I was lucky enough to attend a screening of this gem with an introduction from producer Genki Kawamura, followed by a pretty in depth Q&A that shone a new light on so much of the film. This was my first time watching the dubbed version and it was a solid production! I love Michael Sinterniklaas' performance it is so good and the subtly differences between portraying Taki and Mitsuha was…
WHO THE HELL GAVE THIS FILM THE RIGHT?!?!
From the promo on the homepage of Netflix I assumed this would be a mediocre Big Hero 6 rip off. Hot damn I was wrong. It hits a lot of the same beats but is surprisingly mature in its storytelling. The animation and overall aesthetic was just sublime! I love the chemistry between the lead characters as well and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't blubbing towards the end. I went in expecting a campy mess but this flick packs one hell of an emotional gut punch.
This is a masterpiece in every sense of the word. From the iconic opening to the mysterious end I was completely hooked. Carpenter's direction and score are both so finely tuned and compliment each other perfectly. The little touches such as The Shape's raspy breath just enhance the experience as well. I love Loomis and Lourie both characters are so distinct and loved seeing how their narratives tied together. I'm so glad I finally saw this classic and if the upcoming sequel is even half as good as this I'll be happy!