Brave Story

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Wataru is an eleven-year-old boy whose life is not as he would like it to be; he’s not a good student, he’s bullied by the girls in his class, he’s painfully shy, and his parents’ marriage is in trouble. The bottom falls out for Wataru when his father leaves town with another woman, and his mother is seriously hurt in an accident. Gathering what little courage he has, Wataru goes to an old house that’s said to be haunted, hoping to make his way to another world where wishes can be granted.

Two boys step into a fantasy world to change their fate.

wataru_mitani_6115Wataru is leading a normal life until his father leaves the family head over heels to live with another woman. He’s shocked and doesn’t understand what’s going on. This kind of fate is wrong and so he begins his journey in a fantasy world called Vision to get his wish granted by a goddess to unite his family once again. Soon he’ll realize that

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Mitsuru isn’t scared to walk over dead bodies to get his own wish fulfilled. As powerful magician he’s trying to summon the tower of fortune all by himself. What makes him do that is kept secret and he’s making his way without trusting anyone.

 

Wataru on the other hand travels the country and meets friends and foes alike, gathering companions on the way. These would be the lively lizard Kee Keema who sees Wataru as his personal good-luck charm and who often helps him out of a pinch, as well as circus artist – and catgirl – Meena who’s searching for her father. The third companion in this unlikely party is the supercute dragon baby Juzo. Together they go through thick and thin. But can Wataru actually convince Mitsuru that the end does not always justifies the means and get him on the right track again before Vision has to face a terrible disaster?

Brave Story is a wonderful story about friendship and family, bravery and weakness, coming of age and the question if anything goes when it comes to achieving one’s aims.

This movie made by Gonzo was brought to Japanese theaters in 2006 and it’s been around on DVD and Blu-ray for quite some time now.

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The plot itself is really simple. Go to Vision, do some quests, get five jewels and summon the goddess to get your wish granted. “Simple” does work amazingly well with this movie considering it’s based on the book by Miyabe Miyuki, which is far more detailed with its 800 pages. 1/3 of the book is completely about the real world and also explains extensively why Wataru’s dad filed for divorce. If you liked the movie, I really recommend the book as well, as these two complement each other greatly.

The art style of Brave Story is beautiful, the colors are vivid and the design of the world Vision is absolutely stunning. Even die CGI-Animation (which I am not a great fan of) are implemented very well. The whole thing is accompanied by a wonderful soundtrack created by Juno Reactor. The theme song “Ketsu no asa ni” was done by Aqua Timez.

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Here’s to say: I own the German versions of both the DVD and the Blu-ray. The Blu-ray being completely disappointing when it comes to bonus material. Because there is none. Literally. There are a few trailers of other movies published by the same company but that’s more advertisement than anything else. The Deluxe Edition of the DVD version is way better. You’ll get a booklet with concept art and a bonus DVD with original trailers, making-ofs and all that stuff.

Summary: I’ve seen Brave Story at least 5 times already and I’m pretty sure I’ll watch this over and over again. It really is a fantastic story for (almost) every age and the characters are highly likeable. This is something you could definitely watch with the whole family <3

(They probably won’t read it but still: Again, a big thank you to Kazé who were actually so nice as to send me this movie for free as a review copy)

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