So, right now it’s still morning, though I feel the need to write about my thoughts on the movie I just watched. I may avoid saying the name specifically, but that’s more because of an unfamiliarity typing romaji than anything else.
Fair warning though, I have read the manga, all the chapters I think, so this retrospective will be biased in some ways.
Overall, it was good. It didn’t rip me apart or anything, but it was fairly good. Though, I feel that a lot of the “depth” so to say, or rather the filling, the tomatoes, the lettuce, etc., was missing.
The most apparent one is the movie arc, that was completely removed from the movie itself. Now, it has been quite a while, almost a year I think, since I actually read the manga, but the movie arc was quite important to the plot because of how it reintroduced lingering resentments. From what I recall, Shouko’s reason, or at least what built it up along the way, was her inability to contribute as much to the movie (acting through voice). In that way, it kind of separates the past and the present, something that the movie doesn’t really do all that much of.
In the manga, the past sets up the characters, and provides the events that put them into their situations, but also portrays their personalities and characters through how their past behaviors translated into their present emotional, psychological, and societal states.
In the movie, due to the lack of separation between the two time periods, it almost seems as if the plot was driven due to their past actions, rather than their current situations. I should elaborate: it more as if they are acting because of the whole bullying thing that happened, rather than because them as people are (relatively / somewhat) incompatible. Other people, if I remember correctly, have criticized the lack of depth of the characters, but I don’t remember that all too well, so I’ll just leave my opinion with the lack of depth of the situation.
Also, this is just from someone who has become overly critical of how a film is done (timing, shots, and stuff like that), I think the movie was too quickly done. Not in like it was rough around the edges or anything (it did look very nice), but that the pacing of a lot of scenes felt kind of rushed. I know that, being a movie, there are limits to how much can be added in because of time or budget, but since I read the manga, and am also reading another of the mangaka’s works as well, I kind of want to make this point.
A lot of what makes Ooima’s work interesting is how she handles paneling and action in them, being that a lot of actions are drawn step by step, without much exposition or talk over them. It kind of makes the paneling feel more human, if it makes any sense, since it’s like the characters are actually focused on what they’re doing, or are thinking about what has been said to them (which does take time, thinking is not a free action).
Thus, when I go to the movie, the lack of fidgety nothingness is kind of disappointing.
When I say that, I’m not referring to the sign language or anything (which was alright), but rather to small little details that reflect what I like to call, “Japanese silence.”
I’m going to go on a bit of a tangent here, so bear with me.
In American, or even Western, literature, film, etc. silence (that is when no one is talking) is typically reserved for portraying an awkward atmosphere that may be used for comic relief, or for a bit of “human expression” in the characters (blushing, etc.).
But, in a lot of (some really; but if Yugioh is anything to go off of, then the point still stands) Japanese works, silence and nothing happening is used to convey a character’s human aspects. This is especially so in Ooima’s paneling, as people wait, they react, and they hesitate (minutely) about what happens around them and what they are going to do.
Flip back to the movie, and the lack of empty time makes the characters’ behaviors seem as if they’re based on the dialogue alone (words, accusations, etc.) rather than being an interaction between the characters. It’s sort of like it was adapted from a light novel, or even a novel in general, rather than being adapted from a manga (graphic novel). In my opinion, it makes it feel a bit light, as if it skimmed off the surface of the manga rather than fully adapting it to the big screen.
Music was good, though. I really like what they did with the piano tracks, where the individual key presses were audible. Made it feel like you were up close to the piano (hands playing), (no harm, I hope, saying this) kinda like how Shouko would (be able to hear music, since I don’t think pitch can be established through any medium except for auditory sounds).
Good movie though. I kind of think the pacing issue is sort of the opposite of Akira’s: there, the pacing was well done, but the “open ending” left an empty taste in the mouth; here, the pacing was kind of quick, but the ending was, let’s say, more conclusive than Akira’s.
Oh yeah, the ending was a bit of a “disappointment” as well. Though, it’s not all bad, but it seems to have a different kind of meaning than the one of the manga,.
The manga’s version is more about “commitment,” or rather Ishida’s determination to go where Shouko goes in the future and their eventual “reuniting” at the high school reunion.
The movie’s version seems to be more about “growth,” and contains the idea more in a closed fashion, as in: from decent to retribution.
It contrasts with the manga’s, which is more: decent to being able to happily struggle.
Still a good movie, though. Would recommend it to anyone for a watch.