Netflix has ventured again into the realm of anime movies as the offering this time around is the beautiful Child Of Kamiari Month. Let’s see what this movie was like in this review!
Child Of Kamiari Month Overview
Child of Kamiari Month, or Kamiarizuki no Kodomo as it is called in original Japanese, is an adventure, supernatural, and drama anime developed by Studio LIDENFILMS. It was developed by various industry minds, including original writing by Toshinari Shinoe and chief animation directors Haruka Sagawa and Takana Shirai. Sagawa was also responsible for the character design in the show, with Jun Ichikawa and NAOKI-T serving as Music Directors.
– Kamiarizuki no Kodomo Review does not contain any spoilers –
Child Of Kamiari Review- Plot and Characters
“This is a story of a 12-year-old girl, Kanna, born as a descendant of the Gods. Her family has a mission to deliver offerings from all over Japan to the Gods’ gathering in Izumo. Although Kanna’s mother was to complete the mission, her passing prompted Kanna to finish the task, hoping she could reunite with her dead mother in the Gods’ land at the end of her journey.”– Source, Anime Expo.
Some shows have but one purpose in their existence- making people cry. As soon as I turned on this particular movie, it became excruciatingly clear that this wasn’t going to be one for people who dislike moist eyes. It was relentless from the get-go, showcasing the relationship between a mother and her daughter when every sign points towards the parent passing away and the child having to deal with that loss, alongside growing up in the world without a mother.
Such was the story of Kanna, our protagonist. She was barely 11 when she lost her mother in an incident that she blames herself for, and now hesitates to do the one thing her mother and her shared a love for- running. She then finds out that there was an entire side to her mother that she never knew about, and if she doesn’t follow in her footsteps, her world won’t see peace for another year again. However, if she does do it, she might get to see her mother again.
Kanna is a great character who follows many of the same tropes you would expect for a kid main character to follow. She hides her fears and tries to face them all by herself, she is headstrong and easily swayed, and she wears her emotions on her sleeves. None of these are bad characteristics by any means, but they aren’t unique in any way, and you will find characters like her in most forms of media you watch, not just anime. She works well in this movie and serves as a great pillar to build the plot around.
The plot finds its footing on traditional Japanese customs, as Child Of Kamiari Month contains “Kamiari” in it, which means the month of October during when it is believed that all Gods converge into the region of Izumo, leaving all the other regions as “Kannazuki”, or without Gods. There are a ton of different Gods featured that have their own quirks and add a lot to the show’s worldbuilding, even if it might be obvious for people living in Japan. As a westerner, it is a delight to witness such traditions and indulge in stories centres around them.
Kanna is helped in her journey by Shiro, the rabbit who also doubles as the mediator between her and the Gods. Shiro is cute, which is all he’s there to do anyway. He does help her a lot and is not useless in any way. Then there’s Yasha, who follows the typical enemies to friends narrative. His backstory is unique, and he is connected to Kanna in another way other than just being a rival. The trio is also not very unique, but it gets the job done and fits the narrative of Child Of Kamiari Month well.
Overall, the story and characters of Child Of Kamiari Month work quite well. The narrative is emotional and satisfying, and the journey doesn’t drag much. The characters aren’t perfect or unique but fit into the tale of sorrow and loss like a glove. The spiritual and mythological elements are a huge part of the charm and likability of the universe, and while the story is quite simplistic and narrow, it is very engaging and cute. It will most likely cause more than a few misty eyes on its way out.
Child Of Kamiari Month Review- Art and Music
The art style of the movie is good, but not great. It shares the same small problems as the narrative, as in it is not very unique or memorable. It looks great at points and has some really pretty frames and scenes, but you will forget about the entire animation as soon as the movie ends. It doesn’t stand out or catch the eye as a highlight of the movie, but it is still pretty and competent all the same. The character design is also good, and the Gods, in particular, look fantastic.
The music is tremendous, however. Every bit of the soundtrack sounds like it was meticulously constructed for the particular scene in which it plays, and everything sounds terrific. There are quite a few OSTs here that will sound very good as part of an orchestra at the movie’s screening, like the ones that were had for Your Name and Undertale (!). The insert songs are also fantastic, especially the ending theme “Kanna” by miwa. Seek them out even if you weren’t impressed by the movie, for they were all the best parts of Child Of Kamiari Month.
However, there is still an element that brought the experience of watching Child Of Kamiari Month down a notch- the voice acting. If you watched the movie in original Japanese as I did, you probably also noticed a 30-year-old adult’s voice coming out of an 11-year-old Kanna, which was extremely off-putting. The rest of the voice acting was fine, even if it didn’t stand out, but Kanna’s voice did not fit her character at all. I’ve never once wanted to watch a dub over a sub, but this is the one time I feel like the former would have yielded a better result.
Child Of Kamiari Month was a joyous experience full of fun moments, effective emotional beats, and tremendous music. It wasn’t perfect, but you won’t regret giving it a watch.Instagram & Facebook to keep yourself updated with the latest news and reviews.