Plot: Haru (Serena Motola) lost her parents and her brother in the Tohoku earthquake and the ensuing tsunami almost a decade ago. She has been living with her aunt Hiroko (Makiko Watanabe) ever since, quite a way away from her childhood home. When Hiroko has to go to the hospital unexpectedly, by now 14 years-old Haru’s last anchor is gone – and she sets off to revisit what remains of the town she grew up in. Along the way she meets many people, all of whom were deeply affected by loss.
Voices in the Wind provides a, to me, unusual perspective on Japan, focusing on the destruction left behind by the tsunami, but also featuring, for example, immigrants in Japan. It does have a few lengths, but I did enjoy it overall.
Ryo Suzuki (Hiroki Hasegawa) has big dreams, but no self-esteem whatsoever. He is being bullied at work and he now sees people laughing at him everywhere. This all changes when he gets a pet turtle, Pikadon, with which he is happy for a while. Until his co-workers discover the pet and ridicule Ryo so much, he flushes it down the toilet. He instantly regrets it, but the decision catapults both Ryo and Pikadon on a long journey.
Love & Peace is the perfect Christmas movie that has just enough weirdness to keep it from being sickly sweet. Oh, who am I kidding, it’s still sickly sweet and I loved it.
After the death of her father, Momo (Karen Miyama) and her mother (Yuka) move to the island her mother is from. Momo is torn up by her father’s death. All that remains of him is the beginning of a letter he wrote to her, stating simply “Dear Momo”. Since Momo’s mother is working a lot, Momo has basically all the time in the world to brood over that letter. But soon Momo notices that there are weird creatures living in her attic that nobody but her seems to be able to see. Even though these yōkai cause many problems for Momo, she starts to befriend them.
A Letter to Momo is a wonderful, cute, beautiful, extremely sad and very conciliatory film. I absolutely loved it.