After watching A Letter to Momo, it’s very clear. If Ireland ever sinks like Atlantis and were all left floating in little boats, in the sea. I’m paddling to one of the small islands of Japan. I’ll have arms like Popeye when I get there, but it would be worth it. Those islands look so beautiful and peaceful and A Letter to Momo captures this perfectly. I absolutely loved the animation in this film.
A Letter to Momo is about a girl, Momo. After her father dies, Momo finds an unfinished letter written by father, just before he died. The letter only reads “Dear Momo” which leaves Momo without clarity and yearning to know, what her father wanted to say to her in his letter.
Shortly after her father’s death, Momo and her mother move to a little island of Japan. Unable to watch over his loved ones himself, Momo’s father sends 3 spirits/guardians (or demons/Jinn, I’m not exactly sure what they were), to watch over his family and report everything back to him.
Unfortunately, these guardians are not the most well-behaved, are always hungry and have serious sticky fingers (i.e. they steal a lot and often). To make things worse, Momo is the only one in her family, that can see these unusual guardians. Momo must now cope with her father death and the move to the island, all while trying to keep her nightmarish guardians out of trouble.
Although being about something so sad, this anime was so much fun. There was a lot of little giggles from me, while watching this film. A true sign, I enjoyed A Letter to Momo. It somehow managed to make something, that should have been tragic and depressing, into something comical and entertaining. It safe to say, this was achieved through its choice of characters. Mainly the 3 guardians.
The only way I could accurately describe them, is as 3 Gobshites or Eejits (but, the lovable very entertaining sort). From their weird games of dress-up, Dad dancing and trying to eat baby wild boar, you’ll find it hard not to be amused by their antics. Not to mention, their complete cluelessness and that one of them looks like Gollum’s (Lord of the Rings), cuter younger more forgetful brother. It’s almost enough to forgive their thieving ways.
One thing I really loved about this film, was the animation style. It was that more realistic style, where the characters have rounder heads, instead of the typical anime pointed chin and where characters looked more human like. It was very pretty and nice to watch. Also, it has loads of super cute old anime people. Weirdly, anime old people are cuter than anime babies, so having loads of little old people just makes this film an extremely cute watch.
The storyline was fairly decent too. It told a very sweet tale of a child missing her dead father and adjusting to life, in a new environment without her Father. It also had the right amount of humour and fun, so that the film didn’t become overly sad and depressing.
In saying that, I did feel like this film was missing something. Maybe a little more detail on Momo’s father and his wandering spirit, would have been nice. They sort of throw the fact, that Momo’s father has to wander the earth for a while, before going up to the sky, on top of you near the end of the film. This kind of left me confused, but intrigued. Anything to do with spirits and wandering peaks my interest, so I would have really loved to hear more about this. Also, A Letter to Momo was a very long film and at times, it felt like it dragged on.
Overall, I thought A Letter to Momo was a great anime film. It was very fun and entertaining. It had the element of humour, but still told a very sweet and interesting story. The paranormal/Jinn guardian aspect, was truly fascinating and really captured my interest. For these reasons, I would highly recommend A Letter to Momo. It’s an amazing film, with a slight Ghibli feel, that I think both anime lovers and non-anime fans could enjoy.