The wait for A Letter to Momo to arrive on Blu-ray has not been very long. Just a couple of months ago it was in theaters, but as foreign films aren’t generally released wide, it was released on Blu-ray/DVD within a couple of months. Here are my thoughts on the Blu-ray/DVD.
Momo’s story begins with the death of her father. And though the details of his death are not the focus of the film, what is important is that Momo feels a tremendous amount of guilt, not because she had anything to do with his death but because the last words she ever said to him were: “You’re selfish, and you’re a liar. I don’t care if you ever come back.”
Momo’s mother Ikuko, relocates the two of them to Shio island shortly after her father Kazuo’s death. During their first few days there, Ikuko attempts to assimilate Momo to life without Kazuo when her life suddenly becomes that much more complicated due to the yokai spirits that have begun following her around causing mayhem, drawing unwanted attention to subdued and depressed Momo.
Momo’s story caries with it a lot of weight, but more importantly it carries a lot of heart, which is something that is evident in the animation. After taking in the familiarity of the simple character designs, you begin to take note of the wonderfully naturalistic details both in the character designs as well as with the background and environment.
The story, though simple in essence, is one that we will all relate to at one time or another. Whether it’s via the theme of grief, or the simple idea of saying something you didn’t mean, the story is deeply relatable and well executed. The pacing of the story is traditional to Japanese anime which can feel a little long and airy, but considering the heavy themes within the story, it’s nice to have that extra emotional processing time.
*Read our previous review of the film here.*
Though the Blu-ray/DVD combo pack is the “Special Edition”, I’m not so sure what’s so special about it. The features included in this edition are:
- English and Japanese Audio Tracks
- English Subtitles
- The Making of A Letter to Momo (Japanese, English Subtitles)
- Foreign trailers and TV Spots
- US Trailer
So really the only bonus content is the “Making Of”, which luckily is quite insightful of Hiroyuki Okiura’s story process, and even the voice acting. In the documentary, we learn a lot more about Okiura’s animation team, along with what elements were really important for Okiura to be carried out in the animation style.
The film itself is incredibly refreshing with its simplistic details and down to earth use of themes, which make this film a great addition to an anime collection. However, considering this is supposed to be the “Special Edition” I’m still scratching my head as to why it’s so special. I enjoyed the behind the scenes portion of it, but where is all the added content?