Review: Momo e no Tegami [2012]

Momo e no TegamiDirector: Hiroyuki Okiura
Story by: Hiroyuki Okiura
Studio: Production I.G
Distributor: Kadokawa Pictures
Release: Sept 2011 (for TIFF)
               April 21, 2012 (Japan cinema)
Running Time: 120 mins
Karen Miyama as Momo
Yuka as Ikuko
Toshiyuki Nishida as Iwa
Koichi Yamadera as Kawa
Cho as Mame

Plot (wikipedia):
Momo Miyaura is a shy and imaginative 11-year-old girl who is suffering because of her father’s recent death and the resultant extreme changes in her life. From the big city of Tokyo, Momo’s family moves to her mother’s childhood home, a remote island named Shio. Momo does not adapt well to her new surroundings. Her father left her an unfinished letter containing only two words, “Dear Momo”. As she tries to make sense of these two words and guess what her father was trying to tell her, some strange incidents occur on the island, which is otherwise tranquil. People’s orchards are ransacked by an unknown person, and some of their prized belongings start to go missing. Momo also starts to hear strange sounds coming from the attic in her house.
Momo’s mother refuses to believe Momo about the strange sounds from the attic, so Momo herself embarks on an adventure to discover the source of these disturbances. During her investigations, Momo meets up with Kawa, Mame and leader Iwa, a group of imps, each of which have a different personality. In addition, Momo discovers that the mysterious two-word letter from her father is connected to all the strange occurrences, and to her arrival at Shio.

I say…

Not long after moving into their new home, peculiar incidents occur, and Momo’s life story  after her father’s death begins.

The GuardiansMomo e no Tegami deals with the untimely death of a loved one and the process of moving forward. The sudden appearance of the three demons (or Guardians so they say) gave reason for Momo to lighten up a bit. I find Iwa, Kawa and Mame adorable in spite of being ill-mannered and having terrible faces . Later on you will find out their true purpose for suddenly hanging around Momo and Ikuko, as the story moves on. And through this movie, we will learn how strong the Japanese believe in the after life and the power of the unseen.

Although not as equally magical as Studio Ghibli movies, you might want to give this a try. It didn’t became my favorite, but it’s not that bad.  The drama is good enough to take you away. The pace may be a bit slow but everything was explained before the movie ends, even the intriguing title that it has.