Friday, November 16, 2012

Junkers Come Here Anime Movie Review

Junkers Come Here
Bandai Entertainment
Movie - 100 mins. - 1 disc
$29.98 (2003)
$29.98 (2004)
ISBN 669198223594
Japanese/English Audio - English Subtitles
Director - Junishi Sato
Studio - Bandai Visual/Triangle Staff

Synopsis: Hiromi is your typical 6th grade girl who has a crush on a boy and spends time with her friend.  She also has a talking dog named Junkers (pronounced Yoon-kers).  He only talks to her in order to keep from starting a media frenzy caused by a talking dog.  Junkers is a little Schnauzer with a big personality.  He keeps Hiromi company because both of her parents are so busy working they never have time to spend with her.
Junkers and Hiromi listen to a music box
Her father directs commercials and is always out of the country shooting on location somewhere.  Her mother is a corporate workaholic who spends every night at her office.  Hiromi lives with her housekeeper and tutor (yeah, that's kind of odd), but her parents are barely home.  She has developed a crush on her tutor (almost big enough to rival the housekeeper's) and he is engaged to be married after taking his college entrance exams.
Hiromi's parents in the same room for ten seconds.  Awkward!
Junkers and Hiromi go on adventures together and her imagination runs wild as an overcompensation for her solitary existence away from her parents.  She puts up a good front to hide her feelings, but the delicate facade is in danger of cracking when her mother drops a bombshell - she is considering a divorce from Hiromi's father.  Now Hiromi must face a looming divorce between her parents along with the departure of her tutor, Keisuke, after exams.  It may be too much for her to take.
Hiromi on the phone with her mom while her tutor Keisuke eats dinner
Hiromi's life is filled with problems a young kid shouldn't have to face.  It could be her magical dog Junkers can do more than just talk.  What other amazing things can he do?  Maybe he can help Hiromi keep the people she cares about in her life, but at what price?  Get ready for a magical Christmas!
Hiromi and Junkers in disguise
Pros: Super cute dog who talks!, Hiromi is awesome and her fantasies are pretty amusing, great message about spending time with your kids instead of working too much, very interesting slice-of-life view of a Japanese (upper) middle class family,
Hiromi's housekeeper cleans Junkers' feet
Cons: Heavier subject matter than indicated by the description on the case (i.e. divorce), animation feels a bit dated, ending had some hokey magical elements, Junkers is pronounced Yoon-kers (in the dub too)
Keisuke and his fiancee Yoko talk while Junkers spies on them for Hiromi
Mike Tells It Straight: Junkers Come Here is a feel-good moving with lots of comedy and cute misunderstandings.  Junkers is pretty adorable and has a fun personality.  The adventures he and Hiromi have are great.  The story gets more serious once Hiromi's mother drops the d-word - divorce.  Suddenly the story takes a serious turn as Hiromi is faced with a monumental crisis.
Hiromi's father reads a letter from her while in France
Her life is in utter turmoil and her parents are too busy working to notice.  It's a tough lesson for parents and kids to go through, but this movie gives a good portrayal.  Divorce is a heavy topic and might not be suitable for some children.  Definitely a judgement call by parents whether they should show this to their kids or not.
Junkers is kinda magic
This movie is kind of a cross between a Satoshi Kon (Tokyo Godfathers, Perfect Blue) and Studio Ghibli (Kiki's Delivery Service, Spirited Away) film.  Great characterization and serious subject matter crossed with magical whimsy.  I thought the message was done well and many kids must go through this dilemma when their parents are going to split.  The animation is not up to Studio Ghibli standards and I didn't see a lot of replay value due to the serious subject matter.  I would say this movie is worth watching and it might surprise you, but wouldn't put a high priority on seeing it and can't say it's a keeper.

TO BUY and Recommendations: