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A Letter to Momo (DVD) (Japan Version) DVD Region 2

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A Letter to Momo (DVD) (Japan Version)
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YesAsia Editorial Description

Despite making a splash in 1999 with Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade, Okiura Hiroyuki stepped away from the director's chair for over a decade. Now, he has finally reunited with Production I.G. with A Letter to Momo, a gentle fantasy comedy about a teenage girl’s friendship with three kind goblins. The creator of the original story concept and the film's storyboards, Okiura worked closely with illustrator Ando Masashi (Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke) and art director Ono Hiroshi (Kiki's Delivery Service) on the film's hand-drawn animation design. However, A Letter to Momo is also more intimate than the typical Ghibli fantasy, focusing on the bittersweet emotional journey of its heroine to get over the death of her father.

After the death of her father, 13-year-old Momo is forced to move to her mother's old family home on Shio Island. Left with only the beginning of an unfinished letter from her father, Momo has been trying to decipher the meaning of the words while secretly resenting herself for their final argument before his death. One day, Momo starts to notice things going missing and strange noises around the house. During her investigation, she discovers that the noises are caused by three goblins, led by Iwa (voiced by Nishi Toshiyuki). After getting over her initial fear of the three, they end up forming a special friendship that helps Momo get over her grief.

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Technical Information

Product Title: A Letter to Momo (DVD) (Japan Version) A Letter to Momo (DVD) (日本版) A Letter to Momo (DVD) (日本版) ももへの手紙 A Letter to Momo (DVD) (Japan Version)
Also known as: Momo e no Tegami Momo e no Tegami Momo e no Tegami Momo e no Tegami Momo e no Tegami
Artist Name(s): Yuka | Nishida Toshiyuki | Yamadera Koichi | Sakaguchi Yoshisada | Ikuko Tani | Miyama Karen | Cho | Kubota Mina | Okiura Hiroyuki 優香 | 西田敏行 | 山寺宏一 | Sakaguchi Yoshisada | Ikuko Tani | 美山加戀 | Cho | Kubota Mina | 沖浦啟之 优香 | 西田敏行 | 山寺宏一 | Sakaguchi Yoshisada | Ikuko Tani | 美山加恋 | Cho | Kubota Mina | 冲浦启之 優香 | 西田敏行 | 山寺宏一 | 坂口芳貞 | 谷育子 | 美山加恋 | チョー | 窪田ミナ | 小川剛生 | 荒川大三郎 | 藤井皓太 | 橋本佳月 | オキウラ ヒロユキ Yuka | Nishida Toshiyuki | Yamadera Koichi | Sakaguchi Yoshisada | Ikuko Tani | Miyama Karen | Cho | Kubota Mina | Okiura Hiroyuki
Release Date: 2012-10-26
Publisher Product Code: BCBA-4438
Language: Japanese
Subtitles: Japanese
Place of Origin: Japan
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Disc Format(s): DVD
Region Code: 2 - Japan, Europe, South Africa, Greenland and the Middle East (including Egypt) What is it?
Publisher: Bandai Visual
Other Information: DVD
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1031201492

Product Information

『人狼 JIN-ROH』の沖浦啓之が7年の歳月をかけた待望の最新作がBD・DVDにてリリース!!





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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "A Letter to Momo (DVD) (Japan Version)"

July 15, 2013

This professional review refers to A Letter To Momo (2011) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)
Japanese anime A Letter to Momo sees the return of acclaimed director Okiura Hiroyuki, some 11 years after his cult favourite Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade. Working again with Production I.G., this new offering, apparently 7 years in the making, is a very different kind of film compared to those usually associated with the famous studio, eschewing futuristic darkness for something far more family friendly. Perhaps unsurprisingly, since it saw Okiura working with illustrator Ando Masashi (Spirited Away) and art director Ono Hiroshi (Kiki's Delivery Service), the highly accomplished film has a very Ghibli feel, though aiming for a slightly different feel and emotional style.

The plot follows a 13 year old girl called Momo, who after the death of her father moves from Tokyo to her mother's old family home on the peaceful Shio Island. Blaming herself for arguing with her father before his passing, the young girl carries with her an unfinished letter from him with just a few words on it, trying to work out its meaning. With her mother away at work most of the time, Momo is surprised to find that they share the house with three goblins, who only she can see and who cause trouble by stealing food and getting up to mischief. Although at first terrified of the creatures, she gradually gets used to their presence, and their growing friendship helps her to face up to the past.

With its idyllic, sunny small town rural setting and young protagonist on a voyage of self-discovery, A Letter to Momo definitely has the feel of Ghibli outings like Totoro and Miyazaki Goro's From up on Poppy Hill as well as Hosoda Mamoru's superb Wolf Children. In visual terms, it's easily the equal of any of them, the 7 years Okiura Hiroyuki having spent working on the script and storyboard having really paid off. The film is a truly gorgeous piece of modern, though distinctly traditional animation, with little in the way of distracting CGI and showing amazing craftsmanship throughout. This is in terms of both the beautiful, evocative scenery and the character work, which is wonderfully expressive and lifelike in a way not often seen in anime, Momo and the goblins all showing an incredible amount of attention to detail in their design and movement.

This really pulls the viewer into the story, and A Letter to Momo is every bit the kind of so-called "proper" film which many sadly still don't associate with anime. Though filled with fantasy elements, it's underpinned with grounded and recognisable real life drama, and as a result there's plenty here to be enjoyed by both adults and children. As well as gently charting the beginnings of Momo's transition to adulthood, the film also deals with themes of reconciliation, with family, oneself, and with the past, and though it does have some melodramatic elements, it's generally quiet and restrained. There's also a spiritual aspect, dealing with Shinto religion and the afterlife, and though Okiura keeps it mainly in the background it fits in well and adds another layer of interest.

At two hours, there's no denying that it's a fairly long film, and indeed it might well prove challenging for younger viewers. However, Okiura combines the more serious themes with plenty of light comedy and charm, Momo's interactions with the goblins making for some funny scenes and genuinely quite delightful moments. An incompetent and lazy, though basically likeable bunch, the three imps and their constant mischief help to keep things fun, and with Okiura throwing in a few raucous set pieces here and there, the generally thoughtful pace is never allowed to drag.

A Letter to Momo is very much a superior piece of Japanese animation, and is up there with the best of the Studio Ghibli offerings of recent years. It's really a shame that Okiura Hiroyuki doesn't make more films, as though the incredible 7 years of work he's put in here have undoubtedly paid off and are all there on screen to see, more outings from such a talented director and craftsman would be welcome indeed.

by James Mudge -

This original content has been created by or licensed to, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of
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