(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.)
Thanks to the tireless efforts of our most dedicated fans, Jarinko Chie is now available with subtitles! The film has also been uploaded fully to YouTube - with subs! James Mar was kind enough to direct me to them, so obviously I had to make them available to everyone here (well, it's not like I can spend all my time writing about Sega Saturn).
I can't remember too much if I've gone into detail on Chie, aside from my endless pleas to provide the subs, so here's a short rundown of the movie. This movie is an adaptation of a popular manga, produced by Telecom, and written and directed by Isao Takahata. Yasuo Otsuka and Yoichi Kotabe, the old friends, were the Animation Directors. It was released in 1981 and became successful enough to spawn its own television series, which lasted for two seasons. Takahata served as General Director.
Jarinko Chie is a slice-of-life comedy, centering on the young heroine and her misfit family, and the oddball assortment of characters in orbit. The film is very much tribute to Japan's western Kansai region and the city of Kobe, where it is set. Takahata presents many details of daily life, giving the city a real sense of atmosphere and beauty.
The slightly episodic structure is closely paralleled in 1999's My Neighbors the Yamadas, although Chie's overall plot is more solid. Chie's yearnings for her parents - a hopelessly mismatched couple if ever there was one - to come back together and reunite their family. This isn't the sole storyline to the movie, but it does largely serve as the main trunk where all the other subplots cling to.
You may be surprised at the amount of blue humor and slapstick comedy in this picture. If you're one of those Westerners who couldn't get past those Tanuki testicles in Pom Poko....well, you're really in for it this time. Heavy on the slapstick, some genuine gross-out gags (that scene with the crime boss and the omelet...ah, don't eat anything), and testicle jokes galore.
In any case, you might be surprised. Takahata's penchant for emotional human drama doesn't lend itself into Adam Sandler territory. And yet he still demonstrates a complete mastery of his craft, managing to weave several tapestries together with considerable ease. The wide emotional scope is there for all to see; the humanity, the warmth, that ability to chuckle at humanity's foibles, with a tear in the eye.