return to his earlier brilliance.
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