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Mar 21

Movie March – Dareka no Manazashi

Still better than Roundcat

And I thought trying to review a 13 minute movie was weird, but as it turns out I had an even smaller one sitting in the pile. Dareka no Manazashi (Someone’s Gaze for you English speakers… so all of you) clocks in at a mere 6 minutes 45 seconds, shorter than some songs I’ve listened to today. But seeing as it’s from our old friend Makoto Shinkai, creator of the prettiest and most emotionally charged things you ever did see it’s certainly worth a looksie, so let’s get this fifth(!) Movie March post underway.

“So Sean are you gonna tell us how beautiful this film is?” Well, yes and no. Being a Shinkai work, it’s obviously a cut above the rest, but it’s not quite on the same level as Garden of Words or Psychic School Wars

The plot essentially showcases a family’s life as they drift apart and come back together, with the narration coming from the mother’s perspective. Set in what appears to be a near future thanks to holographic phones, we watch Aya, the daughter, struggle through her lonely life with narration revealing the true feelings she’s unable to give voice to.

Along with her there’s her dad, whom like most parents cares deeply for their child and is mixed with happiness and sadness when they fledge the nest, and lil’ cat Mii, somewhat abandoned by the flow of time as Aya matures and no longer cares so much for him.

So it’s another heartfelt Shinkai piece, except diluted to fit in 7 minutes. As such, while it’s certainly charming, its difficult to get invested. You see a picture album of their lives and feelings, and before you know it it’s already over, accompanied by another great and fitting song to run over the conclusion. Heck, he’s gotten a lot better at utilising end songs after Five Centimeters where you have a touching moment interrupted by loud music.

And that’s pretty much it. A must-see addition to Shinaki’s catalogue it isn’t, but with such a short runtime it’s not a waste of time, more a neat piece of inoffensive animation that you’ll smile and frown through before forgetting the next day.

For those wondering how it came to be, apparently it was shown at the Proud Box Kanshasai home living exposition, which I’m translating as somebody knew of his work and wanted to use it to pull people in. That or there were a lot of advertisements I missed. Since then it’s usually been shown alongside Garden of Words, as a warmup piece before the main event. Either way, if Shinkai stuff intrigues you, its easy to track down and view, if not, stick to his main works.

And don’t worry, I’m pretty sure I’m back to full length movies next week. Got Chuunibyou and Wolf Children staring at me.

And true outrage will be truly truly truly outrageous~

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Only a few left to go now. Got a request of a movie you’d like to see featured? Or maybe you want to write an article yourself? Then get in with touch with myself, Reaf or one of the committee. Or you could tweet us, or write on the Facebook, or post on the forums! Otherwise its Sean up to his old tricks and he’s already reviewed two Shinaki films so he might go for the hat trick…