Movie Night - Jarinko Chie

(Update 1/22/11: Since this post was published, the Youtube videos were taken down.  A new Youtube video of Jarinko Chie is now available.  You can watch Jarinko Chie here.)

And now, dear readers and silent hangers-on, I present to you Isao Takahata's 1981 movie Jarinko Chie. Our old friends Yasuo Otsuka and Yoichi Kotabe were the Animation Directors, and the cast of characters were pulled from Japan's famous comedy troupe, Yoshimoto Kogyo (Mind Game used actors from there as well).

The dialog was all recorded before animating, or "pre-scored," something that is standard here in the States, but very uncommon in Japan. Oh, and the actress who played Chie was elected to Congress. Not a bad achievement!

Jarinko Chie was adapted from a very popular manga by Etsumi Haruki. The story revolves around a 10-year-old girl named Chie; her thuggish, gangster-wannabe father, Tetsu; her mother, Yoshi; and an oddball assortment of friends and hangers-on. The film is episodic, a little like My Neighbors the Yamadas, but there's a tighter narrative, weaving around the central thread of Chie's desires to see her parents reunited.

Mostly structured as a slapstick comedy, Jarinko Chie is a story about family, seperation and loss. Takahata's trademark drama is present, mixed in with the comedy, and wrapped around a grand tribute to Kobe and Japan's western Kansai region. The film was produced at Telecom and proved successful enough to warrant a popular TV series, which ran for two seasons. Takahata served as general director.

I'm sad to report that I do not have English subtitles for you tonight. Hopefully, you will be able to enjoy the film regardless. Repeated viewings will be rewarded, and I promise to share what dialog I do know. Enjoy!


Chris Sobieniak said...

Well that was a wonderful movie. Took me a while to get through that but it was worth it. (why can't we see more of this around here nowadays)

Interesting learning about the way this film was made with the pre-scored dialogue and the comedy troupe. Usually as a thing, I ignore often seeing the lip movements entirely in an anime given the majority out there that are post-scored anyway, but because of that fact, I had to look now and then while watching this and noticedj ust how spot-on they are, and no so all-over-the-place if you will (except YouTube has made the videos slightly out-of-synch on purpose if a video wasn't the proper framerate by their specifications). I only wish more anime was like that personally but I can understand where they like to keep their production time down.

Thanks for posting that up, I might not've had the opportunity to see it elsewhere given the circumstances (I just hope YouTube doesn't get wise in the end).

Anonymous said...

I love those cameos. The Milky Girl, Son of Godzilla, Tora-San.

I so wish there were english subtitles for this movie.

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