Cutest movie ever
by, 1st March 2013 at 07:28 PM (1917 Views)
Yesterday, I stumbled upon a cute film called Arashi no Yoru Ni ("One Stormy Night" for the English title.) Released in 2005, it's based off of a children's book by the same name.
Discounting the rather violent and bloody opening, the story starts off when Mei hides in a barn to avoid a storm. Soon another animal, named Gabu, joins in, also hiding out the storm. The two talk and bond over their lives and similarities, all while being unable to see each other in the darkness. When the storm is over, the boys decide to reunite the next day. They decide to identify each other wish a special code, "We met one stormy night." Mostly because it's cooler that way.
When they meet up the next morning, the two meet. They immediately realize that Mei is a goat, and Gabu is a wolf. You know, wolves have a habit of killing the goats and other animals in order to survive or whatever. (One such instance involving Mei's mother happened in the aforementioned opening.) Awkward. But this doesn't deter them; they continue to be friends in secret, knowing that Mei's clan and Gabu's pack would never allow their union to happen.
Extremely truncated synopsis for the rest of the film:
It's a straightforward story, but it was well-done. Storms happen periodically to move the story along or to segue into critical moments, such as when the duo meet, when they escape the other animals, and when they're caught in a snow storm. Beyond that, the story is very driven by the will of others forcing their views on the duo, unable to comprehend their friendship. And can you really blame them? It's unnatural for them to be friends, Mei is risking his life associating with a predator, and Gabu's pack worries that Mei will just use Gabu for information in order to protect his own kind. Of course, Mei and Gabu's relationship is so strong, they take control. They step away from these other influences and make their own path. They struggle throughout the movie, they work hard to get what little they have. And what they have, in the end, is exactly what they need.
"You won't die for me if I can help it, Mei."
At first, I wasn't too sold on Gabu and Mei's friendship. At first it was kind of dull, and it was mostly based on the fact that they just had some things in common. ("Your mother is dead? So is mine! I also like food.") But as the story moves along, you really do see just how deep their friendship goes. Mei gives no second thought to hanging out with a vicious predator, because he has complete faith in him. Gabu often fights his own natural urges to chomp down on Mei's rear. They go against the natural order of things, they go against society's expectations, and they go against society itself to be together. They're willing to die for one another.
Now, some people say that there is a romance going on between them. I'll admit, it's very easy to see their relationship as a romantic one. The fact that a lot of dialogue is ambiguous as to whether or not their friendship is something more may make you raise an eyebrow, and I'm willing to bet that this was the makers' intention. Romantic subtext is often unavoidable when you make a really strong friendship. When does the love of a powerful friendship stop and where does a romantic relationship begin? They don't kiss or anything, but the closeness of a couple is there, so seeing a romance would be a valid interpretation.
That being said, I don't know what to think. I enjoy the idea of such a strong friendship that it allows them to overcomes their natures. (Or is their friendship strong BECAUSE they can overcome their natures, the other way around? Probably both.) For most of the film, I only really saw it as a strong friendship. But if it's a romance, it's done in a rather subtle way, so I wouldn't mind.
In the end, their relationship, however you mei interpret it, is a very endearing and heartwarming one.
The animation is a blend of CGi and animation. The characters have a lot of movement, especially slapstick and human-like movements. This works very well with the film, because it can fit both the serious and silly scenes and movements. I'm sure a lot of you know my stance on CGi, considering the comments I made about CGi in the Pokemon anime series. The CGi here isn't too much of a problem when it's still. Indeed, the barn at the start of the movie had great use of CGi, and the scene was complimented by various angles. However, when you get falling boulders or a character holding a CGi rock, it's...it's just bad.
Story and Writing: 9.5/10
*I'd give the music a six because I barely noticed it most of the time, but there are a few enjoyable bits that stand out, and I'm sure many people would like the soundtrack. I decided to reach a middle ground here.
There are times when I see a movie and sort of regret having to sit through it. The film may be great, but the plot might be dragging near the end, making it seem like the movie will never end. Or I'll regret watching because, while the story is good, I wish I didn't waste as much time as I did watching. This film is one I have no regrets seeing. I adored it, and I would gladly see it again.
If you're a fan of The Fox and the Hound, you might want to check it out. It's a kid's film, but a surprisingly smart one. Much like Pokemon, it's something the whole family can enjoy. If you enjoy movies with heavy character focus and friendship, want something to bring a tear to your eye, or love talking animal flicks, I recommend this film.
If you want to watch them, you can officially find both the subs and dub on YouTube. Click for dub.
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