In This Corner of the World (Kono sekai no katasumi ni) (PG-13)

Animation 128 min. August 11, 2017
By Sherilyn Connelly
Location is everything: Sunao Katabuchi's anime In This Corner of the World is about a young woman named Suzu (Non), who in 1944 moves to live with her husband's family in the city of Kure, some 10 miles away from Hiroshima. Though Kure is home to the dockyard from whence the (sea, not space) battleship Yamato was launched, its citizens are largely unaffected by the war until they aren't. The subtitled date-stamps notably speed up as August 1945 approaches, though the inevitable Hiroshima explosion isn't the end of Suzu's story, or even necessarily the most traumatic thing that happens to her. Though this is a far gentler film, In This Corner of the World has thematic similarities to The Tin Drum, of all things.

Like Drum's pint-sized protagonist, Suzu is facing a world at war in a similar (though unintentional) state of arrested development; she's small for her age at 18 and, as is often observed, far from the sharpest knife in the drawer, even getting lost on the way home from the market. After The Girl Without Hands, In This Corner of the World also has the curious distinction of being the second animated foreign film this month in which the female protagonist loses one or both of her hands. What a fun trend!
Sunao Katabuchi Non, Megumi Han, Yoshimasa Hosoya Sunao Katabuchi Funimation Films

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