Eric Khoo's TATSUMI
Movie review by Dennis D. McDonald
Tatsumi is an adult animated film about the life and short stories of Yoshihiro Tatsumi who is often credited with starting a movement in Japan to publish adult-themed manga comics.
The movie is episodic and intertwines Tatsumi’s own life and words with a selection of his short stories. The focus of the stories is on postwar Japan and the lives of the people who were not all lifted up by that country’s economic boom.
The more personal story elements reflect the challenges of the artist growing up and finding his own way and his own artistic voice. It’s a very touching and moving film that is not always easy to watch.
Some of the things the characters experience and are very recognizable while others are unpleasant or shocking. But the artist and his focus on “real people” shines through and that’s what is most gratifying about this movie, even if you do have difficulty identifying with all the experiences of the many characters.
This movie shows once again how it is possible for animated films to effectively deal with complex adult themes and situations. This is not one for the kids.
Review copyright (c) 2014 by Dennis D. McDonald